If you are currently facing charges for driving under the influence, or DUI, in the State of Nebraska you would certainly be wise to be concerned about the consequences of a conviction, as well as the cost of defending yourself. The costs associated with a conviction for driving under the influence can easily run over $5,000 – and that is not taking into account consequential expenses for things such as increased liability insurance premiums. Avoiding the costs that go along with a DUI conviction is one more reason why it is in your best interest to hire an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney to defend you. How much will a Nebraska DUI attorney cost though? Because every attorney sets his/her own fee schedule, there is no way to provide an accurate, universal, answer to that question; however, there are some factors that will likely have a direct impact on how much a DUI attorney charges to represent you.
- Previous DUI convictions – if you have been convicted of DUI before you could now be facing a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor. Not only is there more at stake for the defendant in a felony case but there is also typically more work involved for the attorney. Therefore, the cost may be higher if you have previous DUI convictions.
- Aggravating circumstances – in Nebraska it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 percent or higher. If your BAC level was 0.15 percent or higher, however, you may have been charged with an aggravated DUI. Certain defenses are all but eliminated when the defendant is charged with an aggravated DUI making it harder to defend the charges. That, in turn, could increase the cost.
- Complexity of the case – as a general rule, the initial police report gives an attorney a general idea how the arrest occurred and what type of evidence the State of Nebraska has against you. That often provides some clue as to the difficulty level of the case. The more complex and complicated the case appears to be the higher the cost is likely to be for your defense. If an accident occurred, for example, the case will likely require additional time to investigate and litigate, causing the cost of representation to increase.
- Client’s intentions – ultimately, how your case is resolved is your decision. If you tell your attorney up front that you are not interested in pursuing a trial and instead only want the attorney to negotiate the most advantageous plea agreement possible, the cost of representation may be less than if the attorney takes the case with the expectation that the case will go to trial.
- Scope of representation – sometimes the scope of representation for a DUI attorney is broader than other times. For example, you may also decide to contest your administrative license revocation, which requires a separate hearing, or you may need assistance with a probation violation that stems from the new arrest, which also requires a separate hearing. As a result, the fee charged by a DUI attorney may be higher if he/she is required to represent you at additional hearings and/or perform additional work.
Considering the Cost
One thing you do not want to do is focus solely on the cost of hiring a DUI attorney without considering the cost of not hiring an attorney. If convicted, you can count on incurring thousands of dollars in expenses directly related to the conviction and an unknown amount in expenses that stem indirectly from your conviction. Moreover, you will have a criminal record for life as a result of a conviction. That record could haunt you for years. It might, for instance, prevent you from qualifying for employment opportunities in the future or could interfere with custody or visitation with your minor children if your ex decides to make it an issue. Therefore, when you are considering the cost of hiring a DUI attorney, make sure you weigh the true cost of hiring and attorney to defend you versus simply accepting a conviction.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.