The cost for DUI defense will depend on the nature of the charges and the place where the offense occurred. For example, if the charge is a first offense DUI with no injuries in Las Vegas Municipal Court, and the accused has no prior criminal history, a DUI defense lawyer may charge as little as $1,000. If the charge is a third offense DUI, with substantial bodily injury or death, you should expect to pay a retainer of at least $5,000 and the lawyer will likely charge by the hour for work done on the case. In general, DUI defense lawyers can charge as little as $1,500 all the way up to tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars depending on the history of the defendant, the nature of the charges and the location of the case.
In our opinion, the sooner you hire a DUI attorney, the better. First, most prosecutors will offer a “standard” DUI settlement in every case. The earlier you hire an attorney, the more likely the lawyer can help get a better offer or even negotiate a dismissal of your case. Also, DUI cases often turn on the evidence presented by the prosecutor. The sooner your attorney can see the evidence against you, the easier the case is to defend. Your lawyer can begin to challenge the evidence right away which could help you get a dismissal of your DUI charges or a reduced charge. For example, you may need to hire an expert to help defeat your charges. Letting the prosecutor know you have an expert on your side could result in a dismissal of your case or a reduction of the charges. If you are facing DUI charges, consulting with a DUI attorney, even if you don’t hire one, is always a good idea.
Getting a DUI dismissed in Nevada can happen, but it is rare. Prosecutors cannot dismiss a DUI if you enter a no-contest plea so it is important to enter a not-guilty plea at your first hearing if your goal is to get your case dismissed. Most of the time, DUI cases are negotiated down to reckless driving charges, or, if the evidence is so completely bad for the prosecutor that they cannot secure a conviction, the charges could be dismissed.
There are many ways for your DUI attorney to attack your charges. First, your lawyer may go after the field sobriety tests which are notoriously inaccurate. Second, the DUI attorney can try to argue that the blood alcohol test is invalid. Finally, your DUI lawyer could try to argue the theory of “rising blood alcohol” – this means that your blood alcohol rose after you stopped drinking. Each DUI case is different and whether there is a valid defense to your DUI charges depends on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. It is always best to consult with an experienced DUI attorney for the best strategy to defeat your DUI charges.