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How much does a DUI lawyer cost in DC and Maryland?

Most lawyers do not put their legal fees online. The reason they don’t is that generally each case is different and there may be a fluctuation in prices between clients. However, you should have a starting point for DUI lawyers cost in Washington, DC. and the State of Maryland.   DUI lawyer cost is primarily driven by the experience of the lawyer and the amount of training the lawyer has had in DUI law. The are some other reasons cost may fluctuate between lawyers such as the overhead of the lawyer.  Please read our blog on why our fees are lower than other DUI lawyers in DC


When I speak of training I am not referring to law school. All lawyers have to pass the bar and so I am not talking about the bar. DUI law is an area of law that requires additional training beyond law school and taking the bar. Continuing legal education of the lawyer is important because the laws change and the DUI lawyer needs to be aware of the changes. For example, DUI lawyers should be trained or “qualified” by National Highway Safety Administration Standardized Field Sobriety Course. This course is usually 25-40 hours of in-class instruction. It’s the same class police officers need to take to give citizens the Standardized field sobriety test on the streets. Another example, DUI lawyers may take to advance their knowledge is going to the annual National training in Las Vegas once a year put on by the National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers and National College for DUI Defense. Here some of the best DUI lawyers in the country share their knowledge with other DUI lawyers. Generally, the more training your lawyer has the more you will pay.  At Rollins and Chan, we do a minimum of 8 continuing legal education classes a year.  


Experience DUI LawyerExperience can only come through time. Yes, aging sucks, but through age comes wisdom. Just like it takes a young doctor years before he can be polished and experienced in his field – the same applies to lawyers. It is hard for a lawyer to come out of law school and start trying DUI cases because there is a level of complexity to them. As you may know, there are a lot of lawyers in the Country. Just because the lawyer has a license to practice in the Courts does not mean he or she has the experience to handle every type of case. Generally, the more experience your lawyer has the more you will pay.  While you may get a young lawyer to do it for a lower fee, ask him or her how many DUI trials they have had.  For that matter ask the young lawyer how many trials he or she has had.  You can not buy experience.  It takes time become a proficient in an area of law.  

Office and Overhead

overhead cost dui lawyerThis is the area you will never hear the lawyer talk about with the client. However, the truth is the client pays the overhead cost of the DUI lawyer. The lawyer can do work cheaper and faster if he or she is using technology to shift cost. For example, a lawyer should provide documents to his or her client; however, sending through the mail is slow and cost more. Using the internet and a closed portal system the lawyer can communicate with the client, provide dates, share documents, and communicate with the client more effectively and save money. If your lawyer is still using paper and mailing documents he is costing you more money. Times have changed and DUI lawyers need to be more efficient with their productivity. The other part of the lawyer’s overhead is office space. This is where the cost of the 2 equally lawyers differentiate. If the lawyer has to pay for marble floors and expensive staff then he shifts the cost to you. We understand some clients feel as though if he has beautiful marble floors and beautiful paintings on the wall then he must be good. This is not necessarily true. Remember, this is your dollars at work. Without question, the more your lawyer pays for his overhead, the more you will pay for his service.

So what should you pay for a good DUI lawyer in DC and Maryland?

Like most urban courthouses, the dockets are crowded and so a lawyer spends more time waiting for cases to be called which is why the cost of a DUI in DC cost more than say in a suburbs and rural courthouses in Maryland. In the District of Columbia there is a bare minimum of 2 court appearances for DUI cases. Below are estimates for typical cost of a DUI lawyer in DC.   All DUI in Maryland start off in District Court and the first court date is usually the trial date.  The case can be “bumped up” to Circuit Court for a jury trial which can increase the cost of the case.

1st Offense DUI Cost

The cost for a DUI lawyer for a non-jury trial first offense cost is usually between $2800 to $5000.00 dollars. If you pay a DUI lawyer less than $1500.00 you are probably getting what is referred to as a “dump truck” lawyer. He just pleads you out at the first opportunity. Remember, a lawyer has a duty to investigate, consult and prepare the case regardless of whether the case goes to trial. Trials generally take a day or less but can be spread out based on the Court’s schedule.

2nd or 3rd Offense DUI Cost

Jury Trial for a DUI in the District of Columbia is minimum of $4000.00 -$8000.00 dollars, depending on the facts. Jury trials usually take one or 2 days, not including waiting for verdict.    

Be wary of any lawyer who gives guarantees. In fact, there are no guarantees. The only guarantee a lawyer should give you if you are charged with a DUI – is that he zealously advocates within the bounds of the law.

Remember if an expert is used at trial, the cost could be higher because the client is usually responsible for all expert fees. This also does not include representation before DMV. Representation before DMV is usually a “stay of the proceeding” until the outcome of DC Superior Court proceedings. The typical cost for DMV representation is $300.00 to $500.00 dollars.   At Rollins and Chan Law Firm we know a DUI is not something you planned for and so we try to make it affordable.    We offer payment plans to make it affordable.

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Get Your Free Consultation with a DUI Lawyer

How much does a DUI lawyer cost in DC and MarylandWe offer free consultation by telephone.   We will be more than happy to discuss your case fully and go over different options you may have.   Remember we have been doing this for over 22 years and we know what we are doing.