Expertise.com

Best DUI Lawyers in Santa Monica

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

DUI Lawyers FAQs

Learn more
Criminal Law Office of Steven A. Seiden logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Criminal Law Office of Steven A. Seiden

13658 Hawthorne Blvd # 100C, Hawthorne, CA 90250
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DWI

Business Description

The Criminal Law Office of Steven A. Seiden counsels and serves clients in Santa Monica. The firm defends the rights of individuals with DUI charges, helping them protect their future, employment, driving privileges, and liberties. Steven Seiden helps them understand what the charges entail and guides them throughout the cases. He also defends people charged with misdemeanors or felonies, such as drug possession and distribution, domestic violence, and murder. Seiden has over four decades of experience helping clients attain favorable outcomes.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (14)
Google
4.9 / 5 (11)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills

8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Featuring a DUI lawyer near Santa Monica, Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills provides effective defense for individuals who've been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Its attorneys are committed to helping clients retain their licenses and avoid jail time whenever possible. Other practice areas at this firm include personal injury representation and traffic accident defense. This firm has been recognized by several professional organizations, including Super Lawyers, and has been named an Avvo Top Attorney.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (33)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (18)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law

11111 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 1715 (17th Floor), Los Angeles, CA 90025
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

For over 25 years, Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law has handled purely criminal defense such as DUI in Santa Monica. The firm helps clients mitigate penalties, defend a breathalyzer test refusal, or get charges dropped. The practice provides services in English and Spanish and is available 24/7 with night and weekend appointments. Jeff Greco is a former prosecutor turned defense lawyer. He is also one of The National Trial Lawyers' Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (27)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)
Justia
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
H&M Law Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

H&M Law Group

16133 Ventura Blvd Ste A, Encino, CA 91436
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Individuals who need a DUI lawyer near Santa Monica can contact H&M Law Group. This firm is comprised of former prosecutors who are focused on helping their clients obtain the best possible outcome in every case. That often means retaining their license and avoiding jail time, or in some cases, may mean a complete acquittal. The legal team at H&M Law Group makes themselves available to clients 24 hours a day.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (27)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, LLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, LLP

808 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump, & Aldisert LLP is a full-service law firm that handles DUI cases in the Santa Monica Area. Partner Shawn Holley is the firm's criminal defense attorney. She has more than 20 years of experience in her field and has won several awards and accolades for her work, including recognition as a Power Lawyer by the Hollywood Reporter in 2011 and 2012, as well as inclusion in the Daily Journal's Top 100 Lawyers list.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Law Office of Patrick Santos logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Office of Patrick Santos

2029 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

The Law Office of Patrick Santos provides DUI and criminal defense services for clients in the Santa Monica metropolitan area. This firm is client-focused and its attorney is committed to ensuring all individuals they work with understand their charges, the legal system, and the potential consequences they're facing. Mr. Santos works hard to advocate for their clients during investigations and at trial. He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts throughout California.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (25)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of Allen Farshi logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of Allen Farshi

11620 Wilshire Boulevard. Suite 900, ​Los Angeles, CA 90025
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

The Law Offices of Allen Farshi is a multi-practice firm that represents clients in Santa Monica and nearby areas. It protects the rights of individuals facing DUI charges by seeking the dismissal of cases or reducing penalties on their behalf. In the past 19 years, founding attorney Allen Farshi has litigated more than 1,000 criminal cases. He seeks the help of private investigators, psychiatrists, and forensic labs when a trial is anticipated. Allen also handles cases in the areas of personal injury, real estate, and insurance law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.6 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of Daniel Ritkes logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of Daniel Ritkes

2530 Wilshire Blvd., 3rd Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

The Law Offices of Daniel Ritkes is a legal practice serving the Santa Monica metro. It handles criminal law and represents individuals accused of DUIs and other traffic offenses such as speeding, reckless driving, failure to stop, and SATOP assessments. It helps clients avoid imprisonment, driver's license suspension, fines, probation, and vehicle impoundment. Civil litigation, trials, real estate, personal injury, appeals, and probate litigation are among the firm's other practice areas. Principal attorney Daniel Ritkes has worked as an arbitrator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
––
Detail
––
Law Offices of Daniel V Behesnilian logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Law Offices of Daniel V Behesnilian

