If you were arrested for DUI, you are probably asking yourself, “how much is this DUI going to cost me?” While there is no short and quick answer, below you’ll find the summary of some of the common costs associated with the DUI arrest.
Court Fines and Costs
The maximum fine for a first-time misdemeanor DUI is $1000. Though that’s a lot of money, in most misdemeanor DUI cases the court costs are far more expensive than the fine levied by the court. You see, court costs are automatically added to a case by law. Often times in a misdemeanor DUI case court costs can be $1,200.00 to $1,500.00, and that’s before the fine.
Probation Fees/991 Fees
If you end up on probation, you'll likely be ordered to pay the cost of probation. This amounts to a $40 per month fee that you have to pay to the district attorney’s office to “supervise” you while you’re on probation. Therefore, if your probation is two years long, you'll spend an extra thousand dollars on your DUI.
Breathalyzer in Your Car
A breathalyzer in your car is another cost to consider in your DUI case. You can be looking at a lot more money added to the cost of your DUI arrest. The Department of Public Safety charges $175 to let you install a breathalyzer in your car. Then the breathalyzer costs about $200 for the first month and $75 each month thereafter. Then, when you go to get your license back from DPS, you have to pay them another $350 to “reinstate” your license. If you end up having a breathalyzer in your car for 2 years, you're adding about another $2,500.00 to the cost of your DUI arrest. As a result, the Department of Public Safety tries to make everybody have a breathalyzer in their car after a DUI arrest. You need a good DUI attorney to help you minimize these costs.
Increased Cost of Car Insurance
After a DUI arrest you can expect your car insurance to double or triple in cost. This increase in your rate typically stays in place for at least 3 years. Some car insurance companies will actually drop people from coverage based on a first-time DUI arrests. Other insurers will place people in what’s called a “high risk” insurance pool. This means that you're lumped in with other people who are considered extremely costly to the insurance and charged accordingly in your premiums.
Cost of a DUI Attorney
Here’s one place in your DUI arrest where the cost really runs the spectrum. There are some lawyers who will “handle” a first-time misdemeanor DUI case for as low as $500 to $800. There other lawyers who will charges much is $5,000 to $6,000 for the same first-time misdemeanor DUI. However, just because someone charges the most doesn’t mean to the best. In fact, studies as shown that charging the highest price in a market is often a psychological marketing tactic to try to make potential clients believe that they must be the best because they charge more than everyone else. Furthermore, the lowest price attorney is probably not going to do very good job. DUI cases take a fair amount of work, training, education, and time for attorney to do them right. Therefore, anyone who charges a bargain-basement price is probably not equipped to handle your DUI case properly.
What really matters is the experience the DUI attorney has. For instance, not all DUI attorneys have worked as prosecutors before. Attorneys who did not work as a prosecutor before are disadvantage because they don't understand the inner-workings of the prosecutor’s office. Additionally, they don't have the intense trial experience that you get from a DA's office.
What Do You Get?
Another thing to consider in hiring and DUI attorney is, “what do you get for that price?” Really expensive attorneys ($5000-$6000) will tell you that you get everything included in that price, even a trial. So, ask those attorneys to name the last five trials they did in the last year. You will find that those guys never go to trial. So, even though that sounds like a great deal you’re really paying for something that that lawyer likely will never do for you. Same thing goes for the cheap attorneys. Asked the attorney willing to take your DUI case for $800 if they can handle your administrative. It doesn't. Ask them if it includes multiple court appearances, it won't. You'll find that the bargain attorneys will hit you up for more money every time you call or go to court.
Though the cost of a DUI attorney really depends on the case, one thing is for sure. If you get a bad attorney to handle your DUI case, you will pay for it far in to the future.
As you can see, DUI case can be very expensive. However, having the right attorney help you with your DUI case is priceless. If you need help with the DUI case, give us a call and we can help you save money and to your life back on track.
You probably have questions about your recent DUI arrest. We understand. Tulsa DUI Lawyer Robert Denton knows exactly what you should do and how you should do it to get your life back under control. As a former prosecutor, he knows the ins and outs of DUI cases. If you want to get your life back, give Robert Denton a call and hire the Tulsa DUI Attorney who can help you put your life back together.