how much does dui lawyer cost california

by Dr. Reagan Konopelski I 7 min read

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?

For a first-time misdemeanor DUI, a DUI attorney generally costs in the ballpark of $1,500 to $5,000. A California DUI Lawyer Association (CDLA) Specialist often starts at $2,500 – $4,500.

Full Answer

How much does a DUI attorney cost in California?

Some DUI defense attorneys charge a flat fee, such as $3,000 for a first DUI offense charged as a misdemeanor, while others charge an hourly rate. Although there is no average DUI attorney rate, California attorneys’ hourly rates tend to range between $250 and $700.

How much are DUI Attorneys' Fees?

Your attorney fees will depend if you accept a plea or take your case to trial. DUI lawyers charge $700 to $1,500 when accepting a plea, and $1,500 to $4,000 when going to trial. From the time you're arrested to the time that your case is resolved, you can expect to undergo a 6 to 12-month process.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI in California?

If you care about your driving privileges and want to keep a criminal conviction off your record, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a California DUI arrest. What will a lawyer do for me in a DUI case? What a lawyer will do for you depends on the lawyer.

How much does a DUI cost?

It will depend on the state and city you get pulled over in, how much you’ve drunk, your age, and other factors. If you want an estimate, the total DUI ticket cost may reach nearly $20,000, depending on the severity of the offense. In general, a DUI may cost you anywhere between $10,000 to $30,000 when you add up all the fees and fines.


Is it worth getting a DUI lawyer in California?

The answer is yes. It is always worth getting a lawyer for DUI, DWI to help get the case dropped and win in court. A driver absolutely should hire the best affordable DUI attorney nearest their location to establish a strong defense and prevent a license suspension in time.

How much does a DUI cost in California 2020?

* How much does a DUI cost? California DUI fines range from $390 to $5,000 plus penalty assessments & fees that can raise the total cost to $18,000, depending on your DUI charge. DUI with injury or property damage may also require you to pay injured parties.

Can a DUI be dismissed in CA?

If pulled over for drinking and driving, you can get charged with a DUI. Luckily, in the state of California, you can get it dismissed before heading to court.

How much is a DUI in California now?

For a first-offense DUI in California, consequences for conviction generally include three years of informal probation, fines of $390 plus “penalty assessments” (totally approximately $2000, and completing a first offender alcohol program that consists of a 30-hour class, at a cost of about $500.

How likely is jail time for first DUI California?

A first DUI carries $390 to $1,000 in fines plus a number of "penalty assessments" that can substantially increase the amount the driver has to pay. The total can be several thousand dollars or more. Jail. It's possible for a first offender to receive 48 hours to six months in jail.

Is jail time mandatory for 1st DUI in California?

In California, jail time is practically mandatory for people convicted of a DUI. Even if it is your first offense and no one was injured, a judge can sentence you to six months in jail.

Do you lose your license for first DUI in CA?

A court conviction for a first-time DUI in California automatically triggers a six-month license suspension pursuant to Vehicle Code 13352(a)(1). A Judge, however, does not impose this suspension. Instead, upon your conviction, the court notifies the DMV and the DMV imposes the suspension.

What happens on your first DUI court date in California?

A first offense DUI in California is a misdemeanor typically punished by 3 to 5 years of probation, $390.00 to $1000.00 in fines plus penalty assessments, DUI school, a 6-month driver's license suspension, and installation of an ignition interlock device.

How do you beat a DUI in California?

6 Best Ways To Fight And Beat Your California DUI CaseFighting your California DUI Charge. ... Defense One: Driving Patterns Aren't A Good Indicator of DUI. ... Defense Two: Field Sobriety Tests Are Unreliable. ... Defense Three: Errors in a Breath Test. ... Defense Four: Challenge the Blood Test. ... Defense Five: Rising BAC.More items...

How do I get my license back after a DUI in California?

To fully reinstate your driving privilege with no restrictions, you must serve your full suspension or restriction, provide the DMV with proof of completion of a DUI program and provide proof of insurance (SR 22). You will be required to maintain the SR 22 for 3 years.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in California?

