Can a DUI Lawyer Save You Money?
In certain cases, the savings can be substantial
Your primary concern when hiring an attorney for a DUI is whether the reduction in fines (and non-monetary penalties) is worth the attorney’s fee. Part of that decision is personal. If you’re fearful of appearing in court and want a guide through the process, an attorney experienced in DUI cases is invaluable. To borrow from the world of retail, the quality of your representation may be remembered long after the price is forgotten.
Know the Fines Involved in a DUI Conviction
Every state differs when it comes to fines for first-time offenders, but it’s not unusual for fines to range from $300 to nearly $2,000. If you have been accused of more than one DUI over a period of years, the fines can go up to $10,000. You can often find a lawyer to take your DUI defense case for less than $2,000 and since direct fines are only the beginning of what you will pay for a DUI, the fee may be recouped if the lawyer can obtain a reduced fine. As a general rule, the more serious the DUI (the higher the BAC or the more extreme the circumstances) or if it is a second or third DUI, you would be best served by hiring an attorney.
Read about the general costs of a DUI.
Consider Your Job
One of the primary reasons to hire an attorney is if you believe the lawyer can help you reduce or avoid jail time. This is never a “definite” (and be wary of any attorney who promises you that type of result). However, for various reasons, a skilled attorney may be able to better negotiate a plea resulting in reduced (or no) jail time. Obviously, the more time in jail, the more time lost from work which can be extremely costly. Even if you can afford a few days off work, explaining to your boss why you are calling in can be risky, as many employers do not hire or continue to employ those convicted of a crime. This means that even if you do not currently have a job, a DUI may affect your work life since you are less likely to be hired once a background check is performed.
Consider Insurance Costs
You can expect your insurance premium to rise dramatically after a DUI conviction. It may not only quadruple, but you could also lose your coverage entirely. Proof of insurance is mandatory in most states, which means that without coverage, you could have trouble getting to work everyday. Additionally, many employers require workers to carry coverage, which may mean that you could lose your job completely if it involves driving. An attorney may be able to reduce charges, or negotiate a plea that does not result in this costly expense.
Know What a Lawyer Can Do for You
Even if you are guilty of driving under the influence, hiring a lawyer may still result in you getting a reduced sentence. It is possible that the police officer did not follow procedure when pulling you over, or has evidence that was obtained illegally. If so, you may find yourself cleared of a DUI charge completely. Getting professional DUI defense is often much cheaper than simply allowing yourself to be convicted without fighting the charges.
The links below provide more information surrounding the DUI case.