When you’re charged with a criminal offense, you want the best lawyer on your side. The rest of your life is on the line, and you should be properly represented by someone who has your back no matter what. You might turn to a private lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA from The Morales Law Firm, to fight your case, but how much will that cost you? The following are some factors that often play into the final cost.
If an attorney is less experienced, he or she may also charge less. If an attorney has many years of experience, he or she may charge more. The type of experience an attorney has might also play a role in the cost you’ll pay. For example, if your criminal defense attorney has fought many fraud cases, but is trying to build experience dealing with violent crimes, he or she may charge less for your violent crimes case.
Keep in mind that experience could play into how long the case takes, which could also affect the final cost. For example, someone with a lot of experience fighting your type of accused crime could get the case settled in a significantly shorter amount of time than someone who is fighting your type of case for the first time. When charged on an hourly basis, the more experienced, seemingly more expensive attorney might actually end up being more affordable.
When a lawyer considers cost for a case, he or she may look at how complex the case is. Many attorneys charge a higher rate for felonies than they do for misdemeanors. This is because felonies typically take longer to fight, require more time in court, have higher penalties and demand a greater amount of time in preparation.
Location, Location, Location
Just like real estate, location is a big factor in what you’ll pay your attorney. If you hire someone who has to travel a fair distance for every investigation, every court date and every meeting with you or a witness, you might be getting charged for the travel time and the gas costs. If you hire someone locally, you most likely wouldn’t have many travel costs, if any.
Making Your Decision
For help in making the decision whether to hire a private lawyer, you should keep the aforementioned factors in mind. Speak with an attorney to learn how he or she bills, and to determine whether your case is worth what it would take to hire that attorney. For more information, contact a lawyer today and start asking questions.