No one plans to get tried in court or arrested, so many may not be financially prepared to hire a criminal defence attorney.
However, without one, it may be difficult for you to win the case even if you’re innocent. And in case the opposing party, despite being at fault, is influential in society, the situation can get even more complicated for you.
Hence, in this brief guide, we’ll be discussing the cost of an attorney from a criminal defence law firm in Scarborough so that you can seek their expertise whenever required.
Do Criminal Defence Attorneys Charge A Lot Of Money?
Although there is no straightforward answer to this question, we are certain that, much like other professional legal services, hiring a criminal lawyer can be expensive. However, paying for the services of an experienced criminal defence attorney is any day better than paying for penalties or going behind bars.
Hence, a criminal defence attorney in Scarborough with many years of experience and an impressive record will charge you more than a lawyer with lesser experience. Other factors that may influence the cost are as follows…
- Attorney’s skills
- Attorney’s charging system – by the hour or flat fee
- Attorney’s years of experience in practicing criminal defence
- Attorney’s experience in criminal court in that particular jurisdiction
- Whether the case goes to trial
- Complexity of the legal issues in the case
- Intensity of the charged offence (felony, misdemeanour, murder, drug possession, etc.)
Cost Of Criminal Defence Attorneys – Two Types Of Billing Methods
1. Flat Fee
While your preferred payment method may vary with the complexity of the case, most clients opt for flat fee billing. This method offers a sense of certainty to both the attorney and the client, making it a safe bet.
Note that an experienced criminal lawyer can customize the fee structure, ensuring quality representation without adding any financial burden.
2. Hourly Rate
The attorney may prefer to charge by the hour for very complex cases. So, while they go through your evidence, they will record the number of hours spent during the appointment and bill you accordingly.
Depending on the expertise of the criminal defence lawyer, the hourly rate may vary. This billing method can also add to your expenses, with the requirement of a “retainer.” It is like a security deposit that needs to be paid beforehand.
For instance, if a criminal defence attorney charges $300 per hour, they may require an upfront 10-hour retainer fee of $3,000. When the funds are exhausted, the attorney can ask you to replenish the retainer before continuing with your case.
This practice continues till the case is over. Hence, be careful about legal bills adding up quickly in this billing system. In fact, sometimes, the cost may go upto $10,000-$15,000 per month.
Despite the large variation caused by different factors, we hope this guide helped you gain some insight into a criminal defence attorney’s fees.
If you’re still on the fence about hiring a criminal defence attorney, let us reiterate that their experience and knowledge can prove your innocence or even help you plead guilty. However, in the case of the latter, they can advocate on your behalf and ensure you obtain the lowest possible penalty.
For further guidance, we highly suggest contacting an experienced criminal lawyer in Scarborough.