How Much Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?

Three women two men wearing professional attire standing in formation with arms crossedThis is obviously our most frequently asked question.  There is no one-size-fits-all answer because all crimes are different and all cases have their own unique factors.  We understand that an attorney is a major expense, which is why we offer payment plans. Remember, you get what you pay for. Our lawyers make sure to provide the best service for their price, no matter the charge.


Factors That Influence the Price of a Criminal Defense Lawyer:

The Class of the Crime

Charges of serious crimes require more legal work than minor misdemeanors, meaning they will usually cost more. Petty theft, first offense DWIs, and municipal violations will typically be less than sexual assault, homicide, and federal crimes. Typically, misdemeanors have set fees, while felonies can vary widely based upon the severity and complexity of the case.

The Evidence

 When you hire a lawyer you want them to fight for your best possible outcome. This is made more difficult by there being overwhelming evidence against you. It isn’t impossible, but it does take more time and work.

The Bond Process

Depending on the charge and the defendant, the bonds process can either go smoothly or require quite a bit of legwork from an attorney. If you are eligible for a Personal Bond or Bond Reduction, you will need an attorney to negotiate for you. 

The Payment Process

Flat Fee vs. Retainer

A criminal defense attorney typically requires a flat fee.  This is unlike family law, where you pay an attorney a retainer.  A retainer is when the attorney puts the money into a trust account and only charges you based on his hourly work.  A flat fee is not a retainer, the fee is earned in full at the time of payment.

The Two Potential Payments

There are 2 ways that a criminal defense attorney will charge you a flat fee: 

  1.  All of the fees, including a jury trial, or 
  2. A flat fee, which does not include a jury trial.  Under the second option, a separate jury-trial fee is required.  This is done to save you the fee in case a jury trial is not required.  

Again, we have no generic answer to this either, as it truly depends on the type of case. Motions to revoke probation (“community supervision”) or adjudicate typically carry lower fees as a jury trial is not legally an option.

Contact Case J. Darwin with any additional questions or help. We are always welcome to speak about pricing options and can find the correct payment plan for your situation.

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