Will an attorney be able to reduce the fees of a drunk driving offense? 50 Answers as of February 29, 2012

Are attorneys usually able to reduce the fees in a drunk driving offense? How do they generally go about doing this?

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David Lurie, Criminal Defense Lawyer
David Lurie, Criminal Defense Lawyer | David M. Lurie
Probably not, generally lawyers will make plea bargains that exchange more money for reduced punishment, like probation that will result in no record, or just keeping you out of jail.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/28/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
Generally speaking the fines and costs are mandatory. What an attorney will do is try to get your case reduced to something like reckless driving so that it does not affect your car insurance and give you a conviction for DUI. If you need help with your case, please contact me at the email address or phone number attached to this email.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/15/2011
Law Office of Aaron Nielson
Law Office of Aaron Nielson | Aaron Nielson
There are minimum mandatory fees. You need an attorney to examine every part of the case to see what weaknesses there are if any. It may be possible to negotiate a lesser charge or even have the charges dismissed depending on the facts.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/14/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
The reason to get an attorney is NOT to save money. You may spend more money. The reason to get an attorney is because 1) they may be able to find a basis to exclude evidence or even get the case dismissed, 2) they can investigate the case, impeach witnesses, argue to a jury, etc which increases your chance of winning your case, and 3) they negotiate a better deal with the prosecutor if you want to plead guilty.

Let me give you a common example. Jane gets a speeding ticket. Jane can plead guilty and pay a fine of $100, but this will be a traffic conviction and she will take points on her license. This in turn increases her insurance rates by several hundred dollars each year, and (depending on the amount of points she already has on her license) this conviction may result in a license suspension. OR Jane can hire an attorney for $100 - $150, get the case amended to illegal parking, get no points added to her license, her insurance doesn't go up, but she has to pay a higher fine $150-$250. Nonetheless, she will probably save money in the long run since speeding tickets often affect your insurance rates for two to three years. The choice is yours, but if you only care about saving money, you don't want to hire an attorney.

Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/14/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
The DWI charge is usually reduced to a Driving While Impaired traffic infraction, but that depends upon a number of factors. A first offense with a BAC of less than .13 is usually plead to an Impaired with a mandatory minimum fine of $350 and a surcharge of $175. A second offense will increase the fine, just as a felony DWI will increase the fine. Your attorney has no ability to have the court waive the fine. If you do not pay it the court will get a civil judgment against you and this will hurt your credit. Your insurance may increase with a DWI or Impaired conviction, and almost every DWI case results in some type of conviction, usually for the reduced infraction of Driving While Impaired unless there was a BAC of more than .19 or there was an accident. Second offenses can increase the chance that a court will convict you of the DWI unless you have a very low BAC such as .10 or less.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/14/2011
    Russ Schenewerk and Associates, LLC
    Russ Schenewerk and Associates, LLC | Joseph W. Allen
    In any criminal matter an attorney can negotiate a plea agreement with a prosecuting attorney. Attempting to lower a fine is one of the many aspects of a plea agreement an attorney can attempt to negotiate for the benefit of his or her client.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    The fines are fixed and an attorney generally can not get them lowered unless the charged is reduced to another offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/13/2011
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott | Stacey Wolcott
    Practically speaking the fees for a drunk driving offense, or DUI, are generally pretty much set and we are not able to have them reduced. The way to go about seeking to reduce the fine for a DUI would be to see if it is possible to negotiate your offense down to a lesser offense. Please feel free to give my office a call and schedule a free consultation in order to discuss this possibility in person.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/13/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    You are probably talking about fines and fees. They are pretty standard for a 1st offense DUI. An attorney can have some affect on the amount of Weekend Work time or maybe even be able to defend the charge under the right circumstances. It is also possible to ask the judge for volunteer work in lieu of some or all of the fines.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/13/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    All DUI cases are fact based. The facts of your case will determine if an attorney will help. If all you are hoping for a lower fine, the cost of an attorney would be more than you would save.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/13/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    In Oregon where I practice, DUII convictions carry statutory "mandatory minimum" fines, but judges usually have discretion to suspend portions of the fine and other fees that the courts charge people who are convicted of crimes. I typically have fairly detailed information about my client's income and what they can afford to pay and often urge the judge to suspend a portion of the fine as an incentive if my client successfully completes alcohol treatment in a timely fashion.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    No, not the fees but possibly the penalties involved with a DUI conviction including fines and possibly jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Greco Law Office
    Greco Law Office | Dominic Greco
    An attorney sometimes can help in reducing some of the fees/fines associated with any criminal convictions or plea bargains. We can do this by asking the Judge to reducing the fees but we need a good reason to reduce the fees. For example low income of the defendant. Certain fees can't be reduced due to the fact that some fees are mandated by the state and the Judge can not reduce or eliminate them. Attorneys who are familiar with the court and the Judges have a better chance of reducing fees than attorneys from outside the jurisdiction. Feel free to contact me with any other questions at my number below.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Leone, Throwe, Teller, & Nagle
    Leone, Throwe, Teller, & Nagle | Adam J. Teller
    I cannot answer this question with the information provided. If you are asking whether an attorney can obtain a reduced fine, there are certain mandatory fines which the court must impose for a conviction of driving under the influence. However, indigent persons can apply to have the fine waived; in some cases the court would impose community service instead. If a person is not found to be indigent, but does not pay their fine, they can be required to serve additional jail time in lieu of the fine.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Elmer H.
    Law Office of Elmer H. | Elmer H.
    Reductions of such charges should be the considered the exception rather than the rule. There are many variables that put a particular case in the posture to receive the consideration of a reduction. It usually relates more to some evidentiary issue developed, recognized and presented to the prosecutor involved in the case. Few cases are reduced just because an attorney asks for one. Moreover, unfortunately may unscrupulous attorneys imply the ready availability of such a result because that it what clients want to hear. Those lawyers who are superb at what they do find recognition far beyond the Yellow Pages. What other lawyers, judges and former clients have to say about the effectiveness of any particular attorney is what one needs in the selection of counsel. With regard to fees. forget it. Where charges are reduced, expect equal or even higher fees to be paid for the benefit received.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    An attorney can reduce the fees on a DUI matter, but can never guarantee such an outcome. Fees can be reduced through a negotiated settlement for a variety of reasons, such as when a defendant agrees to complete volunteer service. The better the relationship with the DDA assigned to the case the better the chances of an agreeable settlement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    I am not sure whether your question involves fines that have been imposed after a conviction or fines that may be imposed pursuant to a plea agreement. I'm also not sure if you question involves the costs associated with court ordered treatment, an alcohol awareness course, or costs associated with alcohol monitoring or home arrest. Without more information, I can't fully answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP
    Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP | Locke T. Clifford
    While the costs of court are a set amount, judges often impose a fine which is at their discretion. They will sometimes take into account the argument of a defense attorney.
    You can pay a $20.00 court charge to get more days to pay the bill of costs instead of having to pay it the final day of court. Yes, an attorney can often get the fees associated with the a DWI reduced.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    There are mandatory minimum fines in DUI,which an attorney can notget reduced. If there are fines in excess of the mandatory minimum, then the attorney can negotiate afine.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
    Yes, an attorney can reduce the fees in drunk driving cases. When this is done, the attorney usually has to show a financial hardship. Reducing the fees is tough due to the political nature of a DUI and that most judges think that DUI fines are set by statute. The individual has to show the court an alternative to imposing the standard fines set within each county.
    Overcoming this initial obstacle will only work with some judges.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Mandarano, Cavaletto & Associates
    Mandarano, Cavaletto & Associates | Christopher Mandarano
    An attorney cannot exactly "reduce" any fees for you. What he can do for you is to offer evidence to the court prior to or at the time that you decide to change your plea that may provide mitigating factors as to why a lower fine is reasonable or necessary in your case.

