How many hours of actual legal work are involved in defending a typical impaired driving case from the time a client first retains us to the end of the trial? How many hours does that take? Well. you are going to be surprised at the answer. There are a lot of hours involved in preparing any DUI case. I would say at an absolute minimum from start to finish, at least at least 40 hours of legal work. That’s probably on the low end. I would think our office probably averages 50 to 60 and sometimes even more hours. I have been involved in some complicated impaired driving cases that went on for days. A simple DUI, well it was not simple but very complex, where I tallied up over 150 hours of focused legal work. There’s a lot of work involved from the initial meeting, review and analysis of disclosure, legal research, court appearance, meetings with Crown Attorney’s, meeting with judges at judicial pre-trials, pre-trial applications, filing of Charter applications and factums, preparation for trial and conducting the trial. I mean sometimes I have spent 20, 30 hours preparing a complex 30-page Charter application factum with legal research, but the average DUI case from start to finish is probably in the range of 40, 50, 60 hours. I would say at our office; 50 to 60 hours is probably closer to the average.
So there you have it. It’s a long process. It takes a lot of hours and people are surprised at how involved the court preparation process is. Now, I wish I could just show up at the trial and just start talking off the cuff and there are no preparation hours involved and I somehow magically do a great legal job. It just doesn’t work that way. For example, just preparing the client to testify properly I find, and a lot of my clients will testify in a DUI case, that alone could take at least 5 hours, if not longer with some clients. So there you have it. That’s the short answer to how many average hours are involved in properly preparing a DUI case for trial from the start intake to the completion of the trial.