Do You Need An Attorney For Your DUI?

Firstly, DUI/DWAI’s can be expensive. In Colorado, you can expect to pay $5,000-$6,000 for your first DUI in fines, insurance increases, and probation fees before even considering legal costs (for a full breakdown check out an interactive map with average pricing here. If an attorney is out of the question due to financial reasons, you may qualify for a public defender. If not, it's always a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of getting an attorney, even if it's your first DUI.

Definitely Should Get:

  • If you’ve been arrested for several previous DUI/DWAI's.
  • If your work involves driving (i.e. you are a trucker or livery driver).
  • If you are facing a possibility of jail time, or a hefty fine.

Really Should Get:

  • If you plan on pleading not guilty.
  • If this is your second DUI.
  • If you had a BAC test higher than .16

Should Get:

  • If you don’t understand your legal rights very well.
  • If you are from out of town.
  • If you’re uncomfortable representing yourself in court.
  • If you’re in a professional field that a criminal record would impede on.

Don’t Necessarily Need:

  • If you did not get in an accident,
  • and if you aren’t concerned about having a misdemeanor conviction,
  • and you had a low BAC test,
  • and your livelihood does not depend on your license.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and every DUI case varies drastically. You should always consider consulting an attorney to help figure out whether or not you need a lawyer. Also, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation, which could help you figure out what your next step will be.


If you found this helpful, consider reading the following:

What To Do At DUI Checkpoints

Five Critical Mistakes Made In The DUI Process

Tips to Win Your DUI Case

DUID (Marijuana) In Colorado FAQ

Need advice?
Revised: Feb. 11, 2016, 7:43 p.m.
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