How Much Does A Criminal Lawyer Cost?

If there is a criminal charge against you, it is paramount that you hire a criminal lawyer to defend you in court. Failure to do so, or if you risk undertaking the court proceedings yourself, can result in you suffering harsh criminal penalties, such as fines, jail time, or both.

Unfortunately, many individuals are put off by the notion of hiring a lawyer due to their high fees. Having an understanding of what your lawyers and why can aid your search for a defence attorney that fits into your budget and supports your case.

Therefore, we will look at the factors that influence a lawyer’s fees, the difference between a flat fee and hourly rates and why you should hire them regardless.

What Impacts the Cost of a Criminal Lawyer?

Just like most other professional industries, the rate of the lawyer is impacted by several external factors. This can include the following:

  • The defendant’s income – Your personal income determines whether you are eligible for a court-appointed attorney or if you have to obtain a criminal lawyer yourself. If you have enough money to support yourself, then it’s likely that you’ll have to pay the lawyer yourself, thereby affecting their fees.
  • The complexity of the case, and its work requirements – There is a chance that in order for you to successfully win your case, investigations and expert analysis will be required to build your defence. Hiring such professionals may prove costly, and the lawyer might include in their overall billing or charge you directly for them. Experts can include psychologists, professionals in particular industries, psychiatrists and medical professionals.
  • The lawyer’s own fees – The lawyer has to be compensated for their work, and that widely depends on their qualifications in the first place. Their skills, success in the courtroom, experience (ENTER, the seriousness of the offence, if the case goes to trial or not, and, as we mentioned above, the complexity of the legal issues in the case will incur higher charges for the lawyer. You also have to consider additional support from the lawyer’s team, such as the delegation of tasks to law clerks or paralegals and the amount of time spent by the attorney in the case’s research.

Criminal lawyers charge for their fees in two ways: flat fee and by the hour. Choosing one over the odd will have an impact on the overall costs of their service.

Flat Fee Vs. Hourly Work

Due to the fact that no criminal case is identical, most attorneys choose to charge an hourly fee for their work. The length and complexity of the case mean that extensive work is required, and the varying nature of the criminal process means that if they were to charge a flat fee, they would not be fairly compensated for their time and effort.

Hourly billing rates will greatly vary depending on the ability of the lawyer and your case. You could be charged anywhere from $150 to $700 an hour, without the added fees of court appearances and expert witness and analysis. As such, legal bills for criminal matters can get into the $10,000 to $15,000 range rather quickly.

In some cases, lawyers will have a retainer fee, which will automatically start once the hours assigned under that retainer has expired. This might be offered before their work begins.

Flat fees, on the other hand, are not commonly used unless for simple misdemeanour charges. Because the outcome is pretty much guaranteed, there is no need to charge extra for the lawyer’s time. However, in some cases, flat-fee arrangements come with an additional cost if matters go to court and if the outcome is favourable.

Why You Should Hire A Lawyer Regardless

While it might be important to note what attorneys might charge for their services, when harsh penalties are on the line and your livelihood, hiring a criminal lawyer is worth it.

Having a well-qualified and successful lawyer on your side can help assert your defence and reduce the chances of you suffering from severe consequences. They will guide you through the entire criminal process, which can be complex and difficult, considering the differences in criminal charges from case to case.

If you wish to represent yourself “pro se”, you should still consult a lawyer about your case and defence. Gaining an insight into how the lawyer might approach your case, ensure that the charges brought against you are appropriate and advise you how to proceed.

Regardless, if you have been charged with a criminal offence, it is best to seek a criminal lawyer’s support.

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The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

Everyone knows that it’s dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, many people do it anyway and put others in harm’s way. When someone chooses to drive their vehicle under the influence, they increase the risk of being involved in an accident. Below is more information about what legally constitutes driving under the influence and the consequences a drunk driver might face if arrested in Florida.

What’s Considered DUI?

You could face a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) if you’re in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and:

  • Under the influence of alcohol, illegal controlled substances, or harmful chemical substance; or
  • Have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08% per 210 liters of breath or per 100 milliliters of blood.

When a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, it isn’t easy to control the vehicle and focus on the road ahead. Driving under the influence can lead to any of the following symptoms:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Decreased alertness
  • Altered sensory perception
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

DUI Penalties in Florida

Driving Under the Influence The penalty you face will depend on various factors, including whether you have a prior DUI conviction and the severity of your offense.

