What Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Washington, DC

Most lawyers do not put their legal fees online. The reason they don’t is because generally each case is different and there may be a fluctuation in prices between clients. However, you should have a starting point for DUI lawyers cost in Washington, DC. DUI lawyer cost is primarily driven by experience of the lawyer and the amount of training the lawyer has had in DUI law. The are some other reasons cost may fluctuate between lawyers such as the overhead of the lawyer.

Training/Associations

When I speak of training I am not referring to law school. All lawyers have to pass the bar and so I am not talking about the bar. DUI law is an area of law that requires additional training beyond law school and taking the bar. Continuing legal education of the lawyer is important because the laws change and the DUI lawyer needs to be aware of the changes. For example, DUI lawyers should be trained or “qualified” by National Highway Safety Administration Standardized Field Sobriety Course. This course is usually 25-40 hours of in class instruction. It’s the same class police officers need to take to give citizens the Standardized field sobriety test on the streets. Another example, DUI lawyers may take to advance their knowledge is going to the annual National training in Las Vegas once a year put on by the National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers and National College for DUI Defense. Here some of the best DUI lawyers in the country share their knowledge with other DUI lawyers. Generally, the more training your lawyer has the more you will pay.

Experience

Experience can only come through time. Yes aging sucks, but through age comes wisdom. Just like it takes a young doctor years before he can be polished and experienced in his field – the same applies to lawyers. It is hard for a lawyer to come out of law school and start trying DUI cases because there is a level of complexity to them. As you may know there are a lot of lawyers in the Country. Just because the lawyer has a license to practice in the Courts does not mean he or she has the experience to handle every type of case. Generally, the more experience your lawyer has the more you will pay.

Office and Overhead

This is the area you will never hear the lawyer talk about with the client. However, the truth is the client pays the overhead cost of the DUI lawyer. The lawyer can do work cheaper and faster if he or she is using technology to shift cost. For example, a lawyer should provide documents to his or her client; however, sending through the mail is slow and cost more. Using the internet and a closed portal system the lawyer can communicate with the client, provide dates, share documents, and communicate with the client more effectively and save money. If your lawyer is still using paper and mailing documents he is costing you more money. Times have changed and DUI lawyers need to be more efficient with their productivity. The other part of the lawyer’s overhead is office space. This is where the cost of the 2 equally lawyers differentiate. If the lawyer has to pay for marble floors and expensive staff then he shifts the cost to you. We understand some clients feel as though if he has beautiful marble floors and beautiful paintings on the wall then he must be good. This is not necessary true. Remember, this is your dollars at work. Without question, the more your lawyer pays for his overhead, the more you will pay for his service.

So what should you pay for a good DUI lawyer in DC

Like most urban court houses, the dockets are crowded and so a lawyer spends more time waiting for cases to be called which is why the cost of a DUI in DC cost more than say in a rural courthouse. In the District of Columbia there is a bare minimum of 2 court appearances for DUI cases. Below are estimates for typical cost of a DUI lawyer in DC.

1st Offenses

The cost for a DUI lawyer for a non-jury trial first offense cost is usually between $2000.00 to $3000.00 dollars. If you pay a DUI lawyer less than $1000.00 you are probably getting what is referred to as a “dump truck” lawyer. He just pleads you out at the first opportunity. Remember, a lawyer has a duty to investigate, consult and prepare the case regardless of whether the case goes to trial. Trials generally take a day or less but can be spread out based on the Court’s schedule.

2nd Offenses, 3rd offense cost

Jury Trial for a DUI in the District of Columbia is minimum of $4000.00 -$6000.00 dollars, depending on the facts. Jury trials usually take one or 2 days, not including waiting for verdict.

Be wary of any lawyer who gives guarantees. In fact, there are no guarantees. The only guarantee a lawyer should give you if you are charged with a DUI – is that he zealously advocates within the bounds of the law.

Remember if an expert is used at trial, the cost could be higher because the client is usually responsible for all expert fees. This also does not include representation before DMV. Representation before DMV is usually a “stay of the proceeding” until the outcome of DC Superior Court proceedings. The typical cost for DMV representation is $300.00 to $500.00 dollars.

Freelance Lawyers and Some Facts

To any person who is actually not very familiar with the intricacies of law, the term freelance lawyer may bear an uncanny meaning. You must have frequently heard about freelance writers or reporters, but freelance lawyer is a term which is rarely heard.

In this article I have tried to share some information with my reader friends about this topic.

Freelance lawyers are the contemporary description of contract attorneys, temporary attorneys or independent contractors.

With the emergence of legal outsourcing, one new aspect of law profession or to say more precisely, the overlooked part of law profession that has come into limelight and that is freelance lawyers.