8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Law Offices of Daniel V. Behesnilian provides criminal defense services to people who need a DUI attorney near Santa Monica to represent them. Attorney Daniel Behesnilian has over 40 years of experience practicing criminal defense law at the state and federal levels and he advocates for clients at every stage of trial proceedings to help them achieve more favorable outcomes and receive fair treatment under the law. The firm also provides assistance with DMV hearings.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Facebook
4.7 / 5 (21)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Philip Kent Cohen APC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Philip Kent Cohen APC

100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1300, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Philip Kent Cohen, APC, handles DUI cases in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. It defends the rights of individuals to help them resolve their DUI or DWI cases. The law firm also handles other criminal cases involving drug crimes, theft, embezzlement, fraud, and misdemeanors. It also provides legal assistance to clients facing violent crimes, including sexual assault and homicide. Founding attorney Philip Kent Cohen has been practicing law since the 1990s. He also focuses on assisting individuals and corporations with criminal charges.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)
Avvo
3.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Robert M. Helfend logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Robert M. Helfend

312 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Robert M. Helland is a DUI attorney in Santa Monica. He has vast experience in representing individuals at trial, helping them fight to reduce their charges or sentencing, and in many cases, have charges against them dropped altogether. Mr. Helland was named to the National Trial Lawyers' Top 100 list and has been recognized by Super Lawyers and Lead Counsel. In addition to DUI charges, he also handles cases involving crimes such as drug trafficking and conspiracy.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Google
4.3 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Rosenberg Law P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Rosenberg Law P.C.

2530 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #200, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

Rosenberg Law P.C. handles criminal defense matters in the Santa Monica community. The firm represents individuals charged with criminal offenses, ranging from minor DUI/DWI and misdemeanors to felonies and parole or probation violations. Alex Rosenberg and his team help defendants face the judicial process, starting from case assessment and investigation to defense preparation and trial. Rosenberg has been serving the community for more than 30 years and is a member of the New York and Florida Bar.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Stone Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Stone Law

100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

Stone Law represents individuals facing various criminal and civil charges in Santa Monica and its surrounding areas. Its areas of practice include DUI, domestic violence, drug offenses, and probation violations. Its legal team uses a proactive approach in guiding clients in all the stages of defense to obtain the best possible outcome. Principal attorney Laura Stone holds membership in the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. The firm has appeared in national media publications such as LA Weekly and Los Angeles Times.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Ted E. Thompson Attorney at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Ted E. Thompson Attorney at Law

4275 Madison Ave, Culver City, CA 90232
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

Ted E. Thompson, Attorney at Law, serves individuals across Santa Monica and the surrounding communities. He has exclusively practiced criminal defense throughout his career. He defends those facing criminal charges, such as DUIs. In addition, Thompson offers legal representation for juveniles who have been accused of crimes. He has tried cases involving serious felony matters, including attempted murder, murder, and serious drug charges. Thompson is fluent in Spanish and is also admitted to practice in the United States Immigration Court.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Office of Ben Mironer logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Ben Mironer

6303 Owensmouth Avenue 10th Floor, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

The Law Office of Ben Mironer has been serving individuals in the Santa Monica area since 2013. It represents clients in misdemeanor or felony DUI cases. It fights for the people's legal rights and helps reduce DUI charges or dismiss pre-filing after motions or trials. It investigates the facts of the cases and the weaknesses in the chemical evidence by obtaining the maintenance and calibration records of the devices used. Ben Mironer, the founding attorney, has handled over 1,500 DUI cases and DMV hearings.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (38)
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (17)
Google
4.4 / 5 (13)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Office of Marc A. Legget Los Angeles Attorney at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Marc A. Legget Los Angeles Attorney at Law

