As if being charged with a crime isn’t stressful enough, you have to consider the economical impact of this predicament. If you want expert legal help on your side, you’ll need to make a financial commitment. It may seem that experienced, skilled attorneys cost a lot. However, you can rest at ease knowing you’re getting expert help during a difficult time. To prepare yourself for these fiscal requirements, it’s good to have an idea of what you can expect to pay your criminal defense lawyer in San Mateo, CA.
Pay Rates Have a Wide Range
Before you stress too much about paying your lawyer, understand that many factors determine these rates. Your lawyer could charge anywhere between $150 to $700 an hour for his or her services. Remember, that the lawyer will bill you for anything and everything he or she does on your behalf for the case. This includes phone calls and other communication with you and other people involved in the case. Total costs for a defense case can climb to $10,000 or more.
Level of Experience
Before hiring a lawyer, you need to find the right balance of working with a lawyer you can afford and working with one you know has a proven history of handling cases like yours. A brand-new lawyer will charge you less than a veteran attorney. However, this person may not yet have developed all the attributes you need in a defense lawyer.
Size of the Firm
If you hire an attorney from a large law firm, you are likely to pay a higher rate than if you were to work with someone from a smaller one. However, Lawyers at larger firms often have direct access to more resources and colleagues to help build your case.
Location of Firm
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when hiring a lawyer. If you live in a larger city, you’ll have many options to choose from. However, attorneys who practice in urban areas typically charge a higher hourly rate, as the field here is competitive. If you look in smaller nearby areas, you may have more luck finding more affordable options.
Be aware that some lawyers will also charge a retainer fee before he or she starts working on your case. Think of this as a down payment. These fees are often 10 times the lawyer’s hourly rate.
When you start to look for defense attorneys, consider the costs. Use this as a guide to prepare yourself.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and the cost of a private criminal defense lawyer.