Factors that Affect a Private Attorney’s Cost

If you were charged with a criminal offense, you’ll want a lawyer to defend you. Criminal cases can get very involved, so it’s best to have a legal professional on your side. If you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, one will be assigned to you. If you have the funds to pay for a private lawyer, you might try to go that route instead. How much is a private attorney likely to cost? The following are some factors that might play a role.

Case Complexity

Criminal cases can vary greatly, from being accused of petty theft to being accused of multiple murders. The more complex the case, the more it will probably end up costing the defendant when all is said and done. Felonies are often charged at a higher rate than misdemeanors, and that’s because they generally require more preparation, more investigating, more court appearances and more time to handle altogether.

Attorney Experience

Every attorney will have a different level of experience that will impact how much they can charge, or how much they choose to charge. For example, one attorney may have twenty years of experience defending criminal cases for similar charges to your own. He or she might charge a greater fee than an attorney who is in his or her first year of defending criminal cases such as yours. You have to decide if you’d rather have the experience or the lower fees.

Court Location

If you decide to hire an attorney who lives and practices in another state or another county, you will typically have to pay for his or her travel costs. Keep in mind there may be multiple court appearances, as well as times the lawyer will need to interview witnesses or collect evidence. All of these things will take time and the lawyer will have to travel to and from his or her out-of-county office to complete them. This could make your attorney fee substantially higher.

Billing Type

Most criminal defense attorneys charge on an hourly basis, though there are some who charge based on the case. Case billing is typically done for lesser crimes that won’t take as much time to fight in court. Hourly billing is typically done for greater crimes that are predicted to last a much longer time. There are benefits to both, and depending on the crime you’re accused of, one may be more expensive than the other.

Contacting a Lawyer to Learn More

The best way to determine how much a private criminal defense lawyer is likely to cost is by speaking with an attorney. Contact a criminal defense attorney today to learn more. Contact an attorney, like Criminal Lawyer Civic Center, San Francisco, CA, today for more information.

Thank you to the Hallinan Law Firm for their insight into criminal law cases.