One of the deciding factors for those accused of driving under the influence (DUI) who are considering fighting their charge is the cost of hiring an attorney. While attorney fees are not cheap, the financial and emotional costs of a DUI conviction should be considered during the decision process.
Those convicted of drunk driving must not only pay expensive fines and the costs associated with DUI School and other mandatory programs, but also face possible termination from their job and a permanent criminal record.
Our Attorney Fees and Payment Structure
At Kohn & Yager, our team of attorneys have over 145 collective years of trial experience. As one of the largest DUI defense firms in the State of Georgia, we’re well known for our expertise in this field as well as our proven track record of case wins. As a result, our fees—while not the cheapest—are certainly in line with our training, reputation, and credentials.
We charge fees based upon how much time we know the case is going to take on average and that way you know what you are going to have to pay and not have to worry about some bill coming in for several thousand dollars that you were not anticipating.
In criminal cases most attorneys do not charge by the hour because most people would not have an open ended bill that could run into many thousands of dollars and not know where the last part of that cost is going to come from. We charge flat fees. That is, we know the kind of case you are involved with. We know the court you are in. We know how much distance is involved for us to get there and back. We know how many hearings we are going to have to handle.
We will put that fee in increments so that you pay it as the case progresses. If the case stops earlier, because a deal we get, you don’t pay the rest of the fee. That is the fairest way we know how to do these. That is, to have a flat fee paid in increments.
You pay and equal amount once we do pretrial motions, which is a stage of the case where we are trying to exclude evidence prior to trial. If we win the case at the first stage or the second you pay no more fees at that point. But if the case has to go to trial, you have one more installment of equal amount for the trial. And that is all the fees that we charge. There’s no add-ons except whatever costs are incurred for expert witness and other matters that relate to your case.
Other Potential Costs
Other pages of this website cover attorney fees, the long-term impact of a DUI conviction, and possible lost opportunity costs of DUI. But some immediate DUI cost items for any DUI include:
- Fines, assessments, and surcharges as high as $10,000
- License reinstatements costs
- Possible restitution for property damage or medical bills
- Unpaid time off from work when you are in court or in jail
- Airline flight or mileage costs if your arrest was in another state
- Tuition fees for DUI classes
- Ignition Interlock Device installation and monthly monitoring fees
- Time and transportation costs to get to and from community service (taxi, Uber™, family member)
- Much higher car insurance rates (varies depending on State laws)
- Public transportation fares if you lose your driver’s license
Why We Don’t Do Contingency Fees
These fees are not something that can be done on a contingency basis. In other words we cannot say, “I will either win your case or give your money back because the state bar won’t let us. If they would let me do that I would. It’s not permissible because they don’t want us gambling with your fate and your jail time if you were to lose. They want us to make informed decisions and do so when we’re not dealing with a contingent fee.
Scope of Services
When you come to our firm and you hire one of our attorneys we’re going to put everything in writing. The bar association not only recommends it, but it’s very foolhardy to not do that. It’s best just to lay out what we’re doing for you on what basis and on what payment plan. That way you know when the money is due. You know how much is due. Since it’s a flat fee there are no surprises.
Don’t expect to see something like a Toyota lease. We are going to make it simple. We’re going to make it straight forward because even though we are doing work for you we want to make it clear what we’re doing and what you should expect. We also want a say in there what’s not included because typically appeals are not included and we don’t anticipate an appeal.
Weighing Cost When Hiring an Attorney
There is no such thing as an average cost of a DUI lawyer. The issue here is that you can find what appears to be a low-cost DUI attorney when compared to other local DUI lawyers, but your candidate may follow a pattern of having clients plead guilty to DUI and accepting the consequences of a DUI conviction.