As you’re facing a criminal charge or arrest, you may be considering whether to hire a private defense attorney. You may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, but there are benefits to hiring your own lawyer if you are able. Could hiring a private defense attorney work with your financial situation? How much does it cost to hire a lawyer? Check it out!
How Do Attorneys Charge?
Most criminal defense attorneys charge on an hourly basis. This is a protection to the attorney, as some criminal cases last a lot longer than originally anticipated. There could be some extensive investigations that take place as well, and those will also need to be paid for.
If the attorney doesn’t charge by the hour, he or she may charge a flat rate. These rates are assigned by the type of case. For example, anytime a lawyer represents someone for a traffic violation, he or she may charge a flat rate of $1,000. For something more serious, like possession of illegal drugs, he or she may charge a flat rate of $2,000 for every person who is charged with that same crime.
How Do Attorneys Come Up with a Rate?
When you look around at different attorneys, you’ll realize one might charge a higher hourly rate than another. Why is this the case? Every attorney has different experience in criminal law, a different educational experience and could also practice in different geographical areas. If the case is particularly complex, the attorney might charge a higher rate. If it’s a simple misdemeanor that could be concluded in a short amount of time, the lawyer may not charge as much.
When Do Attorneys Ask for Money?
In many cases, an attorney will ask for a retainer before beginning the case. This is a certain amount of money that you would pay, guaranteeing the lawyer will work for a specified amount of time. For example, if a lawyer charges $100 per hour, he or she may ask for $2,000 up front to cover the first 20 hours of representation. Once those hours are used up, the lawyer might ask for an additional payment of another amount.
Have You Contacted an Attorney?
If you are charged with or arrested for a crime, it could be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA. Learning as much as possible about how your attorney charges will help you understand if you can afford the attorney. Contact a lawyer today to get started.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and hiring a private defense attorney.