How Much Will a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?

How Much Will a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?

If you were arrested and are facing criminal charges, it’s natural that you have a lot of questions. America’s criminal justice system is incredibly complex and the consequences for even minor crimes could range from a few hours of community service to several years serving jail time. If you plan to plead either “not guilty’ or “guilty” for a lightened sentence, you should have a skilled criminal justice attorney by your side.

You have a constitutional right to an attorney if you are ever convicted. If you elect not to find your own attorney, the state will provide one for you. However, if the Court decides that your finances show that you can afford to hire an attorney, they will suggest you proceed down that route.

What Will the Criminal Justice Lawyer Do?

A criminal justice attorney will stand by your side through the entire legal process and will ensure that you are equipped with any potential defenses against the claims. For the attorney, there is a lot more involved then simply standing before the court. A skilled criminal justice lawyer will spend hours pouring over research and testimonies so they can determine the best way to negotiate with the judge. They will also examine any witnesses, asses the defendant’s sentence, help formulate pleas and give defendants realistic expectations for the results of the case.

How Much Will I Have to Pay?

Since each criminal justice case is unique to the individual, there is rarely a flat rate for criminal justice attorneys. The pricing depends on a variety of factors beginning with the defendant’s reported income. There are also special prices for defense attorneys who will need to do more digging into their defendant’s case. Defense lawyers that have to conduct thorough investigations or bring in outside experts will require additional fees.

There are also several attorney fees that vary case to case, altering the final rate of the lawyer. These fees fluctuate based on certain factors:

  • Attorney skill level and experience 
  • Offense severity
  • Amount of time required for the case
  • Complexity of the case
  • Trial requirement 

Certain lawyers do charge a flat fee for smaller cases like traffic tickets or misdemeanor charges. This fee can range from $1,000 to $3,000. Additionally, other lawyers offer a per hour rate, usually of $150 each hour. This can be beneficial to your wallet if you foresee a speedy trial. However, this could get quite costly if the trial takes longer than originally expected.

If you are currently facing any kind of charges, reach out to a criminal justice lawyer, like a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA from the Morales Law Firm, for a consultation about your options. You have a constitutional right to an attorney and, in this terrifying situation, it could be a relief to have someone by your side.