For persons arrested and charged with DUI in California, it may be tempting to hire a bargain basement Craig's list attorney, or even a general criminal lawyer who is eager to take the case at a surprisingly affordable fee.
Here's the catch, lawyers are not affordable, and DUI cases are expensive.
Most lawyers graduate from law school anticipating earning hundreds of dollars per hour. If an attorney offers to handle a DUI case for $800, how much work and attention do you think he will apply to the case?
The answer is enough to provide the free initial consultation (where he goes for a retainer), order the police report, show up at your arraignment hearing...and then one more task: Plead you guilty. Sometimes are they even condescending in their response to a client's reluctance to plead guilty - after all people who are planning on stating "yes, I drove drunk and am guilty - take away my drivers license, give me a criminal record, make my auto insurance rates increase, send me DUI school for a year and to AA meeting with a court slip, make me clean porta-potties as community service, and inflict the guilt I deserve by forcing my attendance at a MADD Victim Impact Panel". Sure, that's exactly why you paid the "attorney" the retainer, right? And then you're told you shouldn't have been drinking and driving, and the lawyer acts as if you, the client, are embarrassing him in front of the Honorable Judge and law abiding citizens, unlike yourself.
It happens...and you don't need a lawyer to plead guilty. You can do it all on your own if you choose, and guess what? It's free...
If you want real DUI defense; effective, arguable, scientific, and technically founded, go with an attorney whose practice is dedicated exclusively to DUI related offenses. A general criminal lawyer who spreads his practice across a broad spectrum of crimes cannot possibly be educated enough in the intrinsic details of DUI and related testing equipment / chemistry to adequately defend you. Most likely, they'll be at the mercy of what the DA wants to offer them for their limited knowledge and predictably unconvincing trial performance.