If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, you could be facing some severe financial penalties. If you plan to fight the charges, you can also expect to accumulate some legal fees. Without having financial means or a significant “rainy day” fund, your night out on the town could put you in danger of going bankrupt, that is unless you are able to find an attorney that is willing to work with your financial budget.
Before You Hire an Attorney…
Know the fines, penalties, and evidence against you. This will help you pick the right attorney for your case. For instance, if you have a case where your BAC (blood alcohol content) level is right on the border and there were no extenuating circumstances (such as a child in the car or the causing of an accident with or without fatalities), you may be able to use an attorney with less trial experience. However, be sure to find one that has a history of being able to plead out cases to lesser charges successfully, such as wet reckless instead of a DUI (assuming your state allows a plea of wet reckless).
Alternatively, if your BAC was excessive and/or there were other issues during the arrest, you will probably need an experienced trial attorney to fight the charges. Going into a situation such as this with a new or inexperienced trial attorney may seal your fate before the judge’s gavel falls to open testimony.
You should also be aware of the actual fines and penalties in place within your state. Some states have a set fine for each offense whereas other states may offer a range and leave it up to the judge to decide. Of course, there is also the consideration of mandatory jail time and/or community service. Some of the states with the toughest DUI penalties are:
- South Carolina
Finding a DUI Attorney
Using a website like DUIRights.com will allow you to find local DUI attorneys. If you are struggling financially, one of the first questions to ask before you get into the details of your case is whether he or she has alternative payment plans. Once you have the field narrowed, you can then interview the attorneys to find the one you would like to defend you.
Some of the ways an attorney can help you lower your costs are:
- Including a free consultation to discuss the actual case
- Offer flexible payment plans to help you “finance” your defense
- Possibly accept payments via credit card. If you have a low interest or no interest card, this can help you spread the payments out over a much longer period.
- Some attorneys will work for a flat fee. This helps you avoid accumulating significant billable hours, especially in trial cases.
If you would like more information about local DUI laws, a free evaluation of your case, or need to find a local attorney, visit fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form today.