How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost in California

Some drivers charged with a DUI in California simply accept the charge, plead guilty, and suffer the consequences. When considering the cost of having an attorney represent them, they may mistakenly determine that the guidance and protection of a seasoned DUI attorney is not worth the money.  

License suspension and fines are only part of the problem. A DUI conviction will lead to a  lifelong criminal record that can affect your employment, housing options, travel, immigration status, and more.

DUI attorney fees in California

DUI attorneys may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee.  Unlike personal injury cases, they do not work on a contingency basis. 

Many attorneys offer payment plans but most require some form of payment prior to appearing in court on your behalf (a downpayment).

For a first-time misdemeanor DUI in California, attorney fees can be in the range of $1,000 to $10,000.  A very complex DUI case where a person was seriously injured or killed might be as much as $70,000, or more, for an experienced DUI attorney.

What determines a DUI attorney’s flat fee?

Generally, a DUI attorney’s flat fee will depend upon the amount of time estimated to properly represent the client, their reputation, and their hourly rate. 

The complexity of the case

Complexity increases the time necessary for an attorney to properly analyze all available evidence in addition to the time necessary to represent their client. Most DUIs are misdemeanors. However, some DUIs may be charged as felonies if, for example, they result in significant injury or death to another. Those that involve significant injury or death likely involve more legal research, investigation, and additional court appearances that may take more time to resolve the matter.

Other factors that tend to make a DUI case more complex include:

  • Are there any other aggravating circumstances, e.g., children involved?
  • Is it a first or subsequent offense?
  • Is it local or out-of-county?
  • How many witnesses were there?
  • Will re-testing of samples be required?
  • Has there been a violation of probation?

The experience and skill level of your attorney

The most experienced and skilled DUI attorneys are in demand and busy. You can expect to pay a higher fee for an attorney who has spent considerable time in the courtroom defending DUI cases.

A higher cost may be justifiable for some defendants as the consequences of conviction and maximum penalties can have a far-reaching impact.

Sometimes, a premium is paid for an inexperienced DUI attorney simply because they work for a well-established law firm. However, at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, you will have access to a firm of experienced DUI attorneys who have handled hundreds of cases in California. 

What to look for when hiring a DUI attorney

Many DUI attorneys have their client’s best interests at heart and want to help them avoid the most severe consequences of a DUI conviction.  However, because attorney fees are not contingent upon a specific outcome, you must be selective when choosing a DUI  attorney.

To give yourself the best chance of success in your DUI case, be sure of the following:

  • They have extensive experience in DUI cases.
  • They will handle your case personally.
  • Their fees are realistic.
  • They do not over-promise.

Is a DUI attorney worth the cost?

A seasoned DUI attorney can help protect your rights and guide you through the criminal justice process to reach the best outcome in your specific circumstance. A negative outcome or stringent penalties can have a detrimental effect on your immediate and longer-term future.  In addition to having a seasoned DUI attorney guide you through the complex processes of the legal system, they will also advocate for your best interests and fight for your rights against the most experienced of prosecutors.

A DUI attorney is an investment in your future.

Have you or a loved one been charged with DUI in California?

If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI in Orange County, you need an experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights and freedoms and limit the consequences.

Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (855) 918-4253 today to set up a consultation with an attorney who can advise you on the next steps in protecting your rights.

We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Newport Beach and Fullerton to serve clients with matters heard at the Central, West, Harbor, and North Justice Centers, respectively, for all of Orange County.  The lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help!  Book an online consultation to get started today.