Understanding Criminal Defense Attorney Fees

When you face criminal charges, retaining a criminal defense attorney may seem intimidating if you do not know what to look for (see How to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney). In addition to the stress of finding an attorney and wondering how your arrest will affect your future, you may have no idea about attorney fees or how you will be billed for using the services of a private criminal defense attorney. If you are not able to afford an attorney, it is important to be aware that it may be within your Constitutional right to have an attorney appointed to at a reduced rate or even free of charge (see Rights You Need to Know if You are Arrested).

If you are not using a court appointed public defender, there are a couple ways a private criminal defense attorney may charge you for his or her services: flat fees and hourly fees. Flat fees are generally applied to relatively simple misdemeanor cases while hourly fees usually apply to more complex misdemeanor or felony cases. The following article details what both of these types of fees mean for you when you hire an attorney using one of these methods.

Flat Fees

Flat fees are just what the name implies