According to Florida statute chapter 316, section 193(2)(a), you could face the following penalties:

  • First DUI conviction: Maximum of six months in jail and between $500 and $1,000 fine
  • Second DUI conviction: Maximum of nine months in jail and between $1,000 and $2,000 fine

You could also lose your driver’s license for 180 days to a year for a first-time offender or up to five years if you’re a second-time offender. Florida statutes might require that you install an ignition interlock device to check your alcohol levels before you’re allowed to start the car.

The penalties for three or more DUI convictions are below.

  • Third DUI within ten years of the last one: Maximum of five years in jail and up to $5,000 fine
  • Third DUI more than ten years after the last one: Maximum of twelve months in jail and between $2,000 and $5,000 fine
  • Fourth DUI or more: Maximum of five years in jail and at least $2,000 in fines

Enhanced Penalties for Bodily Injury or Death

If you cause an accident in Florida while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face enhanced penalties for injuries or fatalities that occur.

If your DUI offense leads to property damage or bodily harm, you could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Causing severe bodily injury is a third-degree felony with a five-year jail sentence and up to $5,000 in fines.

If you’re facing a DUI conviction and your accident contributed to the death of someone else or an unborn child, that’s considered DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony. The penalty is a maximum of $10,000 fine and up to fifteen years in jail. If you fled the accident scene and an injured person ended up dying, you could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

What to Do If You’re Arrested and Charged with a DUI

If you are arrested or charged with DUI, you should seek legal representation immediately. If you wait too long, you could unknowingly give up your rights and risk the future of your legal case.

When you’re facing a DUI conviction, it can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. You won’t have to go through this alone. A criminal defense attorney will stay by your side from start to finish of your case and make themselves available to provide you with the support and guidance you need. It’s crucial to remember than an arrest never guarantees a conviction, so make sure to hire an attorney to defend your rights.

If you were arrested or charged with DUI and don’t know what to do next, make sure to contact a Pensacola DUI lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. Your lawyer will evaluate the case against you and will discuss the strategies necessary to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

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Defending Violent Crimes in Grand Rapids, Michigan

When a person commits a physical crime, it becomes a serious issue, and death cases are most serious of all the crimes. While considering a particular offense, a prosecutor will look at what kind of weapon is used in the crime or what kind of injury the victim got in the criminal incident.

Violent Crime Charges

Violent crime, also called assault, varies significantly across the state of Michigan. There are several classes or categories of assault laws. The basic definition of an assault offense begins with an assault. An assault is simply an unlawful and deliberate threat of bodily harm to another person who may take an action. Also, the victim needs to recognize the expected threat.

A more common violent crime is associated with another element of assault, which is known as a battery. Battery exists when a person comes into intentional and deliberate contact with a victim, and this happens against the consent of the victim.

The most severe misdemeanor charge is aggravated assault, which requires that you cause “serious or aggravated injury.”

An assault committed with a dangerous weapon is called Felonious Assault. The term other dangerous weapons refer to any object that is used in a way that could lead to a serious physical injury or death. Undoubtedly, weapons like a gun, brass knuckles, pistol, knives, and any other typical weapons fall under the definition of dangerous weapons.

Grand Rapids

You need to contact a Grand Rapids, Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers if you have been charged with an offense. You must discuss with your attorney your legal rights instantly. Your legal rights depend on the severity of the charges that have been charged against you, and you may have to bear the life-changing consequences or irreversible outcomes. A conviction can result in significant fines and imprisonment, as well as the loss of certain privileges.

A lawyer with experience in defending against criminal charges in Michigan can help ensure that all the evidence supporting your case is presented to the judge and can successfully argue that the charges against you should be reduced or dismissed completely. No matter what crime you are charged with, a Michigan criminal lawyer can help you get the best out of your case.

Plea Bargaining

Many criminal cases are resolved even before the case reaches the court, as a result of plea bargaining with the victim. While the prosecution team may propose a lighter sentence if the defendant wishes to plead guilty or refuse to challenge, it is very important to understand the legal implications of such agreements.

A criminal defense attorney in Grand Rapids with experience in criminal defense will be able to offer an attorney concerning any plea agreement that may be offered and will ensure that the client always understands their rights. If it is in the interests of the accused to go to court, a lawyer will help with all aspects of the defense to ensure that their client is fully prepared to defend their case in front of a judge.

