Criminal Defense Attorney in Redwood City, CA
At the absolute lower limit of the scale, the answer is nothing. If you are accused of a criminal offense, the Constitution guarantees your right to representation by an attorney regardless of your ability to pay for legal services. If you are unable to pay for an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you.
Before that happens, however, the court will examine your income and assets to determine whether or not you can afford an attorney. If you have the means to hire a lawyer of your own, the court will not appoint one.
If the court will not appoint an attorney for you, you have the option of representing yourself, but that could end up costing you more in the long run, and not just in terms of money. Understanding what specifically your lawyer will charge you for can help you to decide whether or hire one for your case.
- Your Previous Criminal History- If you have had previous trouble with the law, your attorney will likely require more negotiation, preparation, and representation. Basically, your lawyer will have to work harder, and that can make the total cost go up.
- The Complexity of the Case- Generally speaking, the complexity of the case relates to the severity of the charges. Though it may not always hold true, a misdemeanor is usually less complex than a felony. An attorney will invest a greater number of hours preparing for and litigating a more complex case, and this again translates to higher fees.
- The Attorney’s Experience and Skills- The more experience your attorney has, the better his or her success rate with high-profile cases, and the more prestigious law school he or she attended, the more you can expect to be charged in legal fees.
In addition to how much your attorney charges, it is also important to understand the fee structure. For example, some lawyers charge a flat fee per case, while others charge by the hour. If you have a set amount of money you can pay or you anticipate that the case may last a long time, it is to your advantage to hire an attorney who charges a flat rate. However, if you don’t have limits on what you can spend or have reason to believe that your case may be resolved quickly, it is more advantageous to hire a lawyer who charges an hourly rate.
On average, the cost to hire a criminal defense attorney in Redwood City, CA is usually about $4,000 to $5,000.Though it represents an expense now, keep in mind that it could save you from having to pay exorbitant fines and penalties, or worse, having to spend time in jail.
Contact The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense and the cost of hiring a lawyer.