The frequency and devastating nature of motor vehicle accidents are why states created DUI laws (and the DUI lawyer). DUI refers to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Under North Carolina DUI law, motorists must keep their blood alcohol concentration below 0.08%.
If a driver’s BAC is at this level or more, they are deemed legally drunk. As a result, they may be arrested for driving under the influence and face charges. When this happens, the drunk driver needs legal representation.
However, most people shy away from hiring a lawyer because of legal fees. This is highly detrimental to their case and unwise as attorneys are not as pricey as they think. This article discusses how much a DUI lawyer in Asheville costs. But first, let’s look at why you need legal representation.
Five Reasons to Hire a DUI Defense Lawyer
Lawyers Help You Decide Whether to Take Plea Deals
An attorney examines the facts of the case to decide whether you should plead guilty or not guilty to the DUI charge. If the lawyer considers the former, they’ll also look into plea bargaining options with the prosecution.
Here, they will agree with the prosecution on the charges to consent to and the sentence you’ll receive. This way, you mitigate your punishment and avoid the maximum penalty.
Attorneys Help You Understand the Complexities of DUI Laws
Driving under the influence laws are pretty complex to understand for the average person, but not for a DUI attorney. These lawyers underwent years of legal training in law school and have had practical experiences.
As such, they know how to navigate the proceedings of a DUI case. Also, they know the applicable laws and the loopholes/gray areas to take advantage of to dismiss a DUI charge.
Lawyers Investigate if the Arresting Officer Followed Due Process
What drivers are unaware of is that they can escape a DUI charge if the arresting officer failed to follow due process. A typical example is failing to read the Miranda Rights while effecting the arrest. An experienced drunk driving defense lawyer will investigate to discover this error.
If they find the arresting officer made a mistake, they can apply to have the case against you dismissed. Other procedural areas lawyers capitalize on are tainted field sobriety tests and factors that might hamper the accuracy of the analysis.
Attorneys Have Courtroom Experience
Knowing how to read a courtroom and jury is a skill not taught in schools. Instead, lawyers learn it from years of experience handling DUI litigation. Should your case go to court, you need an attorney with this quality to represent you.
Your legal counsel will file and present the proper documents for your defense. Suppose you plead not guilty before the trial commences. A lawyer knows when the prosecution’s evidence is overwhelming and when to ask you to change your plea to get a reduced sentence.
Lawyers Get You a Reduced Sentence
Legal representation is what stands between you and a lengthy jail sentence. Even after receiving a guilty verdict, a lawyer can plead with the court to show leniency. Finally, your attorney can help you file an appeal if you feel wronged by the jury or judge’s decision.
How Much Does DUI Lawyers Charge in Asheville, North Carolina?
A charge of driving under the influence is different from a lawsuit for personal injury from a DUI accident. However, they are connected, especially where a DUI case involves a crash that caused a person’s death. But they are handled by different types of lawyers.
A DUI charge is a criminal case, so a criminal defense lawyer handles it. A personal injury action is a civil case managed by a personal injury attorney. This difference also affects how they get paid.
Personal injury attorneys get paid through a contingency fee agreement, but it does not apply to DUI defense lawyers. Most times, attorneys handling DUI cases receive a flat fee (lump sum) payment. The amount starts from $2,500 and can go as high as $10,000. The latter often applies to cases where the defendant receives a Level A1 DUI sentence.
Furthermore, the attorney may choose to accept hourly payments instead of a lump sum. In such an instance, their fee ranges between $62 and $330. The average hourly rate for criminal defense lawyers is $122.
The payment option you go with depends on the agreement with your attorney. While some lawyers prefer flat fees, others go with hourly rates. The downside of hourly fees is that if the case takes time, the accumulated amount may be more than the flat fee.
Another obvious drawback of hourly billing is that it could cause inefficiency on the lawyer’s part. This is because the longer a case goes on, the more money the law firm makes. Hourly billing also creates an element of uncertainty for the client because they cannot budget for the entirety of a case.
Are There Other Costs Associated With DUI Cases?
Aside from DUI lawyer fees, there are other costs associated with DUI cases in Asheville, North Carolina. They include the following:
- Court Costs: Whether or not you decide to defend your DUI case, you will pay court costs. It costs from $200 upwards.
- Fines: The legal system greatly frowns on driving under the influence and awards huge fines to those who break the law. Expect to pay from $200 to $10,000 in fines.
- Ignition Interlock Device: You will pay for an ignition interlock device in addition to the fines. This cost between $2,000 to $3,000. You’ll pay monthly maintenance fees of $50 to $100.
If you get sentenced to community service, you’ll pay $250. Also, drug and alcohol classes cost $300 depending on the number of sessions you have to attend. So driving under the influence has dire financial implications, especially if you are a low-income earner.
Book a Free Consultation With an Asheville DUI Lawyer
A drunk driving conviction has severe implications. You are at risk of losing your freedom, and you may lose your job. Additionally, your relationship with family, friends, and colleagues might also get strained.
So, it is better to avoid a DUI conviction at all costs. An experienced Asheville criminal defense lawyer can help you mitigate the effects of a DUI charge. Also, an attorney protects your rights and ensures the prosecution does not violate them. Contact us today for a free case review.