    In many counties throughout California, the District Attorney has a standard offer that is given to criminal defendants including individuals who are facing their first DUI. Usually the offer consists of a fine, community service, the attendance of classes, and possibly attendance at AA meetingsor any combination of these. A skilled attorney may be able to negotiate a lower fine or a reduction in the maximum sentence for your first DUI offense. If this is not your second (or third etc.) offense, my suggestion is to retain an attorney at once. These cases can be prosecuted much more vigorously by the DA and may even qualify as a felony given the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    If they can lower the charge they can often reduce fines also.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Some fees are fixed and not waiverable, but generally an can effectively argue costs.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Most fees in DUI cases are pretty standard. An attorney maybe able to get your case reduced from a DUI to another charge like a wet reckless, thereby reducing the fees and many times the punishment. I would highly suggest that prior to pleading guilty to a DUI you consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    First this response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. I think by fees you mean fines which are up to the judge within a range from a minimum fine to a maximum fine. i would need to know exactly what charges were filed against you to determine the range of fines and or any other penalties that could be imposed at sentencing ( such as jail, probation, community service etc ). However a defense attorney generally negotiates a plea bargain ( unless the defendant wants to go to trial ) with the prosecutor and if successful in reducing charges and/or the fines then it is taken to the judge who usually approves it if the prosecutor and the defense attorney are in agreement. However a judge still makes the decision and does not ave to approve the plea bargain that defense counsel and the prosecutor agreed upon. looking forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Martin Blank
    Law Office of Martin Blank | Martin E. Blank
    The court assesses fines and costs. Some judges will agree to assess less in certain situations. Additionally, by obtaining a reduced plea, fines can be less.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The fines can be reduced if the underlying charge is reduced or dismissed. In other words, if the attorney is able to have the DUI reduced to some form of reckless driving, speeding, or even a dismissal, the fines will fall/disappear accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    An attorney will evaluate your case based upon all of the facts and the law to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Then the attorney will make a recommendation to you regarding whether or not you should go to trial or try to negotiate a plea bargain. The prosecutor is much more willing to reduce charges when you have a strong defense, and an attorney knows how to present that strong defense.

    The costs of a DUI are much greater than just the fines. Your insurance expenses will increase, your license will have points assessed against it, etc. It is well worth the cost of a defense attorney to protect and preserve your rights in this type of case.

    Please contact my office for additional information.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    In the State of Oregon, fines and fees for a DUII charge are set by the State Legislature and the Court is unable to reduce them.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    RTS Law Group
    RTS Law Group | Ryan T. Smith
    Some fees are governed by statute, thus not able to be changed. However, attorneys can help determine what level the DWI is based on aggravating and mitigating factors, if in fact you are convicted. Attorneys would first try to stop the conviction from occurring. Attorneys can also help by potentially getting you a limited driving privilege, if worst case scenario happens and your license is suspended due to the conviction.

    In summary, it is worth it in the long run to get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Engle
    Law Offices of Michael J. Engle | Michael J. Engle
    In PA the fines and costs for DUI cases are mandatory and cannot be waived or lowered by the judge even if the attorney asks for this at sentencing.