1851 Veteran Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

The Law Office of Marc A. Legget provides legal assistance to clients in Santa Monica who are facing DUI charges, including misdemeanor and felony DUI. Through counsel, representation, and negotiation, the firm works toward reducing any penalties an offender may receive from a DUI infraction or arrest, such as a suspended license and high insurance premiums. The firm has over 20 years of experience under founder Marc A. Legget. It also deals with cases involving drug offenses and violent crimes.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (6)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
The Law Office of Peter Sebastian logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Peter Sebastian

1801 Century Park East 24th Floor,, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

The Law Office of Peter Sebastian represents clients in Santa Monica who are charged with DUI. The firm handles simple DUI and aggravated cases with a vehicular manslaughter component. It questions the existence of probable cause during the conduct of traffic stops and disputes breathalyzer test results. The practice extends to theft, sexual assault, and drug offenses. Counsel Peter Sebastian was with the district attorney’s office and is an adjunct professor at the UWLA School of Law, teaching evidence.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (6)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (5)
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
The Law Offices of Peter Berlin logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Offices of Peter Berlin

18425 Burbank Blvd., Suite 719, Los Angeles, CA 91356
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

The Law Offices of Peter Berlin represents individuals accused of DUI in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. The firm has nearly 25 years of experience defending the rights of individuals who are first-time offenders and those with multiple DUI charges, assessing the validity of statements from arresting officers and analyzing field sobriety test results with the help of medical professionals. The firm also offers legal services to individuals seeking representation on criminal defense matters. Peter Berlin also offers his legal services in Russian.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (18)
Google
5.0 / 5 (14)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Law Offices of Sharon Appelbaum logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Offices of Sharon Appelbaum

401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Business Description

The Law Offices of Sharon Appelbaum represents clients accused of violent and white-collar crimes in Santa Monica. It helps individuals who are facing DUI charges to preserve their driving privileges and freedom. Founding attorney Sharon Appelbaum is a former Manhattan prosecutor who has handled attempted murder, robbery, money laundering, and cybercrime cases at the state and federal levels. She also played a role in the sentencing of rapper Busta Rhymes, and she serves as an attorney for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (17)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Mattern Law Firm logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Mattern Law Firm

11755 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1250, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • DUI Defense

Business Description

The Mattern Law Firm represents clients in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. It aims to reduce the impact of DUI charges on individuals by seeking dismissal of cases or reduction of charges on their behalf. Its attorneys, who have more than three decades of combined legal experience, also defend clients accused of committing theft, money laundering, sexual offenses, and parole violations. The firm's experience in representing clients in local courtrooms has given its lawyers insight into how the judicial system operates in the area.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
––
Detail
––
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a DUI charge involve?

DUI, or driving under the influence, is a criminal charge applied to someone who is suspected of operating their vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, such as drugs and/or alcohol. Every state in the U.S. has a law on the books that bans driving while intoxicated; however, the specific criteria may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some states, a driver with blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of 0.08% can be brought up on DUI charges while other states set a higher threshold or increase the severity of charges in accordance with the level of intoxication. In some cases, DUI is determined not via testing but by behavior; drivers who are intoxicated to the point of impairment and who cannot safely operate their vehicle may be arrested on suspicion of DUI.

What's the difference between DUI, DWI, and OVI?

The terms driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI), and operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) are all legal phrases that refer to the crime of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs (illegal or prescription), alcohol, or both. These terms are largely interchangeable though some states use only one acronym in their statutes for the sake of clarity. There are also other acronyms occasionally substituted for DUI, such as DWAI (driving while ability impaired), OWI (operating while intoxicated), OUI (operating under the influence), and DUII-CS (driving under the influence of intoxicants: controlled substances).

How long does a DUI stay on your record?

In addition to the more immediate penalties that come with a DUI conviction, this costly mistake can have other consequences. DUIs stay on your driving record for years with the exact length of time differing from state to state — the California Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, tracks DUIs for 10 years and may use that information to determine things like license eligibility. In Alabama, DUIs stay on the record for five years while in Alaska they're permanent. In states that use point systems to track driving infractions, DUI points may stay on the record far longer than the DUI itself.

