If you have been arrested for a DUI, you are undoubtedly wondering what to do next. One of the most important decisions you will make is whether to hire a lawyer. This is a big decision, and it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of doing so. In this blog post, we will discuss the costs and benefits of hiring a good DUI lawyer.
Costs & Benefits of Hiring a Good DUI Lawyer
A conviction for a DUI in Arizona carries harsh penalties, including jail time, fines, a suspended license, and court fees. You will also likely face higher rates from your insurance company and may face repercussions with your job. Hiring a good DUI attorney right away can help to minimize the damage that a DUI charge can bring.
Note: You may feel like you should just plead guilty to get your case over with. We don’t recommend that. An attorney understands the complexities of the law and can challenge the evidence that is being used against you. Hiring a good DUI lawyer can ultimately save you money, jail time, and your license.
How Much Does a Good DUI Lawyer Cost in Arizona?
The cost of a DUI lawyer in Arizona depends largely on the lawyer’s billing practice. There are multiple ways that a DUI lawyer can bill for their services, including
- Flat Fee
An hourly rate can get costly, especially if the lawyer is required to travel. An hourly rate also means that the lawyer will charge you based on the time spent working on your case. On the other hand, a flat fee arrangement is a fee that covers all work done. You are not billed hourly for work done and generally are not charged for travel time. Some lawyers also charge a flat fee for pretrial and a second flat fee if the case is set for trial.
Regardless of the fee structure, you should get the fee agreement in writing. Even with a flat fee, you are generally responsible for any expert fees, reconstruction engineers or other experts necessary to defend your case. You should thoroughly review any fee agreement to avoid any surprise charges.
Note: Keep in mind that the fee charged by the DUI lawyer does not always indicate how good the lawyer is. In areas where competition for DUI lawyers is high, you are likely to have a more reasonable fee. Larger law firms with many employees usually require a higher fee than solo practitioners, who have lower overhead. Instead, you should research the attorney’s background and experience when deciding which lawyer to retain.
How Can a DUI Lawyer Help?
A good lawyer may be able to:
- Get your license returned
- Get your sentence reduced
- Save you money
- Help you spend less time in a courtroom
- Help erase your record
A DUI lawyer can review your case and argue against the DUI by asserting a number of defenses, including,
- You were never in actual physical control of the vehicle
- There was no reasonable suspicion for making the initial traffic stop
- The blood test samples were contaminated
- The breathalyzer results were incorrect
- You suffer from a medical condition that causes the breathalyzer to return false high BAC results
- You were not given accurate instructions for the field sobriety test.
Another benefit of hiring a DUI lawyer is that you won’t be faced with talking to the police or prosecutor on your own. Your DUI lawyer can guide you through all steps of the process, and negotiate a plea deal on your behalf, attend all hearings and take your case to trial if necessary.
There’s no doubt that facing a DUI is scary and can be embarrassing. You may want to plead guilty just to be done with it. That decision can end up costing you a lot of money and your freedom. A good Arizona DUI attorney with experience can educate you on your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly with minimal penalties.