What Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Washington, DC

Most lawyers do not put their legal fees online. The reason they don’t is because generally each case is different and there may be a fluctuation in prices between clients. However, you should have a starting point for DUI lawyers cost in Washington, DC. DUI lawyer cost is primarily driven by experience of the lawyer and the amount of training the lawyer has had in DUI law. The are some other reasons cost may fluctuate between lawyers such as the overhead of the lawyer.

Training/Associations

When I speak of training I am not referring to law school. All lawyers have to pass the bar and so I am not talking about the bar. DUI law is an area of law that requires additional training beyond law school and taking the bar. Continuing legal education of the lawyer is important because the laws change and the DUI lawyer needs to be aware of the changes. For example, DUI lawyers should be trained or “qualified” by National Highway Safety Administration Standardized Field Sobriety Course. This course is usually 25-40 hours of in class instruction. It’s the same class police officers need to take to give citizens the Standardized field sobriety test on the streets. Another example, DUI lawyers may take to advance their knowledge is going to the annual National training in Las Vegas once a year put on by the National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers and National College for DUI Defense. Here some of the best DUI lawyers in the country share their knowledge with other DUI lawyers. Generally, the more training your lawyer has the more you will pay.

Experience

Experience can only come through time. Yes aging sucks, but through age comes wisdom. Just like it takes a young doctor years before he can be polished and experienced in his field – the same applies to lawyers. It is hard for a lawyer to come out of law school and start trying DUI cases because there is a level of complexity to them. As you may know there are a lot of lawyers in the Country. Just because the lawyer has a license to practice in the Courts does not mean he or she has the experience to handle every type of case. Generally, the more experience your lawyer has the more you will pay.

Office and Overhead

This is the area you will never hear the lawyer talk about with the client. However, the truth is the client pays the overhead cost of the DUI lawyer. The lawyer can do work cheaper and faster if he or she is using technology to shift cost. For example, a lawyer should provide documents to his or her client; however, sending through the mail is slow and cost more. Using the internet and a closed portal system the lawyer can communicate with the client, provide dates, share documents, and communicate with the client more effectively and save money. If your lawyer is still using paper and mailing documents he is costing you more money. Times have changed and DUI lawyers need to be more efficient with their productivity. The other part of the lawyer’s overhead is office space. This is where the cost of the 2 equally lawyers differentiate. If the lawyer has to pay for marble floors and expensive staff then he shifts the cost to you. We understand some clients feel as though if he has beautiful marble floors and beautiful paintings on the wall then he must be good. This is not necessary true. Remember, this is your dollars at work. Without question, the more your lawyer pays for his overhead, the more you will pay for his service.

So what should you pay for a good DUI lawyer in DC

Like most urban court houses, the dockets are crowded and so a lawyer spends more time waiting for cases to be called which is why the cost of a DUI in DC cost more than say in a rural courthouse. In the District of Columbia there is a bare minimum of 2 court appearances for DUI cases. Below are estimates for typical cost of a DUI lawyer in DC.

1st Offenses

The cost for a DUI lawyer for a non-jury trial first offense cost is usually between $2000.00 to $3000.00 dollars. If you pay a DUI lawyer less than $1000.00 you are probably getting what is referred to as a “dump truck” lawyer. He just pleads you out at the first opportunity. Remember, a lawyer has a duty to investigate, consult and prepare the case regardless of whether the case goes to trial. Trials generally take a day or less but can be spread out based on the Court’s schedule.

2nd Offenses, 3rd offense cost

Jury Trial for a DUI in the District of Columbia is minimum of $4000.00 -$6000.00 dollars, depending on the facts. Jury trials usually take one or 2 days, not including waiting for verdict.

Be wary of any lawyer who gives guarantees. In fact, there are no guarantees. The only guarantee a lawyer should give you if you are charged with a DUI – is that he zealously advocates within the bounds of the law.

Remember if an expert is used at trial, the cost could be higher because the client is usually responsible for all expert fees. This also does not include representation before DMV. Representation before DMV is usually a “stay of the proceeding” until the outcome of DC Superior Court proceedings. The typical cost for DMV representation is $300.00 to $500.00 dollars.