How Much Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost
As you begin your search for a criminal defense attorney, one of the deciding factors in your decision will probably be how much representation will cost you. This is, of course, a valid concern, but you also want to remember that the seriousness of the charges against you warrant that you seek out the best possible attorney you can afford. Do keep in mind the possible penalties you may face as you make your final attorney selection.
What follows is information to help you determine what you should be paying for effective criminal representation.
How much does a criminal defense attorney cost?
It is nearly impossible to give a ballpark estimate on the cost of criminal defense attorney, mainly because attorneys set their own prices and these can vary based on a variety of factors, including the following:
- Geographic area
- Attorney’s expertise and experience
- Complexity of your case
Regarding the complexity of your case, be aware that if you are charged with a felony, you are likely to be looking at a minimum of $15,000 for representation; for a misdemeanor, you will probably end up paying a minimum of $5,000. Be sure to meet with any potential criminal defense attorney in person, though, before transferring any money; you want to be absolutely sure this is the right person to represent you before paying anything.
Don’t be surprised, by the way, if a criminal defense attorney expects to receive most or all of his fees upfront before beginning work on your case.
How can I find out what fees are in my area?
The best thing you can do to get an idea of the going rate in your geographic area is to ask around among attorneys (many offer free consultations) and clients who have used their services; if you don’t know anyone who has been represented in a criminal matter, ask some attorneys for client references.