Personal Injury Attorney
Criminal defense attorneys can cost thousands of dollars in hourly rates and incidentals. As a defendant, it is difficult to find the money to afford a well-qualified attorney, and it can feel like the system is stacked against you. However, it is necessary to acknowledge that a high hourly or flat fee does not always correlate with trial experience and skill. To better equip you as you search for a defense lawyer, it is necessary to understand how costs add up, and also to examine possible alternatives to expensive representation.
An attorney fee is a cost for a particular lawyer’s representation. The base fee does not always cover all costs associated with a case, and that is crucial to know. Most lawyers base their initial price on their reputation and the type of criminal case. In other words, a successful private attorney arguing a murder trial will likely charge more than the same caliber attorney arguing a misdemeanor assault. Also, a highly regarded attorney will probably cost more than a lesser-known or proven lawyer. Regardless, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad and expensive doesn’t automatically mean good. It is always best to speak with several attorneys to understand the average cost of defending similar charges before committing to any lawyer or firm.
While fees are the standard costs of hiring an attorney, there are other expenses related to odd or incidental expenses. In most attorney-client agreements, there is a general expenditure set aside for paperwork and filings. However, beyond these known or assumed expenses, your attorney, during the trial, may need to hire private investigators or expert witnesses, which will all add to the final cost of your defense.
Alternatives for Low-Income Offenders
Fortunately, if you are a low-income offender, there are other more affordable options for legal counsel. For example, if you qualify, you can seek a court-appointed or public defender. Also, you can look for pro bono representation, which is free. However, not every lawyer will provide pro bono services. If you do not qualify for free representation, it is possible that you can hire a public defender for a small fee, depending on your income situation.
Hiring a defense attorney can be expensive, but it is all dependent on the specifics of your case. Experienced and reputable trial lawyers will charge a premium for their services, but everyone has a shot at an adequate and qualified defense. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your charges further to determine your best course of action, contact a local defense attorney, like a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA from the Morales Law Firm.