If they proposed a plea deal or being approached by the prosecution to engage in a plea deal, be sure to speak with a criminal attorney in Grand Rapids before taking any further action.

If they have been offered a plea deal or have been contacted by the prosecution to involve in plea bargaining, it is imperative to talk with a criminal attorney in Grand Rapids before taking any further action.

A criminal record can change your life forever, as well as affect how others treat you personally. Don’t let yourself fall prey to the criminal justice system because you don’t fully understand your legal rights. Contact Rape Defense Lawyers in Grand Rapids, MIchigan to discuss your case and start building your defense today.

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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago

Criminal offenses should be taken seriously, whether they will be the start of your criminal record or an addition to a laundry list of charges. Regardless of the number of offenses that you have in your past, you should take immediate action when you are charged with a crime. Federal offenses are actions that violate U.S. federal laws, and those who face these types of charges may be investigated by government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Offenses prosecuted at the federal level can include sex crimes, drug trafficking, weapons charges, white collar crimes, and more.

Compared to state crimes, federal offenses often carry much heavier penalties, making it even more critical to work with an attorney who is experienced in federal criminal defense.

The federal and state government each have their own court systems. Federal court judges are nominated by the president, approved by the Senate, and serve for life. Being charged with a federal crime can be intimidating, and more than 90% of individuals prosecuted in the federal court are convicted of their charges. In these cases, hiring a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney is crucial.

They Do Not Focus on Criminal Defense

Based on a law firm’s website, it becomes fairly obvious which practice areas they highlight and what their strong suit is. You should be searching for an attorney who has a reputation of success in the criminal defense field. Attorneys with very little experience defending against criminal charges will not have the same number of strategies at their disposal. Each attorney will likely have their own bio page which highlights their accomplishments and successes in the field. Talking time to read these website pages can help you get a sense of their experience in criminal defense.

Not Shopping Around

Most attorneys offer free consultations for a reason, and you should take advantage of these opportunities. Engaging in a free consultation by no means guarantees that you will be hiring the attorney, but it will give you the opportunity to personally speak with the lawyer and determine their personality and work ethic. You may want to speak to multiple criminal defense lawyers and ask about their previous work with cases similar to yours. If they have extensive experience defending people in a similar position as yours, and you believe they have the right personality to address your needs, they may be the right lawyer for you.

Taking a Chance on Someone New

While it may seem admirable to work with a young, fresh attorney, it is always best to place your trust in a criminal defense lawyer with a long resume to back up their claims. A criminal defense case can be one of the most serious situations that you may ever face, and your fate rests on the abilities of your attorney. Older, more reputable lawyers may not have the young, modern outlook of a new attorney, but their litigation experience has a better chance of leaving you with a smaller sentence or a not-guilty verdict.

Not Understanding Federal vs. State Cases

Because state and federal court systems differ, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who is well-versed in federal cases. Federal courts have different policies and procedures, such as retaining the same judge throughout the entire trial. The amount of evidence available in federal cases will often far outweigh what is used in state proceedings. This can allow your attorney to access additional information to strengthen your case. Without a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the federal courts, you will likely not have as strong of a case, and you may not be able to utilize the resources available to their fullest extent.

Failure to Perform a Background Check

While you may not need to perform a complete background check, you should utilize your online resources to do some more research into your potential attorney. Their website will highlight their successes and achievements, but it will likely leave out any information about infractions or instances of misconduct that they may have in their past. You should take a look at client reviews and legal directories for a more honest and detailed view of a lawyer’s work and reputation.

Ignoring Your Instincts

The trusty “gut feeling” that you have probably turned to when making decisions in the past is just as relevant when it comes to hiring a criminal defense lawyer. When speaking with a potential attorney, you will be able to pick up on any possible scams, lies, or personality disconnects that you may notice. Remember, you are placing your future in the hands of someone else. You should be sure that you work well together and that you fully trust their judgment.

