This is a question that is always asked in consultations, and the answer most all lawyers will give is . . . it depends. There are many factors that go into pricing for a DUI attorney. Some of these factors include: the county where the charge is based, a defendant’s prior record, whether an accident occurred, complex legal issues in the case, etc.
Every county has different protocols and court structures for DUI cases. Some counties require an attorney to show up to court numerous times, thereby increasing the price the attorney must charge. Other counties have a streamlined system for case management that allows our firm to charge less. In Philadelphia, the municipal court system where DUIs are handled is more streamlined, allowing for lower prices on our services.
A defendant’s prior record is also an important consideration in DUI pricing. Typically, first-offense DUI costs are less than subsequent DUI charges. The reason for this is that there are additional options available to a first-offense DUI client that do not entail taking the case to trial.
Trial is more expensive than diversionary options for a DUI case, but often trial is the client’s best option. Many times, the police conduct their investigation using improper procedures. These improper procedures often violate a defendant’s constitutional rights and, using a proper motion, the case can be won in motions court before ever going to trial.
One thing that I do recommend is hiring an attorney that specializes in DUI law. All too often I see DUI defendants march into court with their neighbor’s cousin who handles estate law in a neighboring county. Using an attorney who does not routinely handle DUI work is a grave mistake. Not only is this attorney unprepared to properly handle the case before the court, they are unprepared to even discuss the case with the prosecutor.
The laws surrounding DUIs change on a regular basis. Knowing how to discuss the pros and cons of the evidence, and any related motions helps a DUI lawyer chip away at the prosecutor’s case. With every chip, the client’s case gets stronger. And what’s more – an attorney who knows the proper court protocol and how a judge will rule on a specific issue will obtain a much more favorable outcome than the attorney who has just stepped foot into that courtroom for the first time.
Philadelphia DUI Lawyer Michael F. Niznik represents clients throughout the Delaware Valley. From Montgomery County, Bucks County, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, trust our firm to handle your DUI or criminal defense needs. We offer free consultations and we maintain two office locations to better serve our clients. Contact us today at 267-589-0601.