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How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost?
Considerable variation exists relative to the fees charged by Michigan lawyers to handle a DUI case. For a typical first offense misdemeanor OWI / OUIL / UBAL / DUI, attorney fees start at about $500.00 and go from there all the way up to a high of $25,000.00 or more. The average DUI fee in Michigan is between $5,000 and $7,500.00. For felony drunk driving, fees may be much higher, and for an OWI Causing Death or Serious Injury the fees may be as high as $75,000.00 to $100,000.00 or more.
You may wonder why there is such a vast difference in these DUI fees? Many factors go into a fee, but most lawyer fees are based primarily on two things: (1) time the lawyer expects to spend defending your case, and; (2) lawyer's hourly rate. There are also significant regional differences, with fees being generally higher in more populated areas, and lower in more remote areas.
Regarding the time element, in most instances, lawyers that charge at the low-end of the fee range expect to simply take their clients into court and plead them guilty at their first opportunity. If anything, more is required, these lawyers will often ask for more money each time they go to court. Their fees are not “all inclusive” and the client never knows exactly how much they will have to pay. While pleading early can save a great deal of time, it is often the client who suffers. This is because these lawyers do not obtain the police reports before court, and spend no time in preparation, and consequently may miss defense opportunities. Often these low-fee lawyers lack experience too, and therefore have an hourly billing rate that is much lower than lawyers who have considerable expertise and experience handling, and winning, DUI cases. This often includes many hours of advanced training and experience.
At the Barone Defense Firm, our lawyers have several different billing rates, and these are based primarily on the experience and expertise of the lawyer you choose to represent you. Contact our office to learn more about our fees and what we can do to help you with your Michigan drunk driving case.Types of Drunk Driving Defense Fees Available:
Michigan DUI lawyers are bound by our rules of professional conduct or ethics, and these rules provide guidelines in the setting of fees. They also provide that for a criminal case there are only two types of fees available, hourly or flat fees. This is because our rules of professional conduct forbid a contingency fee in a criminal matter.
At the Barone Defense Firm, we use only flat fees, and we do so because after more than three decades of practice we have found that clients like flat fees better. Our flat fees are also completely inclusive, nothing is left out, except the trial fee and where needed, expert witness fees. This means that when you retain the Barone Defense Firm you will never fall prey to the “bait and switch” where the fee starts out low, but keeps inching higher each time the lawyer appears in court or writes a motion. With a flat fee you will know exactly what it will cost you to retain our office. The fees are usually broken down into pretrial fees and trial fees, and the fee we quote at the outset of your case is the only attorney fee you will pay. There will be no surprises and no unforeseen bills.
Michigan's rules of professional conduct provide that the total fee charged must be reasonable. Our Rules of Professional Conduct provide guidelines in this regard, and the lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm scrupulously follow these guidelines in setting their fees. If you'd like to learn more about our fees, and what we can do to help you obtain a great result in your case, then call us today or contact us via the internet for your FREE confidential case evaluation. We look forward to speaking with you.