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Attorney Fees in Drunk Driving Cases

by ptbarone on August 13, 2009

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving (called “OWI” in Michigan), then one of the things you’ve probably got on your mind is “how much is this going to cost me?”  One of the costs involved in an OWI case is the cost of hiring an attorney.

Attorney fees in a drunk driving case vary significantly, but most lawyers handling drunk driving cases charge a flat fee.  As you “shop” for a lawyer make sure you understand exactly what the fee includes.  Some flat fees, especially low fees, only include a minimal amount of work. 

The fees charged for a first offense drunk driving vary from as little as $500.00 to as much as $25,000.  Repeat offenders are usually charged more, and if serious injury or death is involved the fees may be $100,000.00 or more.

There are many risks involved in hiring a lower priced inexperienced lawyer to handle your Michigan DUI case. 

If you are facing a drunk driving charge in Michigan, also called OWI, DUI, OUIL or UBAL, then

  • You need a lawyer who will do a thorough job and not cut corners. 
  • You need a highly skilled lawyer to handle your drunk driving case, which is a delicate, technical and complex matter. 
  • You also need a lawyer who has in-depth experience so nothing in your case is overlooked. 
  • You need a lawyer who has specialized training in this most complex area of law. 
  • You also need a law firm that is service-oriented with lawyers who are accessible and respond quickly. 

At the Barone Defense Firm our fees are higher than many lawyers.  We never compete on low price with other Michigan lawyers for many reasons.  If you are interviewing lawyers to handle your Michigan OWI case, or a drunk driving case anywhere in the country, consider the following:
Why does a particular lawyer charge less than other lawyers?  After all, if the lawyer was really good at what he or she did then they should charge more than competitors.  Beware lawyers that tell you they will provide the same service as the more expensive lawyers.  At the Barone Defense Firm we’ve taken over cases from clients that were unhappy with their low price lawyers because they didn’t do their job, despite their promise that they would review all the discovery and obtain the video tapes.
At the Barone Defense Firm we charge more than other lawyers because we’re not striving for volume.  By charging a higher fee we are able to provide each client with a high level of personal service.  No law firm devoted to drunk driving defense has a larger staff to assist you every step of the way.
We also charge a higher fee because of the following:

Results:  Michigan drunk driving cases are all we do.  Our experience and reputation translates into results.  At the Barone Defense Firm we have an innovative approach to solving your problem and often get better results than lawyers who use more traditional methods.  Our excellent reputation also works to our client’s advantage.  

Qualifications:  No other law firm in Michigan handling drunk driving cases has the same number of years of practice or anywhere near the depth of our experience or unique skills.  We limit our practice to alcohol related driving offense only and  have developed an unmatched  high level of expertise from which our clients benefit. 

At the Barone Defense Firm we keep our knowledge current through memberships in professional groups and bar sections, as well as numerous hours of continuing education. Patrick Barone often speaks to national audiances of lawyers handling drunk driving cases.  He also teached at the Cooley Law School and the Criminal Defense Attorney’s of Michigan Trial Lawyer’s College.

Services:  Because we accept fewer clients we are able to focus more time and attention on each client as an individual.  The lawyers and staff at the Barone Defense Firm are readily accessible to you and we promptly respond to our clients’ requests.  Low priced lawyers won’t return your phone calls.  You’ll only see them in court when they stand next to you as you plead guilty.
According to attorney and lawyer marketing advisor Trey Ryder, when comparing the fees at the Barone Defense Firm with those of other firms or lawyers handling drunk driving cases in Michigan, consider the following about why another lawyer charges less than you:
1.  The First Law of Business Economics:  The person who charges less must deliver less — or he’ll go broke.
2.  In today’s marketplace, at best, you get what you pay for.  Sadly, many clients get much less.
3.  A low fee is an obvious sign of weakness — because if the lawyer had even a moderate level of knowledge, skill and experience, he would charge more.
4.  When the stakes are high, the cheapest lawyer often proves in the long run to be the most expensive.
5.  You don’t know (or can’t be sure) what the other lawyer offers.  And, since he charges less than you, it’s logical to conclude that the other lawyer offers less.  It could be less knowledge, less experience, less skill, less service.  Is it worth the risk to find out?


Attorney Trey Ryder

Note: Much of this article was modified from an article written by Trey Ryder, an Arizona based lawyer who helps other lawyers market and manage their practices.


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