How much does a DUI lawyer cost?

The cost of a DUI lawyer depends largely on three things: geographic area, the lawyer's experience, and whether the case is settled quickly with a plea or ends up going to trial. Attorneys may charge a flat rate, more commonly used for simple cases that are likely to wrap up quickly, or they may charge by the hour, which can add up quickly if the case requires a lot of pretrial preparations and court time. Ultimately, a DUI lawyer could cost as little as $700 or bill in excess of $4,000.

How do I choose a DUI attorney?

Finding the right DUI lawyer is crucial, especially when it comes to preventing a suspended license and minimizing fees and other penalties. To choose the right one:

  • Look for attorneys experienced in DUI case law
  • Ask for referrals from family and friends
  • Check the internet for reviews, keeping in mind that no two DUI cases are exactly alike
  • Meet with prospective lawyers (many offer free consultations) to hear their perspective on the case and see whether their personality feels like a good fit
  • Ask whether the lawyer will be the primary representative or if the case could be passed to an associate and how many clients the lawyer/firm represents at one time
  • Discuss billing options — the difference between an hourly rate and flat fee can be considerable

What happens when you get a DUI?

Individuals detained on suspicion of a DUI are typically taken to jail, their vehicles impounded, and either held on bail or processed and released pending a court date. That initial court appearance is a chance to enter a plea; it's a good idea to retain legal representation prior to this hearing so they have an opportunity to argue for reduced charges or even dismissal.

Drunk driving charges are often enough to warrant a suspended license pending the outcome of the case. A DUI conviction could mean losing that license entirely as well as paying fines, court costs, and DMV fees and paying for treatment or other intervention programs as instructed by the court — perhaps even completing jail time. These penalties tend to be less severe for first-time offenders and increase significantly thereafter.

Can I contest a DUI without a lawyer?

While it's possible to contest a DUI without a lawyer present, case law is complex, and navigating those laws can be tricky. A DUI lawyer can't guarantee a positive outcome, but they are in a far better position to make crucial moves, such as challenging the legality of the original traffic stop, questioning the officer-led sobriety tests, and introducing evidence that could lead to an exoneration. In short, it's tempting to save money by going it alone, but the consequences could be costly. Before deciding against a lawyer, take advantage of a free consultation and weigh their recommendations. If budget is a factor, there are court-appointed public defenders who may take on the case.

How much does a DUI cost?

DUIs are expensive. In addition to attorney fees that often run the gamut from $700 to over $4,000, there may also be bail costs, court-ordered fines, alcohol education courses, traffic school, DMV fees, the cost of increased insurance rate, fees associated with recovering an impounded car, and the possibility of paying for a court-ordered ignition interlock device. All together, the average cost of a DUI sits at around $6,500 not counting peripheral expenses, such as alternate transportation while unable to drive and lost income due to court dates and incarceration.

When does a DUI become a felony?

Driving under the influence is classified as a misdemeanor unless the DUI meets certain state-specific criteria such as:

  • It's not the first offense. Anyone arrested for DUI who has been convicted of driving under the influence previously may be charged with a felony, depending on the length of time since the last conviction.
  • The offender was driving without a license. Getting a DUI with a license that has been suspended, revoked, or restricted is a felony in many states.
  • The DUI resulted in someone else's injury or death. Some states cite bodily harm as one of the reasons to change a DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony.

How much does car insurance go up after a DUI?

Since car insurance rates are based on driving history and projected risk, it stands to reason that a DUI conviction will result in higher insurance rates. How much those rates go up depends on the state. In Colorado, insurance rates jump around 18% following a DUI conviction while North Carolina sees a median rate increase of more than 300%. To put that in further perspective, consider New Jersey; the state's average insurance rate is $1,419, but the average rate with DUI increases 132% to $3,292.

Read all FAQs