What is the fee of an attorney for a DUI in Denver?
You will find a wide range of fees for a DUI lawyer in Denver, and the phrase “you get what you pay for” may not always be true. Calling five Denver DUI lawyers out of the phone book or off the Internet will likely get five different fee quotes ranging between $3,000 and $12,000 without proceeding to trial.
Legal fees for a DUI case are historically based on the attorney’s reputation and experience, but this does not always hold true. Some attorney fees are based on the lawyer’s enhanced interpretation of his or her legal experience and reputation. There are also attorneys that charge very low fees to defend DUI cases only to farm these cases out to inexperienced attorneys or otherwise dump your case at the first court appearance. And finally, there are attorneys that charge reasonable rates that are highly regarded in the field. With all these lawyers claiming to be “experts” or “specialists” in DUI defense, you will need to research each law firm’s background and experience to determine whether the fee you are being quoted is a true and accurate representation of the attorney’s skill and experience.
Your range in cost to defend a DUI depends on factors such as where your case is pending and whether you have a prior criminal record. Drunk driving cases are complex and a good attorney’s fees should be based on his or her experience, an estimate of how much time will likely go into fighting the charges, whether your case presents difficult legal issues or enhanced sentencing possibilities, and the immediate need to dedicate time and resources to your case. A client who wishes to proceed to trial after attempting to work out a disposition will have a higher legal fee because of the necessary legal resources and time needed to defend the case at trial.
Consulting with an attorney
A consultation with an attorney is an opportunity for you and a lawyer to discuss your pending charges, exchange information, and for both sides to decide whether to move forward. An initial consultation with a attorney will involve discussing certain factors regarding your DUI case and the lawyer’s experience, such as:
- the circumstance surrounding your police contact;
- whether you need to take action to save your driver’s license;
- any prior driving and criminal record;
- a review of the facts to determine legal issues and possible defenses;
- answers to your initial questions about the legal procedures;
- answers to your questions about the law firm’s experience, background and practice;
- a general quote for representation
What this consultation should not include is the attorney’s representations or guarantees as to how your case will be resolved.
Who should I speak to?
You will be flooded with ads and websites of lawyers that claim to be “experts” and “top” DUI lawyers in Colorado, but how do you know what experience they really have to make these claims? Some lawyers are at the top of their practice, and some just think they are. Some will say they specialize in DUI defense (but also specialize in bankruptcies, employment, personal injury, family law, etc.).
What is the attorney’s experience, including their background in DUI cases? Factors to consider when determining experience are:
- How many DUI cases has the attorney handled in his or her career?
- What is the attorney’s trial experience?
- Has the lawyer ever been recognized for his or her work as a defense attorney?
- Does the attorney have experience as a prosecutor or in law enforcement?
- Does the lawyer belong to any specialized organizations that require continued DUI defense education, such as the National College for DUI Defense?
- More information regarding researching an attorney’s experience and skill can be found at How To Find A Good Criminal Defense Lawyer In Colorado.
Hiring a DUI lawyer
It is required that you enter into a written legal agreement with an attorney. In addition, because DUI cases are complex and can take time, this fee agreement can be detailed so you understand the considerations that go into the fee. The attorney you hire will almost always require all or a large portion of the fee upfront to place in a client trust account for assurances that the lawyer’s efforts will be compensated.