If you’re considering hiring a criminal lawyer, you’re probably facing a serious situation. You may not be guilty and want someone to fight for your rights. Maybe you are guilty and want to make sure that you find the best solution. A felony charge can affect your future by preventing you from getting employed in certain industries. You may be required to pay hefty fines. You might even be facing jail time.
Under the Constitution, you are guaranteed the right to counsel for criminal cases. If you can’t afford an attorney, the court may appoint a defense attorney for you. If you can afford a lawyer, you’re probably worried about the cost. Should you hire one or represent yourself?
How Much Does It Cost to Defend Criminal Charges?
A criminal defense attorney isn’t cheap. Your case isn’t like any other. Many cases are very complex. Your lawyer may need to hire expert witnesses and investigators to show your innocence or explain test results. When determining how much a lawyer costs, those elements must be taken into account. To form a strong defense, your lawyer will have added expenses on top of their own fees.
Attorney fees vary based on a number of factors. The skill and experience of the attorney are definitely one thing that increases the costs of an attorney. Some attorneys charge more when they represent you in court. Your fees may depend on the complexity of the case and how much time the attorney will have to spend working on your case.
Some attorneys charge a flat fee for the case, tacking on expenses in addition to the fees. Other attorneys charge an hourly rate. If tasks can be delegated to clerks or paralegals, you may save money. Because criminal cases are so different, most criminal defense attorneys charge hourly fees. Many times, the lawyer won’t know exactly how many hours will be required to fight your case until they get in and do the work.
You may be required to pay a retainer to the lawyer to cover a certain amount of work. The lawyer’s time is billed against the money you pay. When that amount runs out, you pay more. This prevents the lawyer from losing billable hours if you don’t pay your bill.
Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?A criminal defense lawyer can seem expensive, but you should count that expense against going to jail and not having an income. Contact a criminal defense lawyer, like a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA from the Morales Law Firm, to help you find the best possible outcome for your situation.