When you need a criminal defense attorney, you need a criminal defense attorney.
You can’t possibly put a price on your freedom, or the freedom of your
loved ones. Having said that, the fact that you value freedom doesn’t
mean you should let yourself get ripped off. You owe it to yourself to
find an attorney who is both a competent provider of legal services as
well as a fair and compassionate human being. In order to do that, you
must first develop an understanding of how defense attorneys generally
charge for their services, and what is considered a “fair price”.
For the most part, defense attorneys charge on an hourly basis. The
reason for this is that there is no real way to tell, in advance, how
much time or effort will be involved in any given case. After all,
criminal defense work is, by its very nature, contentious. And whenever
there is dispute, there is always unpredictability, because you never
know what the other side will do (in this case, we’re referring to the
Of course, as with anything in the legal industry, there are notable
exceptions. The most prominent exception to the hourly fee rule is DUI
defense; that is, defending people who have been accused of driving
under the influence of alcohol. Another prominent exception is
defending people for traffic tickets. Finally, the third most common
type of defense work that escapes the regiment of hourly fees is
expungement, which is a fancy legal word for getting people’s criminal records to be sealed.
In all three of these cases, there is a common thread, which is that
the case has a natural lifetime. Whether the defense succeeds or fails,
it will only take so long. This shelf life, if you will, enables the
lawyer to estimate (in the worst case scenario) how much time and effort
will be involved, and as a result, the attorney is able to assign a
flat fee price.
In another article, we will proceed to put some numbers onto this story in order to give you a better idea of how much attorneys charge for DUI defense, how much attorneys charge for fighting traffic tickets, and how much attorneys charge for expungement.