You might never consider how legal fees are structured until you are under duress and need to take action. The need for representation after an arrest is indisputable. Support will be important if you are to fight for your innocence, challenge illegal law enforcement actions, prepare for a trial, and deal with a plea bargain offer. The punishment if you are convicted of a crime is life-changing, so it's vital you take an assertive approach to deal with your criminal case. To get a better idea of what to expect in terms of paying your criminal lawyer, read on.
Flat Fee Charges
If you need legal help for a limited purpose, such as representation after being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you might be quoted a flat fee that covers a limited period of support. It might work like this: The lawyer evaluates your case by reviewing the arrest report, the charges, and any known evidence at the time. The lawyer then offers to help with the criminal matter and charges a flat fee to work on the case. Regardless of how many hours (or how few) they work, the charge is the same.
The legal fee agreement contract states what the fee covers and what might happen if you need more help. In some cases, the flat fee might only cover advice and representation if a plea bargain is accepted. In others, it includes help with the trial. Trials are a lot of work, and you might have a separate fee for that service. Flat fees are good for those who need a limited amount of help and have a certain budget figure in mind.
Hourly Legal Fees
The other way to deal with legal fees is to be billed by the hour. When you have a complicated case and the charges are serious, you might only be able to get representation by agreeing to hourly fees. The fees are hourly and accounted for, but clients often are asked to pay a certain sum upfront to get the case started. Once that amount of money (sometimes called a retainer) is used up, the billing is on a regular basis. Be sure to find out what to expect by asking what average similar case fees might be.
Legal fees vary according to the location, area of the law, experience of the lawyer, and complexity of the case. When your freedom is on the line, it's advisable to place a high priority on competent legal support. Speak to a criminal defense attorney to find out more about legal fees.