For a first-time misdemeanor DUI, a DUI attorney generally costs in the ballpark of $1,500 to $5,000. A California DUI Lawyer Association (CDLA) Specialist often starts at $2,500 – $4,500.
Fees can usually increase if there is a felony, prior DUI, other charges, an accident, out-of-county, complicating factors or aggravating circumstances. A full-blow jury trial is extra and can be five figures. Fees vary from attorney to attorney.
DUI lawyers are not like personal injury attorneys who accept a case on a contingency. DUI attorneys are criminal defense attorneys who charge the above fees regardless of the outcome. No guarantee is made as far as the outcome. Personal injury lawyers only get paid if and when they recover money.
Some DUI attorneys charge more; others charge less. Larger law firms and attorneys with more overhead often charge more.
Most DUI attorneys prefer full payment in advance. Some charge more money later; others do not.
Reasonable DUI attorneys work out payments.
You want a DUI attorney who wants to help you and who does not want to break you financially. DUI attorneys do not know your finances.
Many DUI attorneys are willing to consider a specific payment plan with exact dates of payments and amounts of payments.