If you have problems with the judicial system and the law, this period can be very stressful, frightening and frustrating. Whether you are charged with a simple infraction or a felony, you will discover that it can be very costly to hire a good criminal defense lawyer. So, how much does it cost to hire a criminal defense attorney? The information below will help you to know more about this.
Many people are reluctant to hire an attorney, especially when they are going to plead guilty, because it would not cost anything to walk into the court to admit guilt and then accept their punishment. This is easy to understand as an attorney can cost money and they might not get a real benefit from the final result. However, it can only take an experienced lawyer to know whether or not you are guilty of the charges, there is a defense that you have not considered, and there are alternatives to the DA’s deal. Moreover, a lawyer can give advice on the consequences of conviction, including whether it can be expunged later on and how an expunging can benefit or limit you. After all that, it should be easy for you to see how you could benefit from knowing how much it will cost for you to hire a lawyer.
The best way to find out the cost to retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer is to shop around. When you identify the best ones, you should schedule a meeting to consult with two or three of them.
Most attorneys bill clients by the hour, but criminal defense lawyers usually charge flat fees to ask for upfront payments. For the lawyer to determine the fee for your case, he or she has to discuss it at length to know its complexity.
These are some of the variables that could impact the cost that you pay:
- The billing rate of the lawyer;
- The method that the lawyer uses for billing;
- The amount that you have to pay for related legal expenses;
- If you plead guilty, go to trial or accept a plea agreement.
If you agree to pay a flat fee to your lawyer, you need to ensure you understand what the overall price covers. In most cases the cost does not include the court fees. You should also ask about the available financing options as well as if payments have to be made in one lump sum or can be made in smaller amounts.
Everyone has a different case, but hopefully the information above will help you to decide if you should spend money to hire a criminal defense attorney. As a final thought, you should know that many law firms offer free consultations with no obligation to help persons understand the different options before making a commitment.