10 yearsFortunately, a DUI charge does not stay on your driving record forever. Generally speaking, it remains on your driving record for up to 10 years and is viewable by the DMV and law enforcement during that time. The other good news is that a DUI conviction on your driving record does NOT show on most background checks.

How long does a DUI case take in California?

Police reports and other discoverable information may also be obtain through the California DMV's administrative process. Most cases that do not go to trial will generally settle within 3-6 months. If ending the case quickly is important to you then let me know why and we will discuss your options.

How much does a DUI attorney charge per hour?

Example. If an attorney estimates a first time DUI case will take 12 hours of time and they charge $400 an hour the flat fee will be $4,800.

Why is experience level important in an attorney?

An attorney’s experience level changes the cost in the same way that it does in all professions as more experienced and skilled practitioners are in higher demand because of their level of expertise.

Do DUI attorneys charge a retainer?

DUI trials are not typically included in the initial retainer fee for a DUI attorney although some may include it. The reason for this is that 95%+ of all criminal cases including DUI’s are resolved prior to a trial. So 95%+ of defendants will never need to pay for a trial and so this fee is usually in addition to a retainer for ...

How much does it cost to take a DUI course?

The length of time you will have to attend a course will depend on the severity of your DUI violation, but you can expect to pay at least $650 for the course.

What happens if you are found guilty of DUI?

Even if you know for certain that you are guilty, you should have an attorney who can help protect you from excessive penalties. There are several DUI attorneys who can help you with your case. If the court does find you guilty of a DUI you can expect to pay hefty fines.

How long do you have to file a SR-22 after a DUI?

After a DUI you will be required to file your SR-22 for at least 3 years.

Does car insurance increase after DUI?

Car Insurance Increase. It’s not exactly a secret that car insurance premiums increase after a DUI, but many people might not realize that this increase is the highest DUI-related cost. This may be because people think of the increase in the short term, since insurance coverage is usually only bought months at a time.

Is it worth getting behind the wheel after drinking?

There is a very good chance you could end up paying more and the number will just keep increasing after each violation. So it is easy to see that getting behind the wheel after drinking is just not worth it.

Is drinking and driving dangerous?

Most of us are well aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. The exponentially increased risk of hurting yourself and others in an accident should be more than enough to deter everyone from driving under the influence (DUI). Still, just to make the case against drinking and driving even stronger we can take a look at ...

Common DUI Layer Traps to Avoid

Not all lawyers who say they do DUI defense have your best interests at heart. Some are just looking to make quick money. Luckily, you can identify and avoid these types of “sharks.”

Is the Cost of a DUI Lawyer Worth It?

The best DUI lawyers sincerely want to see you win your case and be able to move on with your life. They will work with you. They will offer you the consultation for free, and they may even have a payment plan available. And remember that a victory in a DUI case can save you thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars.

Why is DUI so expensive in California?

One reason is that it attracts other charges and requirements which also have different expenses associated with them. Additionally, it involves driving which has several costs associated with it as well. These types of cases are rarely hopeless, they are characterized with many errors from the beginning. Therefore, some DUI defense attorneys will have the ability to capitalize on these issues. If you are facing any DUI charges, our DUI defense attorneys have the experienced background to handle your case. With the many years of expertise in the DUI charges, we have developed legal know-how to handle and defend our clients in DUI court cases.

How long do you go to jail for a DUI?

Occasionally, most of the judges will be more lenient on first-time offenders. For a second DUI, jail time will be between three (3) days to one year in county jail. Although, there are other ways to serve jail time through house arrest or jail work programs. The third offense will have you facing five (5) days to one (1) year in jail.

Can a prosecutor take a blood test?

There are several ways the prosecutor can reveal this to the court, most of them will deal with the field sobriety tests. That isn’t enough to get a conviction, so the prosecutor has to include a Breathalyzer test, urine test or the results from your blood work. In most of the cases, the authorities will need to get a warrant to take our blood or urine sample.

How much does a DUI lawyer charge?