According to ethic committee it is ethically proper for any temporary lawyer to work for any employing lawyer or law firm on temporary basis or even getting involved in the legal outsourcing companies.

Ethic committee instructs the employing attorneys that involvement of any freelance(temporary) lawyer requires consent of the client, otherwise it will be considered as a void contract. The duty of the retaining attorney increases with the involvement of the temporary lawyer on contractual basis to disclose this fact to the client.

But according to the opinion 284 of Ethic committee the disclosure of involvement of a freelance lawyer depends upon the following factors:

o Relationship of the retaining attorney with the temporary attorney or the freelance lawyer.
o Nature of legal work to be performed.
o Clients’ reasonable expectation regarding the work.

The employing attorney has the authority to supervise directly the freelance lawyer and it is not necessary for him to disclose the client that how much remuneration is paid to the temporary lawyer. The employing (retaining) lawyer may bill the client for the service on behalf of temporary lawyer according to the mutual understanding with one another. A temporary lawyer can object to any unreasonable billing against the client charged by the retaining attorney.

The motive behind engaging a freelance lawyer is to attain highly supple and lucrative contractual terms in the outsourcing industry as there has been ample scope of employment arrangement between law firms and temporary lawyers.

Keep Your Kid Safe On The Internet! Law Enforcement Agencies And Citizen Groups

I have already submitted a couple of articles about the dangers the internet holds for children. My next series of articles will be about the various citizen groups and law enforcement agencies that work to deter or stop predators and keep children safe online.

The first group I want to cover is a group called Perverted Justice. Their “nickname”, or what they are also known as is PeeJ. Perverted Justice is a citizen group that was set up for the purpose of identifying adults willing to have chat room sexual encounters with minors. Millions of Americans have seen this group in action during the operation series called “To Catch a Predator” that Dateline NBC carried out on the air.

The people who make up Perverted Justice are volunteers. These volunteers carry out sting operations, using “young” sounding screen names, such as sara_so_bored. They then wait for older men to approach them in chatrooms. The volunteers of PeeJ do not make the first contact with the adults, but instead wait to be approached.

Once the men approach the volunteer (who they think is a young teen girl or boy), the volunteer works to get identifying information from the men; information such as a phone number. This information is usually given during talk about setting up an offline meeting with the perceived minor. The PeeJ volunteer then uses a Reverse Look Up service to find out the name of the person who owns the telephone number, and passes the information on to law enforcement.

Perverted Justice was started in 2002 by Xavier Von Erck of Portland Oregon, who got the idea after watching men attempt to woo young girls in chatrooms in Oregon. Von Erck says that PeeJ is a computer watchdog agency that works closely with law enforcement. During the ‘To Catch a Predator’ stings put on by Dateline NBC, Perverted Justice was actually temporarily deputized by law enforcement, since some of the operation was required by law to have been carried out by members of law enforcement.

Von Erck goes on to say that “The media likes to use the term vigilante because it gets attention, but we don’t consider ourselves vigilantes. We cultivate cooperation with police and work within the law to get justice, not outside of the law.”

Perverted Justice’s volunteers act as bait in chatrooms where children and minors can often be found. The profiles the volunteers set up have youthful sounding nicknames and often pictures of children. The volunteers do not initiate contact with the men, but instead wait for the men to first come to them. They refuse to act on tips from internet users, to avoid the risk that someone might use the website for purposes of revenge.

If a man starts chatting with the volunteer and turns the conversation toward sex, the volunteer attempts to obtain identifying information from the man; information such as a telephone number so that a “meeting can be arranged”.

In years past, the chatlog and details would then be published on Perverted Justice’s website. However, beginning in 2003, the organization began its “Information First” program, in which interested police departments could contact Perverted Justice, and any busts made within the jurisdiction of that department would be sent to them without having been posted to the website.

In the early days, PeeJ did not initiate contact with the police, due to the difficulty of prosecuting online criminals in a court of law. Because the law has evolved in such a way that law enforcement now CAN and regularly DOES prosecute online criminals, PeeJ has switched to a policy of cold calling local police with the information they obtained. If a one of the government agencies is interested (police, FBI, military CID, etc.) then the chatlog and other information is not posted to the site until after a conviction has been reached.

To date, Perverted Justice has been responsible for over 100 convictions of online predators. Some of those convictions were witnessed by television-watching Americans, glued to their T.V. screens during the airing of Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator series. One of these “public convictions” was a rabbi, who entered a home with the intention of having sexual relations with a minor boy. The “candid-camera” photograph of this rabbi as he was caught by Dateline NBC is posted on my website, which is dedicated to keeping kids safe online.

My website is interactive and includes a place for parents, educators, and interested parties to post methods of keeping kids safe online, as well as a message board where people can chat about online safety and what can be done. I have a page that shows Internet Safety in the news, as well as a page dedicated to educating parents on what can be done to “keep your kid safe on the internet”. Everyone is welcome.

