How Much Does a DUI Cost in California?
Misdemeanor or Felony DUI?
Depending on whether it’s your first offense, second, third, fourth offense, that’s going to probably dictate the amount of the fee that’s going to be charged, depending on whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor.
That will dictate the fee that you’re going to be charged. Also, the courthouse where the case is pending. Some courts are very easy to get to, but other courts are not as easy to get to and further away and more difficult to deal with. So, those are going to be factors that any DUI defense attorney is going to take into account when they quote you a fee.
First-Time DUI Cost
But you have to decide what your budget is and get a feel for what DUI defense attorneys are charging. I would say probably on a first-time DUI, depending again on where the case is, you’re looking at anywhere from $2,500.00 up to $5,000.00.
Attorneys that are charging more than that are just high-dollar attorneys. They aren’t necessarily getting a better result. They just charge a lot of money. Those are going to be the attorneys that are in places like Beverly Hills or down on the west side. They think they can charge that amount of money and get away with it.
It really depends on the case. If it’s a serious case — if you have a felony DUI, of course, an attorney is going to charge a lot of money to represent people who have those because those cases are much more difficult to deal with.
The prosecutors are much harsher and the stakes are much higher. Obviously, in criminal DUI defense, the higher the stakes the more the attorneys are going to charge because the more skilled attorneys are going to be able to deal with cases where somebody is in big trouble and needs a lot of help.
So, there are attorneys who will charge very small fees to handle DUI cases. The only problem with these attorneys sometimes is they can’t get good results. I guess the question becomes, what’s the point of hiring an attorney if they’re not going to be able to put out all the stops for you and get you the best possible result.
Now, there are some cases where the person has done such a bad thing or the fact pattern is so bad that the particular person is looking at a significant amount of time in custody and various other serious charges. Under those circumstances, obviously, it’s going to be much more difficult to get the result that you want.
Car Insurance Increase & Court Fees
So, one big cost obviously is an attorney. Another big cost is your insurance. If you get convicted of a DUI your insurance rates will go up, but it also depends on who your insurance carrier is.
There are some insurance carriers who cater to people who get DUI’s, so those are going to be more reasonable and easier to deal with. So, they won’t be quite as bad as some of the other big carriers that as soon as you get a DUI they double or triple your insurance rate even more.
There are some costs associated with a DUI in the court. It’s usually a couple of thousand dollars. You also have to pay for the DUI course and anything else that costs money related to the DUI case.
So, that’s pretty much it as far as the costs typically go. Your attorney, the court fees, any fines that are levied against you. That’s how the courts make money on these DUI cases and any criminal case that goes through a court.
They are going to be charged money to go through the court, through fines, fees and various other things, and they’re charging that money as a matter of punishment, but also as a way to make money in these criminal cases that they’re charging people with.
Finding a Competent DUI Lawyer
So, if you have a DUI case and you’re looking to figure out how much it’s going to cost, I think your first steps should be finding an attorney that is competent.
Also, that is local to the court where your case is pending and that can get good results, and you feel comfortable with when you sit down with them and meet with them face to face and discuss your particular case.
You want to feel that that attorney knows what they’re talking about and makes a good impression with you, because if they make a good impression with you, they would probably make a good impression with the prosecutor and the judge.
So, if you’re looking to hire an attorney, pick up the phone now Make the call. I can sit down and meet with you. I’ve got 25 years of experience having handled thousands of DUI cases over the years and come up with a fair cost/fair price to handle your DUI case.
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