Published on 3/18/2022, 10:21:00 PM
How much will a DUI lawyer cost in Maryland?
A question many potential clients ask is - how much does a Driving under the influence, or "DUI" lawyer cost? What other DUI costs can I expect associated with my DUI case? This question often arises after a person is charged in a drunk driving case, and wants to speak with a DUI lawyer.
Below are some of the costs associated with a DUI case including, attorney fees, potential fines, costs associated with ignition interlock devices, the costs associated with probation, and costs associated with alcohol education courses. The legal system is complicated and can be difficult to financially gauge. This article is designed to help you foresee potential costs associated with your DUI case.
What should I expect an experienced dui lawyer to cost?
You should expect an experienced DUI attorney to price your case based on a number of factors including:
The likelihood of jail time in your case
Your prior criminal record
If a MVA hearing is requested
There is no magic number that applies to every DUI case, and most DUI attorneys are going to charge different rates based on the payment structure you are able to accommodate. Many dui attorneys charge flat fees; however, some may charge a hourly fee. No attorney should have hidden fees.
A DUI Lawyer cost analysis would be difficult because dui lawyers cost different amounts based on their experience, and the nature of their practice. Make sure to ask for a fee structure that works for your financial situation, whether that is hourly rates, or a flat fee.
This entirely depends on how seriously you're taking your drunk driving charge. It's always best to look for local professionals who have your bests interests in mind and can push for your criminal case to be dismissed.
This should be explored during a free consultation with a lawyer, which should take place as soon as possible after your DUI charge. A DUI lawyer should be able to examine your driving record to asses past convictions, or see if you have a clean driving record.
What if I cannot afford a private DUI attorney?
If a person cannot afford to hire a dui attorney, they are likely to qualify for the services of the Public Defender in Maryland. Because driving while under the influence and driving while impaired are criminal offenses that carry a potential for jail time, each Defendant is entitled to representation by an attorney.
Having said that, a Defendant who uses the Public Defender does not get to choose their dui lawyer, instead they are assigned an attorney who is likely to be responsible for multiple clients that day, meaning you will be sharing your dui lawyer with numerous other defendants on your court date.
Budget DUI Lawyers
If you are looking for a dui attorney who fits your budget, some dui lawyers offer payment plans. A DUI lawyer can explain their law firm's payment structure options for attorney's fees during a consultation. Some may be willing to begin a case for as little as a few hundred dollars; however, the total cost for a lawyer is likely to exceed this.
Towing your vehicle
Your vehicle may need to be towed from the scene of your motor vehicle stop. Sometimes a Police Officer will move a person's vehicle to the side of the road, or into a parkinglot; however, many motor vehicle stops happen on major roadways and highways. If your vehicle is towed, you can expect to pay costs associated with the towing, and impound fees when you attempt to retrieve your vehicle upon release from custody.
Costs for Posting Bail
Most drivers in Maryland receive a summons when they are cited for drunk driving offenses; however, Police Officers can arrest a person for a DUI/DWI. If a person is arrested they will first see a commissioner, who will decide if they can be released on their recognizance, or by posting a cash bail. If this is not granted then a person will see a Maryland District Court Judge on the next available Court day. You may need to pay an attorney to represent your loved one at a scheduled commissioner, or Judge bail review.
That Judge may also institute a money bond, or authorize pretrial release. A detained person may seek private alternatives to detention like private home monitoring. These private home detention services can cost as much as $400 per month, some of which require an upfront application fee.
What fines could I be facing in my DUI?
Most DUI cases involve payment of fines to the District Court.
Court assessed fines
The potential fines you might be facing depend on several factors:
Were you charged with DUI or DWI, or both
Do you have [prior convictions]((https://frizwoods.com/subsequent-offender-dui)?
What fine the Court imposes on you.
The maximum fines associated with a first DUI in Maryland are $1,000. For a first DWI in Maryland, the maximum fines are $500. Judges in Maryland typically impose a lower fine than the maximum amount; however, this could depend on your financial burden taken on in advance of trial.