Is a Lawyer Required for Every Workers Comp Claim?

The overall purpose of the workers compensation laws in Pennsylvania is to provide a means to ensure workers are fairly compensated for the expenses associated with workplace injury, without identifying blame for an accident. As such, many workers can obtain immediate medical attention after an injury at work as soon as the employer is notified of the accident. It is common for a worker who requires basic medical attention for relatively minor injuries to receive full care without ever completing a claim form or paying a bill.

Unfortunately, not all workplace injuries are straightforward. Many involve serious injuries that require extensive time away from work. When injuries are significant to severe-or in cases where claims are not considered valid-injury victims need the help of a Pennsylvania workers comp lawyer.

When a lawyer may be needed

The following are just a few examples of cases when an injured worker may need experienced legal assistance to help with a claim:

Denied claims. Your employer or the insurance company may deny your claim if they believe it to be invalid. In fact, state law does define claims to be invalid under certain situations-such as if they believe your injury was intentionally self-inflicted, or you were engaged in illegal activities (use of illegal drugs is a common allegation). Although the burden of proof is on the parties making these allegations, you need an experienced workers comp attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

Reduced claims. While the fact of your accident may not be denied, your employer or the insurance company may only approve a portion of the expenses cited in your claim. Skilled workers comp lawyers can help you collect the evidence required to prove the full value of your claim and either negotiate a fair settlement or appeal the decision.

Occupational injuries and illnesses. Not all workplace injuries are the result of a specific accident. Many employees-from office workers with repetitive stress injuries to laboratory workers exposed to toxic chemicals-develop their conditions over time. State workers comp law provides a complex set of schedules that identify covered conditions. You typically need a skilled attorney to navigate the rules and develop a case that proves your claims to be valid under the law.

The bottom line is that anyone experiencing problems with a claim or uncertain of how to proceed should seek advice from an attorney specifically experienced in Pennsylvania state law. In many cases, an initial consultation is free, after which many attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. You pay no legal fees unless you receive compensation for your case.

Is a Lawyer a Debt Collector, and Should You Sue the Lawyer If You Can When Sued For Debt?

As many people know, original creditors are treated differently than debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies, by and large, just to debt collectors and gives original creditors a relatively free ride. So where do lawyers fit in? And should you sue them if you can?

Lawyers Can Be Debt Collectors

Lawyers are not protected under the FDCPA. They can be, and as a practical matter the one suing you probably is, a debt collector. However, if the lawyer is representing an original creditor and acting in its name, he will be treated as an original creditor. If you are being sued by a debt collector, chances are good that the lawyer is also a debt collector, you can pretty much count on it. He can be sued for things he does wrong.

Before you go suing the lawyer, though, there are two things you should know: one has to do with your legal rights, and the other is more of a practical consideration.

Respondeat Superior

There is a concept in the law that makes people responsible for the things people who are acting as their agents do. This is known as “respondeat superior.” With a few exceptions, an employer is liable for the actions of an employee. That means a client is responsible for the actions of his or her lawyer. In general, this means that a debt collector is responsible for anything that its attorney does. Or to put it differently, you don’t need to sue the lawyer to attack the debt collector.

Should you do it anyway, though?

Tactical Considerations

Whether or not it makes sense to sue the lawyer is not an easy decision. I know you take the lawsuit personally-it represents a large threat to your personal and financial well-being. Naturally you want to strike back, personally, at the human person you see on the other side. The question is, though, is this the decision most likely to give you the most benefit? Is it most likely to cause them to drop the case and leave you alone?

I don’t know. Most of the time, the lawyers suing you regard your case from a purely business perspective attempting to maximize their profit and minimize the cost of suing you. And much of my approach to debt litigation has been to suggest that people exploit this business perspective by making your case unprofitable. That is relatively easy to do, although of course this isn’t always enough. If you sue the lawyer, you change her motivation. Then, instead of it being a merely business decision, you increase the personal stakes for the lawyer. It makes things unpleasant for the lawyer, no doubt, but it also motivates them to work much harder in many cases. You have multiplied your enemies.

A Final Legal Consideration

If you are suing the lawyer, your claim is not exactly a “counterclaim.” Instead, what you would probably do is counterclaim under the FDCPA against the debt collector and bring a third-party suit (within the same lawsuit) against the lawyer. The pleading is just called a third-party suit and names the lawyer as third-party defendant and states your claim in the same way the counterclaim did. Then the lawyer has to be served a summons. None of this is specially difficult, but it is time-consuming. Given the questionable benefit of suing the lawyer, I rarely thought it was worth spending the extra time. You’ll have to decide what makes sense to do in your case.