How Much Does A DUI Lawyer Cost?

Kitsap Criminal Defense Attorney Jennifer Witt

Any private criminal defense lawyer will cost, at a minimum, a couple thousand dollars for a first time DUI defense. In Kitsap County, 95% of experienced local attorneys will typically charge $2500 for most misdemeanor offenses, including DUI. If you have multiple charges or extensive criminal history, the cost can vary. For example, if you are facing a felony charge, the cost is more likely to be near $5000 or even $10,000, depending on the seriousness of the offense.


If you are going to hire a private defense attorney for DUI defense, do not get too fixated on price—unless that has to be the determining factor for you. If you are hiring a criminal defense lawyer who has been a former prosecutor, has gone to trial at least 50 times before a jury, has practiced more than 10 years in the county where you have been charged, it is likely that you have weeded out quite a few lesser experienced attorneys. That’s a good place to start.


How Do I Find The Best Defense Attorney For Me?


Next, consider reviews and referral sources. You should focus on organic reviews (people who had to take the extra time to go to a site like AVVO or a Google Business site to leave their personal experience) as well as personal and professional referrals. Generally, these are the most trustworthy. If you are in the military or work at the shipyard, you will often hear our firm recommended because we understand the challenges with security clearances and dealing with your Command. If you have an unusual circumstance, such as managing security clearances, this is another factor you might consider in your choice of lawyer. Therefore, asking friends or colleagues for legal referrals might be a serious consideration if employment is a meaningful issue.


Often, you will see firms that put out extensive ads on Google. You will see their listing at or near the top of the page in a Google search and the word “Ad” (often in bold) will appear. It is normal for law firms to advertise but, where you see the same firm appear at the top for every search, it will typically mean that the firm is spending tens of thousands of dollars in ads per month. If a firm has a good reputation and does well with word of mouth referrals (often by other legal professionals), spending that kind of money on advertising is not necessary. Additionally, this type of advertising expense is past along in terms of much higher legal fees to new clients. You may even find quotes as high as $5000 or $7500 for DUI defense!


If you are being asked to pay $7500 for DUI defense, it is not going toward your defense—it is going to someone’s advertising budget. Kitsap County people are hard working and should not be asked to pay the fees of large Tacoma and Seattle firms. We respect that incomes in Kitsap County are not those of Seattle but it will never impact how hard we work for you. We get stellar results without outlandish legal fees.


Should I Rush To Hire An Attorney?


Yes and no. Criminal charges have some issues that can be time sensitive and you need to have qualified representation to help you. In the case of DUI, you have a very short window to request a DOL hearing to avoid license suspension. However, that does not mean you should feel pressured on the phone. You should always be able to speak with an attorney and have a free consultation. Additionally, the firm should be able to tell you who will actually represent you. This means that a “managing partner” should not sell you on the firm and then pass your case along to an inexperienced new lawyer. You should feel comfortable to ask that kind of question.


If you have a legal issue in Kitsap County, we are always here to help. We have been in the area for decades and our family for multiple generations. Our reputation matters and we strive to maintain that stellar reputation. If your legal issue is outside of Kitsap County, we would be happy to take your call and assist in finding you an experienced colleague. Feel free to call anytime. We are here for you 7 days a week.