June 6, 2023 | DUI
Are you charged with a DUI in Dayton, Ohio? You have two options regarding legal representation when you go to court. First, you can ask the court to appoint a lawyer to represent you if you meet the income test for court-appointed counsel. Or, you can hire a DUI defense attorney to defend your case.
However, you may be wondering how much it costs to hire a DUI lawyer in Dayton. The cost of hiring a defense attorney for a DUI case depends on a variety of factors.
The attorney fees that a DUI defense lawyer charges will make up the bulk of the cost of defending your DUI case. More experienced lawyers charge more money for representation. They have worked on various cases and may have more familiarity with the courts and judges – and may get a better outcome.
However, just because a lawyer is older does not necessarily mean they are better. A younger lawyer may be more tenacious or have more recent training on newer developments in the law. Experience is more than just picking among lawyers who have been around the longest – experience matters.
You should speak with a lawyer that you feel comfortable with, knowing cost is one of many considerations.
The Attorney’s Billing Methods
The fee is typically one of two types: either the lawyer will bill their clients in DUI cases on an hourly basis, or they will charge a flat fee for representation.
A billable rate means the client will be charged for every hour the attorney spends working on your case. This method provides flexibility because it may result in a lower cost to you if the case settles without much legal work prior to trial. However, charging by the hour can become costly if your case becomes complex and requires a significant amount of time to resolve.
Alternatively, lawyers may charge you a flat fee in your DUI case. A flat fee is a set, one-time charge that will cover the cost of the lawyer’s services until the end of the case. While a flat fee is preferable for many clients because it gives certainty about the upfront cost and allows a client to budget accordingly, you should talk to your lawyer to get a full understanding of what is included in the flat fee and document it with a fee agreement.
Attorney’s Fees vs. Additional Costs
There are other costs associated with a DUI defense attorney in Dayton and other localities. While the lawyer’s fee will make up the bulk of your expenses, criminal cases often include fees for filing documents, court costs, and the expense associated with hiring an expert witness to assist in your defense.
For example, consider an expert witness like a toxicologist, which is a trained scientist who has worked in the laboratory setting to evaluate levels of toxicity in a person’s blood or breath. If your level of intoxication is an issue in the case – and often is in a DUI trial – a toxicologist can challenge the validity of blood or breath tests in your case.
Hiring experts may increase the total cost of your defense, but their testimony may also improve the final outcome of your case and make a difference in the result.
The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Defending a DUI Case
Any analysis of the cost of defending a DUI case must be weighed against the opportunity cost of failing to invest in a strong defense. The consequences of a DUI are significant.
A person’s insurance rates will often go up with a conviction, sometimes exponentially, and far in excess of the initial investment of seeking a dismissal of the charge. There are other expenses that a DUI defense lawyer can help avoid, such as a high fine, the cost of an alcohol safety program through the court, and the costs of incarceration.
Investing in a DUI defense lawyer may help you save a tremendous amount of money.
Hiring a DUI Defense Lawyer in Dayton Is a Good Investment
The cost of hiring a Dayton DUI defense attorney depends on many factors, including the attorney’s billable rate or flat fee, the cost of hiring an expert witness for your case, and the cost-benefit analysis depending on the complexity of your case and potential consequences.
While cost is a significant factor, it should not be the only consideration when preparing a defense. An experienced DUI defense attorney is typically a worthwhile investment.
Contact the Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402