The Cost of a DUI Cannot Be Measured in Dollars Alone.
Florida’s DUI law permits a sentencing judge to send a person to jail for a first-time DUI, even if you have no other criminal record.
Notwithstanding, most people convicted of a first-offense DUI do not go to jail unless they were sentenced for DUI manslaughter or causing a severe injury.
However, a conviction for a DUI charge in Florida will have serious consequences that will follow you forever.
Despite the severe implications DUI convictions carry, people still question whether hiring a qualified DUI defense attorney is worth the expense.
Everyone wants to know, How much does a DUI cost? The costs of a conviction far exceed the initial expense of hiring an experienced and dedicated Florida DUI defense lawyer to help you avoid the long-lasting consequences of a DUI conviction.
The Cost of a DUI Depends on What Type of Case You Have
DUI lawyer fees usually depend on the complexity of your case. A high-quality Florida DUI lawyer will not answer the question, How much does a DUI cost? without going over your case in detail first. A skilled DUI defense attorney understands that each case turns on its details.
Before answering any questions about DUI lawyer fees, a seasoned attorney will spend some time with you going through your case moment by moment. A successful DUI lawyer knows that the smallest detail could mean the difference between an acquittal and conviction.
Topics a Top DUI Lawyer Will Discuss
A winning DUI defense attorney will want to discuss several topics before answering how much does a DUI lawyer cost, like:
- Your previous criminal record, if any;
- If there was an accident that led to your DUI arrest and, if so, whether someone was injured or killed;
- Whether you took a chemical test, and if you asked for an independent test;
- Why a law enforcement officer pulled you over;
- If you made any statements to the police;
- Whether you took any field sobriety tests;
- If you have any relevant medical history that might affect how you perform on a field sobriety test or chemical test;
- Whether the officers involved informed you of your Miranda rights before asking you any questions other than the standard booking questions;
- The names and addresses of witnesses who were with you in the car or who were with you before you started driving; and
- How you want to handle the case.
These are just some examples of the topics a trained Florida DUI attorney may discuss with you. Your lawyer should also discuss with you the applicable laws, the potential punishments you face if convicted, and possible defenses. All these issues figure into answering the question, How much is a DUI lawyer?
Self-Representation Is Not Cost-Effective
Understandably, most people who ask us, How much does a DUI lawyer cost? are concerned about the financial expense of hiring a lawyer. Taking the prosecution on without representation can cost you more than DUI lawyer fees. Taking a quick plea deal does not save you money either.
DUI convictions are costly. Even if you do not go to jail, you may face financial penalties such as:
- $500 court costs;
- $300 for DUI classes;
- Community service hours valued at $500;
- $200 or more for alcohol evaluation and treatment;
- Up to $1,900 to install and maintain an ignition interlock device;
- $400 for vehicle impound and storage charge; and
- At least $350 license reinstatement fee for a work permit.
These costs are simply associated with a conviction for a first-offense DUI. The fines you face depend on the type of offense brought against you.
DUI fines in Florida can range from $500 to $1,000 for a first offense with a BAC under 0.15%. However, the minimum fine increases from $1,000 to a maximum of $2,000 for a first offense DUI if your BAC exceeds 0.15%. The fines also increase as the severity of the crimes alleged increases.
Hidden Costs of a DUI Conviction in Florida
The foremost concern for the majority of folks arrested for DUI is whether they will go to jail and what other punishments they face.
The focus is on the penalties the criminal justice system imposes. Many folks often forget about a DUI conviction’s hidden costs when they ask us, How much does a DUI lawyer cost?
The law enforcement officer who arrested you probably suspended your license administratively. You also face additional license suspension if a court convicts you of a DUI charge.
Another revocation period could severely hamper your ability to work. Additionally, you will impose a greater burden on your family to drive you around until your suspension is over. Significantly, your auto insurance rates will soar by up to 50%.
You must also be aware that DUI convictions remain with you forever. You will face enhanced penalties if you are arrested again for DUI. A Florida DUI conviction also follows you around the country. Strict DUI laws in most states allow the prosecution to use out-of-state convictions to bring more serious charges against you.
By engaging a savvy DUI lawyer to evaluate your case, you may be able to avoid these harsh and unforeseen consequences of a DUI conviction in Florida.
Talk With an Experienced Florida DUI Lawyer to Learn More About How Much Does a DUI Cost
The Florida DUI defense attorneys with Moses & Rooth have the experience you need to defend your DUI successfully. We understand that you face an uncertain future.We also know that money is a big concern. That is why we offer free consultations and flexible payment plans.