If you are facing the prospect of an arrest, or if you have already been charged with a crime, you no doubt have considered hiring an attorney. The criminal justice system can be overwhelming, especially for those experiencing it for the first time. While most people understand that hiring an attorney during this difficult process is important, it is understandable if you are concerned about the cost.
The expense of hiring an attorney to defend you depends on two primary factors: the attorney’s experience, and the criminal offense you face. For example, you could expect to pay a higher fee for defense counsel in a murder case compared to a DWI arrest. The length of your case could also come into play.
If you have questions about the cost of legal representation, the attorneys at Gerald Miller are ready to explain your options. Call our criminal defense lawyers in Minneapolis now to schedule your free consultation today.
What Could This Cost?
It is impossible to estimate the exact cost of legal representation without first speaking to a prospective criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis. After all, two attorneys might charge two very different rates for the same case. Often, this difference in rates will depend on a lawyer’s experience. Attorneys with years of experience have built a strong law practice and can charge a higher rate in some cases.
It is also important to understand that not every case is created equally. Traffic tickets are usually resolved with a single court appearance and do not require much in the way of legal work. Misdemeanors typically cost more, as they can be more complex. Felony cases might cost the most of all, especially for serious offenses like murder.
Finally, some attorneys will agree to a shifting fee schedule depending on how much effort a case requires. For example, an attorney might agree to take a case for a set fee if a case concludes with a negotiated settlement. That lawyer might then stair-step their fees should it result in a bench trial. If the trial is heard by a jury, they could raise the fee further.
The important thing is to discuss a fee arrangement with an attorney up front. Most criminal defense lawyers offer a free consultation. During this consultation, your attorney can advise you on what fees they charge. What’s more, they can let you know what payment options they might be willing to accept. By having this discussing up front, you can avoid any confusion in the future when the bill comes.
Will I Have to Pay Up Front?
In many cases, you will have to pay your full fee before an attorney will take your case. This is primarily the case when attorneys operate on a flat fee. The major exception is when lawyers bill by the hour. Attorneys that bill hourly usually require a retainer. A retainer is a pool of money the client must pay up front. Lawyers draw their legal fees from the retainer over time and require the client to add more money when it gets low.
Are There Free Attorneys?
You are guaranteed access to a lawyer throughout any criminal proceeding that could result in your imprisonment. Thanks to the 6th Amendment to the Constitution, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you if you are unable to afford one. However, your financial situation could result in the court refusing to appoint a lawyer if you have the means to pay for one.
Court-appointed attorneys—known as public defenders—typically have an enormous case load. These lawyers are often overworked and can lack the time necessary to dedicate to your case. When your freedom and future hang in the balance, hiring a private criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis could make the most sense in your situation.
Contact a Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
It is impossible to assign a monetary value to strong legal representation. For many people, a criminal conviction could alter their life forever. The right attorney could provide the advantages you need to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
If you are ready to discuss your options with a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer, the attorneys of Gerald Miller are here to help. Call on (612) 440-4610 right away to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today.