No Clarification on Fees

One of the biggest concerns that people face when they hire an attorney is the possibility that they will not be able to afford the attorney’s services after they have already started working together. It is important to be upfront about what you can and cannot afford. Having to find a new criminal defense attorney in the middle of your case because your current one is too expensive can leave you wasting time and money in building a new defense strategy.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is imperative that you promptly begin searching for a Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer to work with, keeping in mind the common mistakes discussed above. Whether you are facing charges related to drug trafficking, fraud, or other federal crimes, an experienced attorney can advise you on how you should proceed.

Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel has been practicing criminal defense law for more than two decades. He has defended clients facing a wide variety of charges, including federal white collar crimes, drug crimes, and other serious offenses, and he has provided representation in a number of high-profile criminal cases.

5 Duties of a Personal Defence Lawyer

Are you in need of a defence lawyer? If so, it’s essential to know what your lawyer is obligated to do for you. If you’re seeing your lawyer isn’t living up to their duties, you want to start looking for another one. You can end up losing your personal defence case in the event of mishandling. But the first step is to know when your lawyer is neglecting the obligated duties.

Here’s a list of things that your lawyer should do:


  • Careful Examination of the Case

Your lawyer should be putting in the time to really dig into the case. You should know what kind of approach will be taken, given examples of similar cases, have laws interpreted to you, and honest opinion of your chances of winning the case. Whether the charge is your fault and the odds look slim, the criminal defence lawyer should always provide all the available options.

  • Put Effort Into Getting Evidence

In many criminal defence cases, it can come down to evidence, even circumstantial evidence. Your lawyer should be looking for evidence to defend the charge and prove a false accusation, if that’s what is happening. The process may include going through things like photos, cell phone records, videos, and more.

There should be an outreach for witnesses if they were any, and follow-ups to ensure their participation. If you feel like your defence attorney is not putting effort into gathering information and evidence, then the attorney is not taking your case seriously enough. It may be time to talk to another attorney, or you’re going to have a weak defence in court.

  • Giving You Full Representation in Court

The criminal defence lawyer should represent you throughout the entire court process. You want to feel like care is occurring. If your lawyer is not showing up at many points of the process or relegating another person in their firm when the lawyer promised to give your case the attention it deserves, it’s a red flag.

  • Regular Updates Throughout the Case

Your lawyer should update you as the case progresses. There may be new information, different charges, and other information that can affect your case. It’s your lawyer’s job to make sense of everything and communicate the information to you in a way that’s easy to understand. You want to feel like your lawyer is giving you the attention you expect.

  • Negotiate Deals

There are many cases where the odds are against you. Your lawyer should be honest about your chances and work to mitigate the consequences of a guilty charge. The lawyer should try to negotiate a plea deal, work out a settlement with the plaintiff, or try to go for a lesser charge.

And aside from performing their duties, you still want to think about how you’d go about finding a competent lawyer. You want to see that the lawyer has handled cases like yours. You want to see that the lawyer has a good track record of winning cases for clients. And you want full transparency about the process, fees, and legal issues so that you know what to expect.

These are just some of the many things that a personal defence lawyer should do for you. Again, you must know what your lawyer should do for you to ensure you’re getting the best service. You want to know that you’re going to get a fair shot at defending yourself, especially when the stakes are high.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

Underage Drinking and Driving Charges in Ohio

Ohio, like every other state, makes it illegal for anyone younger than 21 to purchase alcohol. Consuming and possessing alcohol in public before reaching the age of 21 are also criminal offenses.

It only makes sense, then, that police, prosecutors, and judges in Ohio take charges of operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption very seriously. A first-time conviction for driving under the influence while below the legal drinking age can bring all of the following penalties: Read more

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5 Kinds of Attorneys You Need at Some time in Your Life

Are you looking for an attorney that can be of great help in solving your legal issues? However, what type of attorney you are searching for. Now, there are several kinds of attorneys. The legal field is really very complex as well as large. You will discover that different attorneys specialize in different areas. That’s the reason why there are different attorneys, and whatever may be your legal issue, there’s an attorney who is an expert in dealing with a particular issue. Read more

John Barret is a blogger with the Elder Law Center of Wisconsin from the past four years. He is a law graduate in the US and enjoys writing about different legal processes, aspects of the laws, and the significance of having an attorney.

A Washington DC Criminal Attorney Explains Stop-and-Frisk

DC police recently came under fire for allegedly staging the search of a man whom residents believed was an undercover officer to justify illegal stop-and-frisks in the neighborhood.  The incident occurred on June 13th, when officers approached and searched a man on the 5200 block of Sheriff Road, NE.  Officers found a gun in the man’s possession, which residents say they then used as an excuse to illegally search other people in the area, without just cause.  Witnesses said they did not recognize the man with the gun, and believe he was a police plant.

