Most attorneys do not put their legal fees online. The reason they don’t is because generally each case is different and there can be a fluctuation in prices between clients. However, you must have a starting point for the cost of DUI attorneys in Washington, DC. The cost of the DUI attorney depends primarily on the attorney’s experience and the amount of training the attorney has had in DUI law. There are other reasons the cost may fluctuate between attorneys, such as attorney overhead.
When I talk about education, I don’t mean law school. All lawyers have to pass the bar and that’s why I’m not talking about the bar. DUI law is an area of the law that requires additional training beyond law school and the bar. The attorney’s continuing legal education is important because laws change and the DUI attorney must be aware of the changes. For example, DUI attorneys must be trained or “qualified” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Standardized Field Sobriety Course. This course is typically 25-40 hours of classroom instruction. It’s the same class police officers must take to give citizens the standardized field sobriety test on the streets. Another example that DUI attorneys can take to improve their knowledge is to attend the annual national training in Las Vegas once a year organized by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense. Here, some of the best DUI attorneys in the country share their knowledge with other DUI attorneys. Generally, the more training your attorney has, the more you will pay.
Experience can only come through time. Yes, aging sucks, but through age comes wisdom. Just as it takes a young doctor years before he can polish himself and gain experience in his field, the same applies to lawyers. It is difficult for an attorney to get out of law school and start trying DUI cases because they have a level of complexity. As you may know, there are many lawyers in the country. The fact that the lawyer has a license to practice in court does not mean that he has the experience to handle all types of cases. Generally, the more experience your attorney has, the more you will have to pay.
Office and overhead
This is the area that you will never hear the attorney discuss with the client. However, the truth is that the client pays the DUI attorney’s overhead. The lawyer can do the job cheaper and faster if he uses technology to change the cost. For example, a lawyer must provide documents to his client; however, shipping by mail is slow and costs 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 attorney still uses paper and mail documents, it is costing you more money. Times have changed and DUI attorneys need to be more efficient with their productivity. The other part of the attorney’s overhead is office space. This is where the costs of the 2 lawyers differ equally. If the attorney has to pay for marble floors and expensive staff, he passes the cost on to you. We understand that some customers feel that if you have beautiful marble floors and beautiful paintings on the wall, then it must be good. This is not necessarily true. Remember, this is your money at work. Without a doubt, the more your attorney pays for your overhead costs, the more you will pay for their services.
So what should you pay for a good DC DUI attorney?
Like most urban courthouses, the dockets are overcrowded and therefore an attorney spends more time waiting for cases to be called, thus the cost of a DUI in DC costs more than, say, a courthouse rural. In the District of Columbia there is a minimum of 2 court appearances for DUI cases. Below are estimates of the typical cost of a DC DUI attorney.
The cost of a DUI attorney for a first offense bench trial is generally between $2,000.00 and $3,000.00. If you pay a DUI attorney less than $1000.00, you are probably getting what is known as a “dump truck” attorney. He simply declares you at the first opportunity. Remember, an attorney has a duty to investigate, consult, and prepare the case regardless of whether the case goes to trial. Trials generally last a day or less, but can be spread out depending on the court’s schedule.
twon/a crimes, 3dr cost of offense
Jury trial for a DUI in the District of Columbia is a minimum of $4,000.00 -$6,000.00 depending on the facts. Jury trials usually last one or two days, not including waiting for the verdict.
Beware of any lawyer who gives guarantees. In fact, there are no guarantees. The only guarantee an attorney should give you if you are charged with a DUI is that he defends zealously within the bounds of the law.
Remember that if an expert is used at trial, the cost could be higher because the client is usually responsible for all of the expert’s fees. This also does not include representation before the DMV. Representation before the DMV is usually a “stay of proceedings” pending the outcome of DC Superior Court proceedings. The typical cost of DMV representation is $300.00 to $500.00.