There is a fee for administrative charges; there is a penalty fee, a court reporter fee, a towing charge, a bail out fee and there is the lawyer fee to top it all. Though the other fees are fixed per law governing the states, there’s no fixed fee a DUI lawyer will demand. It depends mostly on how complicated the DUI charge is. However, every DUI lawyer offers to consult free only to let you know how deep a hole you are stuck in. And they charge based on your preference to go for trial or plea bargain. A plea fee is paid for handling your arraignment, for court appearance and for plea negotiation. Irrespective of what bargain you enter, you will most likely get a DUI stamp. The DUI lawyer will try to have other charges dismissed or reduced. The lawyer will negotiate the best plea bargain under the circumstances and generally will always try to get the minimum sentence allowed by law. |
There’s a big difference between a plea and a pretrial fee.The plea fee (the least of both) will not help in filing motions and no request for proof of charge (like a recorded video, a picture or audio tape) will be made on your behalf. Also, you won’t get a lawyer to appear at your ALS hearing with you.A trial fee will provide you with assistance in filing for an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing and appearing for the same with you.Sometimes the lawyer will help in waiving your charge by , appearing at your pretrial conference, handling your motion hearing, trial (jury or non-jury), filing motions and reviewing any discovery (information in the prosecutor’s file) made available.
For example, if a video tape exists, the lawyer will get a copy and preview it with you. And the fee for all these can be upfront flat or hourly basis depending on the lawyer’s preference. However of late, the hourly rates have been very expensive and most lawyers take a flat fee. A flat fee does not cover appeals whether pretrial or post-conviction and certain expenses such as court reporter and expert witness fees. Some lawyers even go to the extent of giving a discount for a lump sum payment of this fee as this is a fiercely competitive market. As a parting shot, there’s this after care some states’ lawyers offer like sorting out a licensing problem that may arise even after months.
They will stay with us to explain the complicated license reinstatement procedures at no extra charge, provided you are a plea, pretrial or a trial client. The base line here is to discourage DUI behavior and that is why DUI is made such a pricey affair. The total cost lost out on a DUI can vary between $15,000 and $25,000, provided no one is hurt in the incident. What one buys for all this money is the stigma which in turn brings in the social and employment cost.
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