Criminal Defense

How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Los Angeles California?

February 26, 2024 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense  DUI  
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How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Los Angeles, California?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Los Angeles, one of the first questions that may come to mind is, “How much does a DUI lawyer cost?” The cost of hiring a DUI lawyer can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of your case, the experience of the attorney, and the location of the court. In this article, we will explore the different pricing models for DUI lawyers in Los Angeles and provide you with an understanding of the potential costs involved.

Hourly Billing: A Traditional Approach

One common billing method used by DUI lawyers is hourly billing. With this approach, you are charged based on the actual time the attorney spends working on your case. Hourly rates can vary depending on the experience and reputation of the lawyer. Newer lawyers may charge around $150 per hour, while highly experienced attorneys may charge upwards of $500 per hour.

The total cost of hiring a DUI lawyer on an hourly basis will depend on the complexity of your case and the number of hours spent on it. On average, a DUI case can take anywhere from 10 to 40 hours of work. This means that the total cost could range from $1,500 to $20,000 if you are billed by the hour.

For a first offense DUI that doesn’t involve a jury trial or motions to suppress evidence, the case may take around 10 hours or less. In this scenario, you could expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,000. However, if your case goes to trial or involves additional complexities, such as the need to suppress evidence, the cost could increase significantly.

Hourly billing can be a cost-effective option if your case is straightforward and doesn’t require extensive litigation. However, if your case involves complex legal issues or a trial, the costs can quickly add up.

Flat Fee Representation: A Predictable Cost

Another billing model used by DUI lawyers is flat fee representation. With this approach, you pay a single fee that covers all the services provided by the attorney, from the initial consultation to the resolution of your case. This method provides a predictable cost, as you know upfront how much you will be paying.

The flat fee for DUI representation can vary depending on the attorney’s experience and the complexity of your case. For a first offense DUI, the flat fee typically ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. While this may seem costly, it’s important to consider that complex DUI cases can require a significant amount of time and resources to defend properly.

Flat fee representation can be a suitable option if you prefer to have a clear understanding of the total cost from the beginning. However, it’s essential to ensure that the fee covers all the necessary services and potential additional expenses, such as expert witnesses or filing fees.

Task-Based Billing: A Fair and Transparent Approach

Task-based billing is another billing method used by some DUI lawyers, including the Cohen Defense Group. With this approach, you are charged based on specific tasks or services provided by the attorney. This method allows for greater transparency and ensures that you only pay for the services you need.

Under task-based billing, there is a fee for general representation, which covers court appearances, communication with clients, and negotiation of settlements. This fee typically falls within the lower end of the hourly billing range. In addition to the general representation fee, there may be additional charges for specific tasks, such as a jury trial or motions to suppress evidence.

The advantage of task-based billing is that it allows for a more tailored and cost-effective approach. You pay for the specific services required in your case, rather than a one-size-fits-all fee. This method can be particularly beneficial for cases that do not involve complex litigation or trial.

Choosing the Right Billing Method for Your Case

When considering how much a DUI lawyer will cost, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each billing method. Hourly billing provides flexibility but can result in unpredictable costs. Flat fee representation offers predictability but may not be suitable for every case. Task-based billing provides transparency and a tailored approach but may require careful consideration of the specific services needed.

Ultimately, the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer should not be the sole determining factor in your decision. It’s crucial to choose an attorney with the right experience, expertise, and track record of success in DUI cases. A skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and achieve the best possible outcome.

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Additional Considerations

While understanding the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer is important, it’s also essential to consider the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. In addition to legal fees, a DUI conviction can result in fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, increased insurance premiums, and even jail time. Hiring a DUI lawyer can help mitigate these consequences and potentially reduce the overall financial impact of a DUI conviction.

It’s also worth noting that many DUI lawyers offer free consultations, allowing you to discuss your case and get a better understanding of the potential costs involved. This initial consultation can be an opportunity to ask questions, evaluate the attorney’s expertise, and determine if they are the right fit for your needs.


The cost of hiring a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of your case, the attorney’s experience, and the billing method used. Hourly billing, flat fee representation, and task-based billing are all common approaches to pricing DUI legal services.

While cost is an important consideration, it’s crucial to choose a DUI lawyer based on their qualifications, experience, and track record. A skilled attorney can provide guidance, protect your rights, and help achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Remember, the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer is an investment in your future and can potentially save you from significant financial and legal consequences.

More DUI Resources

For more information on how to handle a DUI charge or arrest, please feel free to browse our blog articles on California DUI:

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
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  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
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  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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