Your attorney fees will depend if you accept a plea or take your case to trial. DUI lawyers charge $700 to $1,500 when accepting a plea, and $1,500 to $4,000 when going to trial.

How much does a DUI attorney charge per hour?

The first option is hourly, which typically costs an average of $300 per hour. Depending on the lawyer and location, you may pay $200 to $500 per hour. The key advantage here is that if your case is resolved quickly, you will not overpay. You will only be billed the short time period in which the DUI attorney worked on your case.

How much does an ignition interlock cost?

This machine will cost around $100 to install, in addition to a monthly fee that ranges for $60 to $80. The length of time you're required to keep this device in your car will depend on where you live as well as your conviction.

How much is a DUI fine in Florida?

For example, in Florida, a standard first-offense DUI carries an average fine between $500 and $1,000. However, if your blood alcohol concentration is above .15% or a passenger under the age of 18 was present in the vehicle, you will face a fine closer to $2,000.

How much does a flat rate attorney cost?

In comparison, a flat rate is a fee that covers the entire course of your case. Depending on your circumstances, expect to pay around $3,000 in flat rate attorney fees with most offering a payment plan.

How much does it cost to get your license reinstated after a DUI?

Once you are eligible to reinstate your license, this fee depends on your state. For example, in California, this fee is $125, and in Washington, this fee is $150.

How much does a public defender cost?

Those who are represented by a public defender tend to spend an average of $5,500 on their case, including between $700 and $800 on DUI lawyer fees. However, the cost of a public defender significantly ranges depending on numerous factors, including the state in which you reside. For example, in California, defendants are required to pay an upfront registration fee of $50.

How much does a DUI attorney charge in California?

Although there is no average DUI attorney rate, California attorneys’ hourly rates tend to range between $250 and $700.

How much does a DUI cost in California?

A California driving under the influence (DUI) conviction is likely to cost an offender between $6,000 and $10,000. The total amount depends on whether the offense is a first offense DUI, second offense DUI, or third misdemeanor, or a felony DUI charge.

How much does a first time DUI cost?

According to an estimate calculated by KXTV of Sacramento, even a first-time misdemeanor DUI can cost an offender as much as $20,000 if there are serious additional concerns. These can range from damage to the offender’s vehicle to medical bills.

How much does a DMV charge for a SR-22?

The insurance company typically charges the offender $25 for this service.

How long does it take to get a DUI in California?

According to the California Department of Health Care Services, an offender will be required to complete a three- , six- or nine-month DUI school for a first-time DUI or an 18- or 30-month DUI school for a second, third, fourth or subsequent DUI.

How much bail do you get for a DUI?

Bail and Bonds Fees for a DUI Arrest. For a DUI that did not cause property damage or injury to another person, the bail amount can range between $1,000 and $10,000. An individual who posts bail usually has to pay a bondsman 10 percent of the bail amount.

What is penalty assessment in California?

Penalty assessments vary by county. They pay for local and state costs like courthouse construction and DNA identification.

The degree of difficulty in the case

DUI cases can be straightforward or complicated.

The DUI lawyer's experience level and reputation

Most DUI lawyers in California will charge a flat fee for their services. This fee can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the lawyer's experience level and reputation. It is important to research different lawyers and compare fees before selecting one.

The attorney's current caseload

If the lawyer is busy, he or she may not be able to take your case. This can happen if other clients need representation as well. The attorney's current caseload will affect how much time they have available for you and your court dates.

Is the matter being handled by an associate of the main lawyer?

Some DUI lawyers in California will hire an associate to handle less serious cases. This can save the lawyer time and money. However, it is important to ask about the associate's experience level and reputation. You should also be sure to get a copy of the associate's contract so that you know what services they will provide.

The particular courthouse

If you live in a different county than where your court date is scheduled, it may be necessary for the DUI lawyer to travel to that county. This can affect the cost of representation because some counties are more expensive than others.

Potential trial

If your case goes to trial, it will cost more money. The reason for this is that trials take much longer than plea negotiations or simple hearings before the judge.