Criminal Defense Attorney Fees

Criminal Defense Attorney Fees

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One of the first questions you’re likely to ask an attorney whom you’re considering hiring is, “What will criminal defense attorney fees ?” Here’s the low-down on how criminal defense attorneys charge for their services, which vary according to such factors as:

The probable complexity of the case. Most attorneys charge more for felonies than for misdemeanors, because felonies carry greater penalties, often require more court appearances, demand more preparation, and so on.

The attorney’s experience. Generally, less experienced attorneys set lower fees than their more experienced colleagues. But beware when you encounter an extremely low hourly rate (see below), which can be misleading. An experienced attorney with a high hourly rate may be able to resolve a case more quickly and satisfactorily than a novice with a much lower hourly rate, and therefore be less expensive in the long run.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorney

Hourly Billing

Defendants who are billed by the hour pay for the actual time their lawyers devote to their cases—say, few Dollars per hour. They may also pay for expenses a lawyer incurs in the course of the representation, such as copying fees, subpoena fees, and so on. From the defendant’s standpoint there are advantages and disadvantages to hourly billing.


Defendants who pay by the hour benefit if a case concludes quickly.


If the case becomes unexpectedly complicated, it can get very costly. Moreover, hourly fees give attorneys a financial incentive to devote more time to a case than it may warrant or the defendant is prepared to pay. Also, most criminal defense attorney fees set a minimum retainer fee that they keep even if a case is resolved with one phone call.

Fortunately, experienced criminal defense attorney usually can anticipate how many hours they are likely to spend on a case, and a defendant should not agree to an hourly charge without getting the attorney’s good-faith estimate of how much time the case is likely to take care of public trial.


Whether they bill by the hour or by the case,criminal lawyers near me canada typically want defendants to pay a retainer fee up front, before the attorney begins working on the case.

Case Billing

Criminal defense attorney fees charge by Lawyers for the case represent defendants for a fixed fee. For example, a lawyer may set a fee of few Dollars for a defendant charged with drunk driving. The best mississauga law firms canada fee would not change, regardless of the number of hours the lawyer devotes to the case. As with hourly billing, the case billing approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

Primary advantage: Certainty. Defendants know going in what their cost will be, and the attorney bears the risk of unforeseen complications.

Disadvantage: Feeling that you overpaid, or having to pay for trial. With a case billing set-up, a defendant may feel ripped off if the case settles very quickly. (In some quick settlement circumstances, attorneys will refund a portion of their fee. But many will not, and a client should not expect a refund if the case is resolved quickly.) Also, the fee may cover only the pretrial phase of the case; the attorney may require an additional substantial fee to actually try the case.

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As with other types of information, the defendant should clarify these points before hiring the attorney A defendant may also agree to pay an hourly fee but only up to an agreed-upon fixed sum. After that amount, the lawyer finishes the representation at no extra cost to a defendant. This approach combines the advantage of paying by the hour while minimizing the mishappening chances.

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