The cost of defence of any criminal case is based on the circumstances surrounding the case. There are many factors to consider and as such, we can only give you a glimpse as to what things need to be considered when DUI lawyers charge for their services.
How Are DUI Cases Paid?
Most DUIs are charged on a block fee system. This means that the lawyer will quote a fixed price for all services related to representing you rather than billing you per hour. The block fee structure may have differences in cost depending on the complexity of the charge. The fee may also be charged per milestone. One block fee will apply for a case that gets resolved without having a set trial date and another block fee will apply if a case proceeds to a trial.
In most instances, block fees will usually cover all legal fees connected with summary conviction trials that last a day or less. Succeeding days will cost more block fees considering that some DUI trials can take 2 or more days as the laws regarding DUI cases become more complex.
More experienced lawyers typically charge more. This is because they are more well-versed with the law and knows how to navigate more scenarios with better efficiency. Younger lawyers may charge less because they want to gain more experience and thus want to handle more cases.
If a DUI involves death or bodily harm, a complex accident reconstruction may be needed on top of testimonies from experts. Not only will this use more time but likewise use more of other resources such as having to hire people to extract data from the vehicle’s ‘black box’. A case like this will also involve a lot of paperwork for permits for searches and other steps of the investigation.
The longer a trial is, the more expensive it gets. A longer trial is expected for cases with an accused who have prior convictions or a lengthy record of previous offences and if the trial requires a jury.
Need for Outside Experts
Non-legal experts are often needed such as doctors and toxicologists to provide evidence about alcohol intoxication or sustained bodily harm. If the accused refused to provide a sample because of a medical reason, then an expert has to be called to explain that as well. Other experts whose services may be needed include mechanics, therapists, and behavioral scientists. These expert witnesses have to be compensated for their time and this is often added to the fees.
The Work of A DUI Lawyer
The responsibilities of a DUI lawyer go beyond showing up to the court with the accused. They defend the case, think of circumstances that can mitigate the situation, find the best way to obtain more favourable sentences, and give their best to ensure that the accused will have the best outcome possible considering all the data. The goal is to avoid conviction or have the least damaging sentence possible.