The incident sparked community backlash as police and witness reports conflicted.  The conflict came to a head on the evening of June 25th, when police officers and residents clashed on the block, which resulted in the use of pepper spray and four arrests.  One woman claimed that police pepper-sprayed her 3-year-old daughter, who had to be treated at a local hospital.

This incident highlights the ongoing tension between DC police and residents of certain east-of-the-river neighborhoods over what residents believe are illegal searches targeting low-income and minority areas.  DC police claim that these types of searches are justified by a spike in homicides in certain neighborhoods. WJLA reports that the DC Police crime map indicates a 50% decrease in crime in the area since last year, however.

What Is Stop-and-Frisk?

Stop-and-frisk refers to a controversial set of police practices involving “the brief, non-intrusive police stop of a suspect.”  In other words, police officers will temporarily detain, question, and in some cases, even search civilians for weapons and other contraband.

According to the DC Police guidelines that govern the practice, “A ‘stop’ is a temporary detention of a person to determine whether probable cause exists to arrest a person. A ‘frisk’ is a limited protective search on a person to determine the presence of concealed weapons and/or dangerous instruments.”

Controversy Over Stop-and-Frisk

Civil rights activists and Washington DC criminal attorneys challenge stop-and-frisk policies for their alleged violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. And police officers have been accused of racially profiling and unjustly targeting certain minority neighborhoods and demographics.  Data from cities with stop-and-frisk programs around the country have generally demonstrated that a majority of these stops were of suspects later found to be innocent.

The Supreme Court has weighed in several times as to the criteria constituting a ‘reasonable suspicion,’ however, these clarifications have been insufficient to assuage public concern that the police are unjustly targeting certain communities.

In Washington D.C., city policy requires that the police department report the number of stops officers to make. According to a Washington DC criminal attorney, despite this requirement for transparency, the department has been accused of inaccurately and underreporting these encounters.  The department has also been accused of systematically ignoring certain protocols required for stop-and-frisks.

Stop-and-Frisk and Unjustified Arrests

Although police departments claim stop-and-frisk makes communities safer, the practice risks the rights and privacy of citizens when police do not properly follow protocols. Victims of stop-and-frisk may find themselves unjustly arrested based on evidence that police officers had no legal basis to collect.  Those facing charges as the result of a stop-and-frisk search should consult with a Washington D.C. criminal attorney about whether their rights were violated during the arrest.

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Apps Streamline Crime Reporting, But Criminal Defense Attorney Sherman TX Warns of Abuse

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced the launch of a new smartphone app aimed at combatting crime earlier this month.  Called “iWatchTexas” (a name notable for its affinity to the iconic “’i” prefix Apple uses), the app allows members of the public to anonymously report suspicious behavior directly to law enforcement. Read more

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How Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You

If you have been accused of a crime, you know how terrifying it is to face the possibility of going to jail. The role of a criminal defense lawyer in Miami is to represent you on charges of committing a crime to the best of your ability.

Jobs of criminal defense attorney

A criminal defense attorney has many jobs. Questioning a witness in court is only a small part of his duties. The primary duty of a defense lawyer is to spend crucial time on a case to gather as much information as possible and to question valuable witnesses.  In fact, a lawyer does not need to step into a courtroom to assist you in your case, because of their job is to negotiate with prosecutors, often resulting in reduced charges or lesser sentences for their clients.  They also give their clients an objective opinion and tell them what is likely to happen.  This is very important for defendants trying to decide whether to accept or reject a plea bargain offer from the prosecutor.

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer

When facing the possibility of having criminal charges brought against you, the prospect of finding the right criminal defense lawyer may become overwhelming.  If the police arrest you, talking to a criminal defense attorney is the most important thing you do, as soon as possible.  It is an urgent priority, so that the lawyer can arrange for bail, and get you out of prison.  The lawyer will also provide you with information about what will happen in the days ahead.

Not everyone can afford to hire a private attorney to represent him or her in a criminal case.  For those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, a public defender will be assigned to them to handle their case, because has the right to have adequate representation when facing a criminal charge.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.