When you’ve been charged with a crime, you are most likely going to need the professional assistance of a criminal justice lawyer. The first question that pops into your mind at this possibility is probably: “How much does a lawyer cost?” Unfortunately, this answer can become convoluted quickly. Many criminal cases require different legal needs, and you may end up paying more or less than another person charged with a crime. To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s an average breakdown of costs and the importance of hiring a lawyer.
You may expect to pay a lawyer anything between $150 to $700 per hour of work. Factors that may impact your total cost include the type of crime you’ve been charged with, the length of your case, if your case requires trial work, and the experience of your attorney. Experienced attorneys charge more than novices. The type of experience you require for your case determines a large portion of the cost.
Criminal justice lawyers can cost so much because they work by an hourly fee. Unlike other kinds of lawyers, who may work on contingency fees or flat fees, criminal lawyers often feel that their time is best paid by the hour. You may end up paying a retainer fee initially, which covers a certain amount of time for the lawyer. After that time has been used up, an hourly fee begins to apply.
Since the cost of a lawyer can be so steep, it may be tempting to represent yourself in your case to save money. This is not advised, as criminal defense can be incredibly complex and confusing. You want to make sure you have the right defense and that the charges brought against you are fair and actually reflect your crime. An attorney can help lessen penalties and reduce sentences.
Hiring an Attorney
If you’ve decided to hire a lawyer, like a criminal lawyer in Civic Center San Francisco, CA from Hallinan Law Firm, you should act quickly to find one to represent you. However, it is important to be careful in your selection. Consider the lawyer’s success rate with past cases similar to your own, cost, experience, and even location. These factors can help you narrow down a choice. Don’t hesitate to speak to a lawyer in person to get a feel for them and to make sure you can work efficiently together. If you have been accused of a crime, reaching out to a lawyer sooner than later can benefit your case greatly.