For many facing a DUI conviction, the first thought that can surface is: How will I afford this?
Whether this is your first or second offence, DUI’s can get expensive—between potential license suspensions, court hearings, mandatory DUI schools, fines, penalty assessments, possible jail time, and more, the process—and the price tag of it all—can be daunting.
Saving up for the costly process ahead is difficult enough, so it’s not surprising that many facing a DUI conviction don’t consider hiring a DUI lawyer.
But that could be a big mistake.
Without expert legal knowledge to guide you, you can be left vulnerable to harsher penalties and longer suspension times in criminal court.
At Low Cost Interlock, we understand how stressful dealing with a DUI can be. Here we outline some of the top benefits of working with a DUI lawyer, how much they charge, and where to find a DUI lawyer for free if you cannot afford to hire one out-of-pocket.
Why Do I Need a DUI Lawyer?
DUI laws are complicated and ever-changing. What’s more, the facts and circumstances of every case—including yours—are unique. Choosing to forgo legal representation and represent yourself in criminal court could lead to unfortunate and unnecessary ramifications.
Think about it this way: If you were having a heart attack, you’d seek help from a doctor or medical expert, right?
When dealing with a DUI, DUI lawyers are the experts. They can help assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. They are also more likely to help prevent your license from getting suspended or to get your charges reduced or dismissed than if you go to court unrepresented.
Those in the know agree: Going to court for a DUI without a lawyer is not advised. Not to mention, having legal counsel is your constitutional right—whether or not you can afford it. Below we detail the advantages and disadvantages of hiring your own lawyer versus finding one at no cost.
What Does a DUI Lawyer Charge?
There’s no getting around it: If you choose to hire an attorney to represent you in court, the cost can be significant. Most DUI lawyers charge either a flat fee or hourly rate. When meeting with a prospective lawyer, be sure to ask them specifically about their rate and rating system.
In California, DUI attorney fees can range from $2,000 to $70,000, depending on experience and location. But not all DUI lawyers charge the same.
If you have some money to spend on representation, shopping around for the right lawyer at the right price will give you an opportunity to work with someone that you like and trust. Options are more limited when it comes to pro bono (free) representation, so one of the biggest benefits of hiring a DUI lawyer out-of-pocket is choice. The second is experience.
Though an attorney’s price doesn’t always correspond to skill, some of the more experienced lawyers will charge more.
What If I Can’t Afford a DUI Lawyer?
If you can’t afford to hire a DUI lawyer, don’t worry. There are several options available to you:
- Immediate Free Legal Aid: Every criminal court in the US provides free legal services by way of a public defender. Their services will cost nothing to you and you’ll be able to source representation quickly.
- Pro Bono DUI Lawyers: If you have the luxury of time, you can search for pro bono DUI lawyers in your area. Keep in mind that some firms that offer pro bono DUI representation require you to meet certain financial requirements in order to be eligible for their free services. However, not every firm uses the same requirements, so it’s a good idea to look into more than one firm.
What if I need to drive while waiting for the legal process?
Most states have a restricted license program that allows for limited driving, typically with an approved ignition interlock device, for a period of time. This may give you the freedom you need to drive to legal proceedings, work, school, and basic necessities.
Check with your state’s department of motor vehicle for details.
How Low Cost Interlock Can Help
Though we may not be legal experts, we’re here to help get you back on the road easily, safely, and affordably.
Our devices are the easiest, cheapest, fastest, and most reliable interlock devices on the market. We use the latest technology to ensure that your readings are accurate so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.
If you decide to use Low Cost Interlock as your interlock system provider, you can schedule an installation at your convenience. Our team will then quickly and efficiently install your device at the time of your choosing.
In addition to helping you complete your ignition interlock requirement and get back on the road safely with our ignition interlock device, we’re here to help you know what to expect when it comes to facing a DUI.
After installation, our customer care representatives are available to you if you have questions or need calibration services.