How much are Court costs?
Court costs in Maryland are a standard fee that can be waived; however, they are usually imposed in the amount of $22.50 - $57.50. These fees can be collected by a District Court Clerk, or ordered by a judge to be collected by Parole and Probation.
What will probation cost?
Probation in Maryland comes in two forms, supervised probation and unsupervised probation. Most DUI cases involve a period of supervised probation, through the Drunk Driver Monitoring Program (DDMP). The costs and fees associated with the drunk driver monitoring program cannot be waived by a Court, and are often around $55 per month.
There could also be additional fees associated with Probation including supervision fees, testing fees, and other probation fees. These can be waived by a Court at the time of your sentencing for your DUI conviction.
Payment for alcohol education programs
If you're convicted of a DUI, you are likely to have to participate in a Court certified alcohol education program. These programs might take your insurance, so you should look for a local provider and inquire if they do. Fees associated with these classes can reach the thousands if no coverage is available, so make sure to find someone in network.
MADD Victim Impact Panel Costs
In Maryland, drivers convicted of a DUI are required to participate in a Mothers against drunk driving victim impact panel. The panel costs $75 to register for, and typically takes a single day to complete. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel was offered online.
How much will an ignition interlock device cost?
Ignition interlock devices can be a requirement for a person to have their license re-instated if they refused a breath sample in their DUI, or if they produced a breath sample over .15 on an intoximeter.
Interlock devices typically have an installation fee, which can cost hundreds of dollars, and then a monthly, or weekly cost to lease the device. A person can expect to have to pay this recurring payment during the duration of their interlock requirement, which is often a full calendar year.
What if I don't need an ignition interlock?
If a person can get a driver's license without an ignition interlock they likely would have to request a hearing before the Motor Vehicle Administration, or MVA. In Maryland, a $150 fee is associated with this hearing request, and your dui lawyer may request an additional attorney's fee to handle the hearing.
It is important to have a driver's license heading into a trial or sentencing in your dui case. Judges take DUI charges seriously, and appreciate when a person has done work ahead of Court to show they've taken their dui charges seriously.
Increasing Insurance Premiums
A DUI charge is likely to increase your insurance premiums. A person can expect to receive an elevated premium on their next few policies; however, these costs might be mitigated by avoiding a conviction through a [probation before judgement] (https://frizwoods.com/blog/dui-pbj-maryland) , or by being acquitted at trial. Over the years after your dui case this could amount to thousands of dollars in added premium costs.
If a person receives a DUI conviction, they could have as many as 12 points assessed against their license in Maryland, which could lead to suspension or revocation of a person's driver's license. When a person receives points against their license in Maryland, they should expect their insurance premiums to rise as well.
So how much all in should I expect to pay?
The average dui lawyer cost should also take into account many of the fees and costs associated with a dui charge that are explained above. There may be a national average cost to these costs; however, Maryland has many unique dui costs.
It is safe to say that the costs will reach into the thousands. If you've been charged with a drunk driving case after a DUI arrest, schedule a free consultation with a qualified dui lawyer.
Schedule a free consultation to assess costs
Most DUI attorneys will meet with a client for free, and review a person's dui charge. Although DUI is a criminal offense, there's no reason why a fear of attorneys fee's or penalty fees should scare a person away from seeking counsel.
If you cannot afford a DUI attorney, remember that the court is bound to hire one for you. They may not assist with increasing costs at by your insurance company or dmv fees / motor vehicle administration fees, but they can help to offset costs associated with a costly trial.
Stay away from part-time dui attorneys
It's always best to look for dui lawyers who handle dui cases full time. If an attorney has too large of a practice, they may not be up to date on the most important defenses in dui cases. Simple concepts like the "legal limit" may seem elementary; however, skilled dui lawyers will see more than what's present in the police report.
How much does a dui matter to you? That's a question that you'll have to decide when evaluating lawyers. Most attorneys will take a case on expecting a plea bargain to resolve their case. Explore this during your initial consultation. The right lawyer may be one who puts your best interests ahead of his own.