How To Choose A DUI Defense Attorney

DUI Defense Attorney

Whenever a person is charged with a DUI, one of their first thoughts is (1) how do I pick a DUI defense attorney to defend me? Other questions include, (2) how much does it cost to hire a DUI defense attorney? (3) Do I really need one?  The answer to all these if simple. (1 and 2) It Depends. (3) Hell YES!!! First, the best way to find a DUI Attorney is by asking an attorney that has done an outstanding job for you on a matter in the past or if you know an attorney you trust to give you a recommendation for a DUI defense attorney.  Although search and review sites such as Yelp or Google can help you narrow your search there are other ways that many have claimed have helped them find the appropriate dui defense attorney.  This includes searching the directory of attorneys that specialize in DUI defense at The National College of DUI Defense, searching the list of attorneys in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or going to the website or contacting the State Bar Association in your State.  Once you find a handful of Attorney’s its time to narrow your list.

Narrowing Down the DUI Defense Attorney List

Determine which DUI Defense Attorneys on your list (You should have at least 6 and try to narrow it down to three) are the most qualified. Rank them in that order. Make sure the Attorney, or their firm is local (so that they know the courts and the judges), that they are licensed in the State, that they are in good standing with your state bar association (ask or check their status on the state bar association site), they have not been disbarred, and that they went to an ABA accredited law school (generally the better dui defense attorneys have graduated from these schools).

First Meeting With Your DUI Defense Attorney

Most Attorneys will meet with their client the first time for free, or simply for a small consulting fee. It is important that you:

  • Bring all relevant documents
  • Tell the attorney everything that happened, be honest and upfront about the facts
  • Talk to the attorney about his experience doing DUI cases
  • Find out which attorney will be handling your specific case at the firm
  • Ask the attorney what his strategy will be with his case. Have him outline it on a piece of paper if you want to make sure you don’t forget.
  • Weigh your level of confidence and comfort level with the attorney that will be handling your case. If the attorney you first meet with isn’t the attorney handling your case have the firm set up an additional meeting so you can meet that attorney.

Attorney’s Fees

According to the ABA (American Board Association) which is the governing board of law schools and collects data on Attorneys, an average DUI Attorney for a defense not associated with property damage, or personal injury to another person, costs anywhere from $5,000 – $13,000. If there is also property damage or personal injury damage associated with your DUI the price could be much higher.  When talking to your Attorney about his fees make sure to

  • Negotiate: His first offer does not mean its his final offer. Feel free to negotiate the fee’s down, especially if your finances are limited.
  • Contract: Make sure the Attorney drafts a contract regarding the fees, and make sure to read it over. Make sure the contract breaks down the charges and what the fee includes.
  • Agree: Agree to a fixed fee if you can before the Attorney agrees to take your case.
  • Price Shop: It’s ok to go to a few other attorneys, set up a meeting and ask how much they would charge for your case.
  • Payment Plan: If you wish to do a payment plan make sure to let your attorney know.
  • Additional Fees: If there will be any additional fees make sure to get what they will be in writing and the charge for each.
  • NO CONTINGENCY FEES: (These are not allowed in Criminal Cases).


If you want additional information regarding what steps to take when pulled over for suspicion of a DUI check out our article here.

If its your first DUI or you know someone who may be charged with their first DUI check out our information regarding everything you need to know here.


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