Finding a California DUI Defense Attorney

Finding an experienced and reputable attorney in a DUI case can be a frustrating experience. In looking for counsel to represent you, the following considerations may be helpful:

  • Does the attorney specialize in DUI cases exclusively? See the American Bar Association Journal article on DUI specialization.
  • No ethical attorney will make promises as to a result in your case.
  • Does the quoted fee include DMV hearing, expert fees, blood reanalysis, trial, etc?
  • Insist on a written contract setting forth all costs and covered services.
  • How is the attorney rated by Martindale-Hubbell?
  • Does the attorney have ABA-approved Board certification from the National College for DUI Defense?
  • Ask a police officer who he would retain if arrested for DUI.

Generally speaking, the more experienced an attorney is the higher his fee will be. Similarly, an excellent reputation among judges, prosecutors and other attorneys will be reflected in a higher fee. And as with physicians (such as heart surgeons), an attorneys focus on a specialized field of law -- such as DUI defense -- tends to increase fees. And the opposite is certainly true: low fees almost always indicate attorneys who are inexperienced, not specialized in DUI defense and/or have poor reputations.

For a more thorough discussion of how to locate the best drunk driving lawyers, see "Finding a Qualified a DUI Lawyer" on this website. For information about DUI attorneys' fees, as well as helpful warnings concerning deceptive practices of some disreputable lawyers, see "What Will a DUI Attorney Cost?" on this website.

California DUI: A Drunk Driving Legal Guide
Includes recommendations for the best DUI attorneys in Northern and Southern California.

National College for DUI Defense
Prestigious professional and educational organization of about 300 attorneys specializing in drunk driving defense, with listings/bios by state. The College holds an intensive 3-day seminar at Harvard Law School every July.

California State Bar
Check an attorney's complaint and disciplinary record online.

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