The cost of hiring a good DUI lawyer can be very different in different parts of the country, and vary dramatically even within a state.
DUI attorney fees in larger areas are much more than in small towns. Legal fees will certainly be more for a second or subsequent offense. Fees for a felony DUI will be much more than a misdemeanor DUI.
For the most part, highly experienced DUI lawyers charge more than younger/less experienced lawyers. However, there are good DUI attorneys asking for lower fees than some poor quality lawyers. Therefore, just the cost should not be your first focus when selecting a DUI attorney to represent you. As a general rule, you will probably get what you pay for.
A private DUI lawyer won't agree to take your case for free, even if you have a great case, even if the cops had no probable cause to arrest you. Make several phone call to lawyers in the area and see if you can obtain a quote on the phone. In healthy economic times, some lawyers try to charge as much as possible. When the economy is sagging (like now 2009-2010), there are lawyers who charge ridiculously low fees for defending DUI cases (less than $1,500.00 for the whole case). These "bottom feeder" lawyers handle too many cases. As a result, they are not very effective in any of them. Quite often they leave their clients feeling they would have been better off pleading guilty at arraignment. Their idea is drawing volume business and nothing more.
If you want a very good DUI lawyer, expect to pay for it. You will pay between $3,500.00 and $10,000.00 or more depending on the location, the seriousness of the facts, the complexity of the legal issues, your prior record and other factors. High end DUI lawyers charge significant legal fees because they see their job more philosophically and take fewer cases. In that regard, those lawyers can do the best possible job for every client.
Better DUI lawyers get many referrals and don’t have to beg for business, so cost isn’t always the only factor of whether you will be able to hire the best DUI lawyer for your case. Many will evaluate YOU during the interview process to see if your expectations are realistic and if you two develop a "connection". Bargain lawyers typically don’t care much about their clients’ personalities because typically they plead them guilty at the first possible opportunity.You will find these lawyers in "Clinics" "Defense Teams" and sport toll-free phone numbers.