It is not uncommon for defendants to worry about finding and affording a criminal defense attorney. After all, many lawyers can cost upwards of $150 per hour, and that is not even including other trial and defense costs. However, you need not fret. Every defendant has a right to legal representation, but you still need to understand how prices are broken down, so you can choose adequate representation.
Each attorney has their own fee structure and cost. Some choose hourly structures, and for private lawyers, it is not shocking to find some charging $150 to $700 per hour. However, do not feel overwhelmed by the apparent high cost. Some lawyers include certain expenses in their fees, so it is up to you to discuss the specifics of the charges.
Lawyers who choose to charge a flat rate, are typically more selective about their clients and the cases they want. Most attorneys charging a flat fee take misdemeanor cases or those cases with a predictable timetable.
While the high cost of a private defense attorney can be intimidating, keep in mind that your income can play a role in your options. If you do not have enough money to hire a private attorney, then the court can appoint a lawyer. Also, if your income does not meet the threshold for a free defense, you may still qualify for a partially covered court-appointed attorney.
Beyond fees, you also need to consider the cost of any investigative work that is necessary for your defense. Most private lawyers will want to have their team investigate your case to ensure that police followed protocols. Also, investigation fees will help pay for researchers.
The last fee you will need to consider is the costs of expert witnesses. Experts can cost anywhere between $200 to several thousand dollars, depending on their importance to the overall case. While you may want to avoid this extra expense, remember that the prosecution may have expert witnesses, so having your own ensures a strong defense.
Every defendant has a right to adequate representation. Unfortunately, the cost of a private defense attorney can be quite extravagant. Thankfully, if you meet the threshold, the court can appoint an attorney for you, so you are positive to receive fair counsel. If you would like more information about specific costs related to hiring a private attorney, then contact a criminal defense attorney, like from Morales Law Firm.