How Much Does Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost

One of the world’s most feared and avoided incident is to be arraigned in the court of law, with your freedom of everything at risk. Not only your liberty, you may have a slight case to answer but then here comes the criminal defense attorney fees! There is absolutely no question of why is it this much to have a lawyer represent you, I mean, they are professionals, trained and certified to do what they do best, spend thousands of dollars to get that title so why not charge as much?

Cost Variation in Criminal Defense Attorney Fees

There are several reasons as to why Attorney fees vary from one attorney to the other or from one court of law to another, take a look at some listed below:

Nature of the case: This is one of the most common determinants that will give a clear indication of the estimated criminal defense lawyer cost. Just like any other services out there, the complexity and state of the charges one is charged with will determine the amount of money they will pay their lawyers.

criminal defence lawyer costThink of it like this yeah? You go to the barber shop; you want some stylish haircut and some hair treatment, do you expect to pay the same amount as that guy who only wants to clear off his head with zero styles done? Obviously no. The nature of your case is going to highly affect the amount of money you will pay your attorney.

The complexity of the charges: Look at it this way, a guy gets caught somewhere on s cell phone store with a $1000 stolen mobile phone. Furious with the cheap thief, the owner calls the police and says that the phone is worth $2000 and not only that one, but five more are also missing from the same store and the same counter.

To worsen the situation, the guy had bought another phone of similar make the other day, and he is in possession of it. See this sums the case to be somehow sensible, and there is something to answer for in the court of law. Alone you may have no chance of escaping charges of GRAND THEFT, but a quality lawyer could be of great help here. Some complicated charges are billed higher than average because of the unclear detailing of everything.

Lawyers Year of Experience and Reputation: Self-explanatory isn’t it? You wouldn’t need to go around asking how much does a criminal lawyer cost when there are several new fresh graduates around. They will relatively take small amounts to kick-start their career and get some experience. On the other hand, once you go for a top rated lawyer, ten years of experience and with a remarkable reputation, expect to pay huge criminal defense attorney fees.

The size of the law firm: On the national level criminal courts, there is a load of cases filed every day. The bigger the law firm, the more work it has. Huge workload makes it so hard for every single case to be heard and resolved completely and to everyone’s satisfaction. In such a case where demand exceeds supply, every case is very crucial and highly costly.

Estimated Cost Breakdown

To successfully hire an attorney and go all through with case representation till the final call, one will pay at least three different types of payments.

Attorney fees: The general payments for the services of helping you with your case. Whether you are the one in the risk of been sentenced or the accuser, your attorney fees is a must. Most of the lawyers are hourly paid. In general, the amount ranging from $100-300 per hour is at stake. This could be more depending on the various issues we discussed above.

Retainer fees: This is a calculated amount that is paid before the case starts, it is inclusive of all the attorney’s fees. At any time when it’s exhausted depending on the hours the attorney has served you, one will have to pay their lawyer for the presentation to continue. This upfront fee depends as well on the said factors, for the worst case, a felony case retainer could range from $5000-10000, and it could be more up to $20000 depending on the case.

For felony cases, some attorneys charge a flat rate of $5000-10000 regardless of how many hours it may take. In some of these cases, the case could either be a lost one even from the start and so the attorney is for sure aware of the outcome or the case is likely to take few hours to completion. Many of the times, this kind of payment doesn’t prove to be all losses to the attorney.

Other payments: Hiring a lawyer doesn’t sort out everything, other various issues will cost you money as well. In felony cases, they will most likely require testimony expert witness who could cost up to $7000. This amount is not inclusive to whatever you paid the attorney. Lawyers working on hourly rates charge for any other time taken answering your phones or your emails. Other case-related expenses such as interviews, photocopying or researching costs will as well be on you.

Do You Need An Attorney?

Realistically, when one is wrongly charged he/she has all the rights to defend themselves in the court of law. In many times though you find that some people opt to go out there without any lawyers. For several reasons, this is justifiable. If you are sure that no matter who your attorney will be, you will naturally fail, then why should you incur criminal lawyer defense costs? With the criminal attorney fees being outrageous in felony cases, one could opt to plead guilty and calmly accept their punishment.

There are cases when the accused is unable to pay for an attorney, in this case, the court can get one for you to help with your case. In many times when this happens, one’s financial strength is investigated and interviews will be done to him by the set committee, once found that he qualifies for a government attorney, one is allocated to him/her.


When shopping for a lawyer, make sure that you get the correct one, qualified with undisputable experience and reputation. Learners will most probably not deliver and most likely will let you down. Pay some more money and get yourself the best services around. Do some extensive research on how much does a criminal lawyer cost then you will realize that the amount is not a lie. Everyone is paying that amount for the services.

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