How Much Does a Good DUI Lawyer Cost?October 9, 2018
You’ve been charged with a DUI, and you know that means dealing with serious consequences. One of your first worries is paying for a good DUI lawyer. If you’re in Philadelphia, you may find yourself wondering: “How much will it cost to hire a good DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania?” There are a wide range of factors that will go into determining the cost of your DUI defense. Carefully considering those costs will help you choose the attorney that’s right for you, as well as help you to better understand the value of an experienced attorney who has worked with the traffic courts in Philadelphia in the past.
The Expected Costs of Hiring a Good DUI Lawyer
If you’re dealing with a DUI charge in Philadelphia, the Zeiger Firm can help. We’ll set up a free consultation to discuss your charges and what you can expect from the court process. Then, we’ll work with you to develop a better understanding of what it may cost you to work with our firm. Costs will vary depending on what you need. If, for instance, you need an attorney to solely negotiate a plea deal, the cost will be less than if you believe you will need to go to court to resolve your case. Often, the cost of hiring us is significantly less than the cost you’ll face if you don’t have a solid, experienced DUI lawyer on your side. DUI defense will vary from case to case. You may need to deal with court costs and other fees as part of the process; however, these fees are well worth the ability to keep your freedom.
The Anticipated Costs of a DUI
If you’re convicted of driving under the influence, whether you were driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, prescription medication, or even non prescription cold medication, you may face serious consequences. As you’re deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer for your DUI charge, consider the potential costs if you don’t have a good lawyer on your side.
The Cost in Time
If you’re convicted of a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania, you may face jail time. Pennsylvania uses a system based on the amount of alcohol present in the blood of the offender to determine the penalties, including potential jail time. Penalties may include:
- 48 hours to 6 months of jail time for a first offense with a BAC of 0.10-0.159%
- 72 hours to 6 months of jail time for a first offense with a BAC of 0.16% and up
- 5 days to 6 months in jail for a second offense with a BAC of 0.08-0.09%
- 30 days to 6 months in jail for a second offense with a BAC of 0.10-0.159%
- 90 days to 5 years in jail for a second offense with a BAC of over 0.16%
- 10 days to 2 years incarceration for a third offense with a BAC of 0.08-0.09%
- 1-5 years in prison for a third offense with a BAC of 0.10-0.159% or higher
Time spent in prison is time that you won’t spend working—which means time that isn’t spent bringing in income or building your career. That also means lost opportunities, which could cause substantial financial loss for the rest of your life.
The Cost in Money
The sheer financial cost of a DUI can be high just in terms of fines—and that’s not considering the other expenses that go along with it. Fines may include:
- $300 for a first offense with BAC between 0.08-0.09%
- $500-$5,000 for a first offense with a BAC between 0.10-0.159%
- $1,000-$5,000 for a first offense with a BAC of 0.16% or more
- $300-$2,500 for a second offense with a BAC between 0.08-0.09%
- $750-$5,000 for a second offense with a BAC between 0.10-0.159%
- $1,500-$10,000 for a second offense with a BAC of 0.16% or more
- $500-$5,000 for a third offense with a BAC of 0.08-0.09%
- $1,500-$10,000 for a third offense with a BAC of 0.10% or higher
The Remaining Cost
In addition to jail time and fines associated with your DUI conviction, you may also face a range of other consequences. These may include:
- License suspension ranging from 12-18 months, which can make it difficult to secure transportation to work or to work in a transportation related job
- Mandatory enrollment in a drug and alcohol treatment program, potentially including an inpatient treatment program that may limit your freedoms
- Installation of an engine interlock device that will not allow the vehicle to operate if your BAC is above acceptable levels, typically installed at your expense
- Alcohol Highway Safety School enrollment
- Mandatory community service hours, which must be completed in order to avoid future consequences and which may place severe limitations on your overall freedoms until you have completed those hours
- Significantly increased insurance premiums as a result of your DUI charge, which will be an ongoing expense
- Inability to hold a professional license or to work for some companies as a result of a DUI charge
How Does Hiring an Experienced DUI Attorney Help?
If you’ve been accused of driving under the influence, it’s important to have an experienced DUI attorney to work with you through the process. Not only will your attorney provide qualified legal advice that will help you negotiate the complicated legal system, she or he will also provide a range of vital services throughout the process. Your Philadelphia DUI attorney may be able to:
- Work to prove that evidence you were driving while under the influence was collected under false premise or as a result of illegal measures
- Reduce the fines and fees you’ll face as a result of your DUI charge
- Help you avoid incriminating yourself, whether through behavior on social media, in dealings with the police, or in the courtroom
- Decrease the amount of time you’ll need to spend in jail
- Help create a plea bargain that will reduce the consequences associated with your DUI, potentially allowing you to retain many of your freedoms—including keeping the charges off of your record or preventing you from losing your license
Don’t attempt to navigate the complicated court system on your own. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact the Zeiger Firm online today, or call our office at 215-546-0340. We’ll schedule your free consultation, discuss the circumstances surrounding your DUI, and can help you develop a solid defense that will support you in the courtroom.