If you have been arrested or charged for committing a crime, you may be wondering what to do next. With an experienced lawyer on your side, you can rest assured everything is being done for the most favorable outcome for you. One thing you may be thinking a lot about is how much it will cost to hire a criminal defense attorney. The following information answers some questions regarding payment.
How Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Charge?
Most criminal defense attorneys won’t charge a flat fee, though it is a possibility. For example, one certain type of criminal case may cost the defendant $1,000, while another may cost him or her $3,000. The lawyer would charge the exact same price for the exact same case when dealing with a separate individual.
If your lawyer doesn’t charge a flat fee, chances are you can expect to pay an hourly fee. Attorneys often charge by the hour because they simply can’t determine how long the case will take or how complicated it will be, and they can’t guarantee a specific outcome. Charging an hourly fee secures the attorney payment regardless of how the case ends up.
How Does an Attorney Determine the Hourly Rate?
There are a lot of factors that may go into the decision of how a lawyer determines his or her hourly rate. Some of those factors include:
- The attorney’s skill level
- The attorney’s experience
- The severity of the offense
- The time spent in the discovery process
- The severity of legal issues
- Whether the case ends up in trial
Are There Other Expenses?
During the course of your criminal defense case, there could be some other expenses incurred that you will be responsible to pay for. This might include filing fees, copying costs, investigation expenses, expert witness compensation and other similar charges. Your lawyer should let you know ahead of time if these are things you’ll have to pay for as they arise, or if you can pay one lump sum at the end. It’s also possible your lawyer will charge a high enough hourly fee that these additional charges are dissolved into your lawyer fees.
Contacting Your Lawyer
After being charged with a criminal offense, you’ll want a qualified lawyer to help you work through the case. If you’re unsure how you’re going to pay for representation, the first thing you should do is contact some attorneys to find out more about how and what they charge. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in San Mateo, CA today to get started.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and the cost of a criminal defense attorney.