US law makes it a crime to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving is defined as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. DUI offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances, so it is essential for a defendant to retain the services of an experienced DUI Lawyer. When deciding on a DUI lawyer it is important to consider the services they provide, associated costs and the benefits of hiring a lawyer.

A DUI Lawyer offers a wide variety of services to clients. During the initial consultation, the lawyer asks questions pertaining to the defendant's arrest. If the client was stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the lawyer may ask for a description of the events that occurred at the checkpoint. If the client is being charged with a felony due to aggravating circumstances, the lawyer will ask detailed questions about these circumstances. All of the information obtained during this consultation can be used to build a defense against the charges. A DUI Lawyer also represents clients in court, hires expert witnesses to testify during trials, and negotiates plea deals with prosecutors. Since DUI charges also result in an administrative suspension of a defendant's driving privileges, an experienced DUI Lawyer can also represent clients during administrative hearings at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Most law firms will offer a free consultation; however, the cost of hiring a DUI Lawyer depends on several factors. If a defendant goes to trial instead of accepting a plea agreement, the attorney will have to spend significantly more time preparing and representing the client. First-time offenses require fewer hours of work than cases related to habitual DUI offenders. If a client is charged with DUI manslaughter or vehicular homicide, the case will require much more work than a straightforward misdemeanor DUI case. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for uncomplicated cases, but others charge on an hourly basis. Be sure to shop around different law firms because prices can fluctuate.

Hiring a DUI Lawyer has several benefits. Experienced DUI lawyers know the local prosecutors and may be able to work out a plea agreement before a case goes to trial. Lawyers who specialize in DUI defense also know all of the applicable laws and rules regarding driving under the influence cases. Lawyers who usually work with real estate law or wills and trusts might not know all of these rules. Since experienced DUI lawyers know all of the laws regarding DUI, they can also present effective arguments to DMV hearing administrators and court officials.