Know What To Expect With Criminal Legal Fees After An Arrest

Being arrested can create some life-changing issues but there is much you can do to decrease the impact. Without a doubt, having a private attorney handle your criminal matter is one of the smartest moves you can make. A criminal defense lawyer can cope with your bail and release from jail, plea bargain possibilities, criminal case preparation, and representation at the trial. If you aim to fight for your innocence, you need a lawyer. Unfortunately, some may be hesitant to hire a private attorney due to worries about cost. Read on and learn a bit more about how lawyers are paid.

Fees For Legal Services

Attorneys are paid using one of three ways. Contingency fee arrangements, though, are not used when dealing with criminal law matters. That way of paying legal fees is based on a percentage of a financial settlement or judgment and thus is only appropriate when dealing with Social Security, personal injury, and workers' compensation cases. The two ways to pay for criminal representation are hourly and flat fees.

Hourly Fees

If you have ever heard the term retainer in connection with a legal matter, it was probably concerning hourly fees. The retainer can be considered a deposit that is paid before the case begins. The retainer is then billed against using hourly calculations. Once the retainer has been used up, the client must replenish or pay the balance at the end of the case. This type of billing is common for more complicated and serious legal matters like felonies. You will sign a representation agreement that spells out the hourly rate, the retainer, and what the fees cover.

Flat Fees

Some people like to pay one single legal fee and have it over with, and that is exactly what flat fees are. In most cases, you may be quoted a flat fee after you explain the case. Flat fees are common when the attorney anticipates performing limited actions on behalf of the client. Cases with flat-fee options are usually simple to resolve and may address misdemeanors, traffic violations, and more. Since even misdemeanor crimes can include some jail time, flat-fee pricing allows clients support for a wide variety of cases like driving under the influence (DUI), minor drug possession offenses, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and more. With this type of pricing, the number of hours the attorney works on the case is irrelevant.

Beyond the two common ways of dealing with criminal matters, fees will vary by location, attorney experience and reputation, and the details of the alleged crime. Speak to a criminal defense attorney to find out more.