One thing is for sure, if you have been arrested for a DUI, you are more than likely facing some stiff fines and penalties. In addition to these costs, you will also have to pay attorney fees and possibly for the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device. While your fines and fees for the device will be fairly cut and dry, several factors will affect how much you have to pay your DUI attorney.
Billing Methods for a DUI Attorney
In most cases, a DUI attorney will work for a flat fee or an hourly billing rate. One of the first questions you should be asking your DUI attorney is how he/she bills for services. For an hourly rate, you will be billed for every hour of service the attorney or the attorney’s associates are working on the case. A flat fee is exactly that, a one-time fee until the case is resolved.
Hourly rates can benefit you if the attorney is willing to work with you and point you in the right direction for certain aspects of the case. If your schedule permits, you may be able to do a lot of the legwork for the case. If not, a flat fee may end up being a bargain for you.
What Affects the Attorney’s Fee?
Experience and success will be the most influential factors in how much any attorney charges, be it hourly or a flat rate fee. In addition, attorney’s that are part of larger firms will charge a higher rate because of the cost of overhead to run the firm. You can get a cheaper attorney by hiring a new attorney or one that runs his or her own practice, but these attorneys will not have the experience or support of a more seasoned attorney.
What Are My Payment Options for a DUI Attorney?
This is another question that should be asked early on in the vetting process. Most attorney’s will require some type of upfront payment for their services, regardless if the billing is hourly or fee based. However, the attorney may be willing to negotiate the fee and payment method. For instance, some attorneys will work with low-income clients for far less than they would normally charge. In addition, some attorneys will offer a payment plan option to help spread out the payments and make their services more affordable for those that cannot pay the full fee upfront.