You have been charged with a crime. You know you can't handle the court proceedings yourself or mount your own defense. So you need to hire the services of a defense attorney. Yet how much does a defense attorney cost? Do they charge me by the hour or a flat rate fee? What about other fees that I have to pay? Can I get a refund if the case is settled quickly?
How an Attorney Determines a Defense Attorney Cost?
You won't ever find a breakdown of basic costs that all attorneys charge on a national price list. Why? No criminal case is the same in any jurisdiction. Some are more complicated than others, such as a felony case is more serious than a misdemeanor case. So an attorney will base part of their fees on the amount of work it will take to prepare a defense and show up for court proceedings.
They will also charge fees based on their knowledge and experience. Attorneys who haven't been in the business for a while will charge lower fees to obtain more clients and build up their reputation. More experienced attorneys will charge higher fees for their time because they know that they can resolve the case in your favor in the shortest amount of time possible.
Defense Attorney Cost: Hourly Rate, Flat Rate and Retainer Fees:
Before the attorney even takes on your case, they will ask for a retainer fee up front. The retainer fee is the time they had set aside and dedicated on your case no matter the outcome, such as the charges being dropped without the case going through lengthy court proceedings.
Next, the attorney will tell you if he will charge you an hourly rate or a flat fee. Both types of rates have their advantages and disadvantages.
Paying an hour rate means that you will only be charged for the time the attorney spends on your case. So if the case is settled in a few hours, you won't lose tons of money to fees (and is the reason that most attorneys will ask for a retainer fee). Unfortunately, if the case becomes extended for long lengths of time, you could end up paying large amounts of cash.
The biggest advantage to a flat rate fee is that you will know before the case even begins on how much you will be charged. If there are any complications to your case, you won't have to pay for the extra time the attorney spends on your behalf as you would for an hourly billing rate. The only downside to a flat rate is that if the case concludes quickly, you will pay a high amount without getting the full benefits of the attorney's services.
Call Your Local Defense Attorney to Ask About The Fees Involved For Respresentation.