If you have been arrested and accused of a crime, you face some potentially stiff penalties, including prison time. No matter what the situation is, you are entitled to an attorney to help you mount a legal defense. You want the best outcome possible. You also deserve a fair trial and for the court to uphold your interests and rights. A good lawyer will help you do this. You may be worried about the financial aspects of your legal defense. It requires a significant financial commitment to hire a lawyer. As a DUI lawyer from a firm like the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can explain, it is helpful to know what you can expect to pay for an attorney.
The Nature of the Case
Your total costs will depend on many factors. One of these is what your case looks like. Criminal cases have a lot at stake and can therefore become complex and lengthy. A DUI case is likely to cost you less than a murder case due to how long it is and the number of witnesses and experts your lawyer calls to testify on your behalf.
Criminal defense lawyers often charge by the hour. These rates can be anywhere from low hundreds per hour to near $1,000 per hour. This will depend on the lawyer’s experience and whether he or she specializes in criminal law such as matters concerning rape, murder, or robbery. Other lawyers may charge a flat rate. This is an agreed-upon cost that the lawyer will charge regardless of the time it takes to try the case and the other factors involved.
The flat rate for a criminal case may exceed $10,000. There is also the possibility that you will have to pay a retainer. This acts like a down payment where you pay a certain amount upfront before the lawyer works on your case. This fee can be a few thousand dollars or more, depending on your case and the lawyer’s experience and reputation.
Lowering Your Costs
It is disheartening enough that you are involved in a criminal case. Throwing expensive fees on top of your situation only adds to the stress and grief. If you cannot afford lawyers’ fees, you may be eligible for a court-appointed attorney. This is based on your income and household size. This legal representation will be of no cost to you.
The financial aspects of hiring a criminal defense attorney can be overwhelming. It’s important to prepare yourself ahead of time so you can make the necessary arrangements.