    If you are referring to legal fees, attorneys set fees base on the nature of the case and time involved. Most lawyers try to work with clients on financial issues when they can.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    Depends on your financial situation and the judge, but it is possible to reduce some of the fees.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    A good experienced DUI attorney is very valuable. A seasoned DUI attorney will be able to spot discrepancies or potential problems in the police report that may greatly help in getting the charges reduced or dismissed. Only a trained eye and experienced DUI litigator will be able to accomplish this. Attorneys are usually good at plea bargaining the case down to a lesser offense which will reduce license points and potential costs and fines.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Experienced attorneys are able to spot weaknesses in the prosecutors case, which are defenses and use d to get a a better plea bargain, get charges reduced, and in good cases, get charges dismissed. Call me if you would like to discuss your specific case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    First time DUI fees are pretty much the same. If you were a bit over the legal limit, ie. .09 an attorney might be able to get it reduced to a wet reckless but if not you really don't need an attorney as you will pay the same fines, DUI school, etc no matter what.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    This depends what the blood alcohol level is and what the facts of the case are. If you have an attorney for a DUI, you have a better chance of a good outcome for yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Though the fees are usually standard, set and inflexible, there are occasions on which an Attorney can achieve a fee reduction. Sometimes, it has to do with negotiating a lower charge (and a correspondingly lower fine). Other times, different factors play a role. The Courts are generally less flexible about fines and fees than in the past. Some penalty fines can be worked off with time in custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    That is what attorneys are hired for to negotiate plea bargains, with the threat of taking it to trial. You must have realistic expectations, and it is up to the attorney to make sure you do. If serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Frankly the fees associated with the case should be the least of your worries. There is potential loss of drivers license, as well as probation, alcohol program, community service work and, depending on a number of things, possible jail time. You should at least consult with a lawyer, in my opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    There are many ideas and strategies which I recommend that you discuss with your own criminal defense attorney. One example is that, in some, cases, you can get the state to reduce the charge. But you really need to retain your own criminal lawyer as soon as possible! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    On a Minnesota DWI , there is a great deal more at stake than fees. Jail time, fines, probationary requirements and license revocations.cancellations may occur. As a result, you would be wise to, at a minimum, consult with an attorney regarding your particular issue.

    In Minnesota, if you had a Blood Alcohol Content under .20, and you have no prior DWI within the last 10 years, you were charged with a fourth degree offense. This is still serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. If convicted any subsequent DWI offense would be much more serious and with four offenses in ten years, you can be charged with a felony. As a result, as strong defense on the first alleged incident can be critical to your future. Different Judges give different sentences. Accordingly, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process.

    There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a first offense over your lifetime, you may be revoked for 30 to 90 days. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge your license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense. Do not forget this critical time period. All too often people with strong defenses come to me too late to challenge the license revocation. The end result goes well beyond simply having your license revoked. A failure to challenge results in an Implied Consent violation on your record which can also affect employment and may be used to enhance any subsequent DWI offense.

    There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Depends what you mean by fee. The fines that are imposed for DUI convictions are set by statute; however, a DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate your charge which could indirectly lead to less fines.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Some of the fees are negotiable but they are also the least of your worries ... or at least they should be the least of your worries.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Assuming a person is convicted of a DUI there are a variety of fees, assessments, fines and penalties that may be imposed by the court. Part of the work an attorney does, after trying to avoid any criminal conviction, and if working toward a plea agreement or in argument following a trial, is to try to make the conviction for the least possible crime. Once that is done, sentencing ensues. Some fines can be mandatory and thus the court must impose them and the attorney cannot usually stop them. Some are discretionary and some are a part of the plea agreement. An experienced attorney will seek to lower any fines and fees. Additionally, an attorney can seek, based on his argument and skill, to have some fines suspended and if the client remains conviction free following the sentencing the fines are never due.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 1/12/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    Fines and Penalties can sometimes be reduced in a Drunk Driving Case, especially if the attorney is able to have the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense. That being said, every situation is different and a wide range of contingencies can result on a case by case basis.If you or someone you know are arrested for DWI or DUI it is extremely important to hire an attorney to represent you. The potential penalties range from driver's license suspensions and fines to serious jail time. Additionally, the deadlines involved in a DWI or DUI case are extremely strict and approach very quickly: You only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to schedule an administrative hearing to fight your license being revoked.An experienced DWI and DUI attorney knows all of the deadlines and various factors that can affect your case. If you are seeking representation on DWI or DUI charges, please call our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 1/12/2011
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