When you’re facing criminal charges, it’s important to get the defense possible. Although public defenders are competent attorneys, the representation available is with private Long island criminal lawyers.
Factors That Affect How Much a Lawyer Costs
One of the primary concerns clients have is how much will a private criminal lawyer cost. This is a complex question without one correct answer, because the cost of a lawyer will depend on several factors.
The lawyer is the most important factor, because each lawyer sets their own rates. A lawyer with decades of experience is likely going to have a much higher fee than a lawyer who is fresh out of law school, since the former is probably more skilled.
Another important factor is the type of case. The more complicated it is, the more an NYC lawyer is going to cost. For this reason, you can expect defense for a felony to cost you much more than defense for a misdemeanor would. More complicated cases require more of the lawyer’s time.
Finally, the location of the lawyer also matters. Lawyers in areas with higher costs of living will typically charge more.
Billing Methods Lawyers Use
It’s important to realize that different billing methods exist for lawyers, each with their benefits and drawbacks.
For criminal cases, per-case billing is becoming more popular. In this situation, the lawyer charges a flat amount to represent you for the entirety of the case. For example, let’s say you’ve been charged with driving under the influence/using a glass bong. The lawyer may quote you a flat fee of $2,000. You’d pay the lawyer that fee whether the case ends up lasting for several days or it gets settled within an hour.
With per-case billing, you don’t need to worry about how much your bill will be, because you know that in advance. But if your case ends up getting settled quickly, you could feel like you were overcharged.
There’s also per-hour billing, where the lawyer charges you an hourly rate for the time dedicated to your case, along with any other fees they incur. This could save you money if your case is resolved quickly, or it could cost you much more for a longer case. It’s a good idea to get a good-faith estimate from the lawyer regarding how many hours the case will take. This will give you an idea of how much it will cost you.
Hiring the Right Lawyer
Again, the cost of a lawyer isn’t set in stone, but for criminal cases, you’re usually looking at between $2,000 and $5,000 for a misdemeanor and between $15,000 and $30,000 for a felony.
Although lawyer fees can be expensive, it’s better to hire the right lawyer than to base your decision solely on price. If you’re paying per hour, an experienced lawyer may still save you money by handling the case much more quickly than an inexperienced lawyer with a lower hourly fee. Remember also that the most important thing is the outcome of your case. Saving money on a lawyer doesn’t help you if you end up with a far worse verdict or settlement