When Should You Hire A DUI Lawyer?

Updated on October 21, 2020
Updated: May 23, 2022

Driving under the influence is not only a reprehensible act in every state but also a punishable crime. As with all criminal charges where you are required to represent yourself in court, the same is  true with DUIs. If you’re facing a DUI, you have the option to hire a DUI lawyer to guide you through the case.

Should I Hire A DUI Lawyer?

Getting a DUI lawyer may lead to your attorney getting the charges dropped if they are minor, or a plea deal being struck with lower penalties. These are essential for people who are applying to colleges and jobs as these charges can ruin a person’s record.

A strong defense strategy can help you mitigate and face the consequences of your actions. It would be foolish to let your record be ruined because of a lack of quality legal guidance or use of a public defender.

How Much Does A DUI Lawyer Cost?

An average DUI lawyer costs $1,900, and additional fees average up to $4,000. The total sum for DUI can be between $5,000 and $8,000. In case you accept the plea or proceed to the trial, your attorney’s fee will be dependent on either of those situations.

When accepting a plea, DUI lawyers tend to charge $700 to $1,500. If you choose to proceed to trial, the fee can range from $1,500 to $4,000. However, these charges vary from lawyer to lawyer. You should get an initial consultation to get an approximate idea of the costs you will be facing. 

What Can A DUI Lawyer Do for You?

DUI law is somewhat complicated and constantly being modified. The consequences that you face for your DUI can heavily depend on whether you have expert, professional help to aid your plea as it is next to impossible for someone with no legal experience such as yourself to assess whether the DUI charge your facing is of the major kind which could mean long term consequences or a minor one which would entail short term consequences. Illinois DUI laws are set to protect the public and have evolved over time.

  • A DUI lawyer can help you when questioned by officers at the local police department. As their client, they will speak in your best interest.
  • If the need presents itself, the lawyer will assist you by providing you with the information regarding the collection of documents that you will need as evidence in the case.
  • In the unfortunate event that the matter was to proceed to trial, your hired DUI lawyer can refute claims and evidence presented by the prosecution against you. A DUI lawyer can help break down the police report to see if the arrest was conducted properly.
  • A DUI lawyer is the best shot a charged offender has at lowering his plea bargain to lesser penalties and avoiding jail time.
hire a dui lawyer

When Should I Hire a DUI lawyer?

It is imperative that you hire a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. DUI charges and arrests are themselves a stressful event. You need to hire someone to help you face it head-on, as DUI cases require you to be prepared and informed, and who better to handle this situation for you than an experienced attorney?

In the off chance that your case turns out to be severely complicated, you’ll thank yourself for lawyering up immediately to help you maneuver the complex legal system. 

Top 5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a DUI Lawyer

However, when seeking any kind of legal advice, it is advised to research first and ask the right questions to gauge whether the lawyer is the right fit for your case. Here are the top five questions that you must definitely ask.

  1. How many years of experience do you have?

While a fresh law school graduate would be eager and enthusiastic in taking on a case to gain experience and add to his professional accomplishments, DUI cases can be complicated in nature, and there are some technical, judicial, and civil aspects of DUIs that can only be learned through experience.

Thus hiring a seasoned criminal defense lawyer should be a priority as those would be your best bet in bringing your penalties down.

  1. Are DUI cases your specialty?

As with all industries, the field of law also has plenty of areas of specialization; however, this does not mean that a lawyer that specializes in divorce or marine law cannot skillfully handle a DUI case. But it would be prudent for you to employ an individual with applicable experience and particular success in DUI cases.

Do bear this in mind, though, that even a lawyer that specializes in other practice areas can prove to be a notable choice if they possess relevant experience and superior resources.

  1. Will you handle my case from the beginning to the end?

Law firms tend to operate on a multi-level process when handling cases. You may meet and discuss your case with a senior lawyer with a commendable track record, but when it comes to actual footwork, they may delegate to an associate with lesser experience.

  1. What possible outcomes should I expect from my case?

During the initial consultation with your potential DUI lawyer, you are advised to ask your lawyer what he foresees for you from the case after he has conducted a detailed review of the case. This would allow you to judge your potential lawyer’s integrity.

If, in the very first meeting, your lawyer downplays the potential consequences of your charge or overstates the best-case scenarios and paints a pretty picture, you should perceive it as a red flag and be cautious. I would suggest looking for someone else who doesn’t oversell an ideal situation as your case’s outcome.

  1. What is your policy when it comes to returning phone calls and emails?

Well-reputed law firms often require client communications to be filtered through by secretaries or paralegals. This is understandable as excellent lawyers need to focus entirely on their work without the threat of constant distraction through phone calls.

However, it is best that you arm yourself with the knowledge of how communication norms run in the firm so that you can know what to expect and not be disheartened and feel unheard. Ensure that there’s a definite answer given and that they later adhere to the communication experience that they promised.

Contact an Experience DUI Attorney

It is undeniable that strong legal representation can drastically change the course of your charge and trial. We would strongly suggest that you opt for an experienced DUI lawyer.

The attorneys at Tommalieh Law have years of experience representing people with DUI charges and can help you steer the process in your favor. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation.

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