A good lawyer will offer you a payment plan I imagine, helping spread the cost for their services out over time and ease the burden on your wallet. Yes, they may cost money, but it will be cheaper than an insurance hike for the next few years.
Here in my neck of WI it's all about the $$$. A Non-point plea with no reduction in $$$ usually works here. A decent D record goes a long way. Being out of state may help in that case. It would be nice if someone knew who the attorney(s) who have the inside track in the area are. How did this turn out by the way?