How Much Is a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Felony Case?
Felony charges are very serious.
If you are convicted, you face not only possible time in prison, but you could also lose important civil rights like the right to vote or the ability to possess a firearm.
For many people, being convicted of a felony forever changes their lives.
At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we represent people accused of a felony who don’t know what to do.
Some are worried that they can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer for felony charges.
Others think they might be able to handle their case on their own without any input from an attorney.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you. We are available to meet with you for a free consultation.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Felony Case?
No two felony cases are exactly alike, so the amount that you end up paying a criminal law attorney will differ by the case. Let’s look at some of the factors that go into a felony lawyer's cost.
The Complexity of the Case
Some felony cases are much more complex than others.
They require more legal analysis or much more time gathering facts.
If you were alleged to be part of a criminal conspiracy, then your lawyer will need to do much more leg work than if the case is an assault that was captured on surveillance video.
Research the Lawyer's Reputation
Lawyers can charge based on public demand for their work. If a lawyer has a strong reputation and gets consistently good results, then more people will want to hire them.
All lawyers have a limit on how much work they can do, so they will increase the fees that they charge as a way of winnowing down the amount of people who hire them. That’s just how the business works.
Incarceration May Affect the Cost
Whether a client is incarcerated will also affect how much it costs to hire a lawyer’s services.
When a client is in jail, it is much harder for a lawyer to get in touch with them.
Lawyers typically need to take out time from their day to travel to the jail and visit their clients.
If a client isn’t in jail, then he or she can stop by the office, which takes less time.
Did Your Case Go to Trial?
If you decide to go to trial, criminal trial costs can be high. This will cost much more than if you accepted a plea deal.
It takes a tremendous amount of time to prepare for trial. Witnesses need to be prepared, exhibits must be created, and a lawyer needs to develop a trial strategy.
Discuss all of these issues with a lawyer when discussing fees.
Can a Felony Charge Be Dismissed?
Yes. Dismissal of felony charges can occur for various reasons. For example, a felony verdict may be dismissed due to:
- Insufficient evidence;
- Improper collection of evidence; or
- The statute of limitations running out.
A felony case can be dismissed by a motion from the prosecutor, defense attorney, or court. A defendant may also get a felony charged dismissed with a “not guilty” verdict.
It is crucial to have reliable representation for your felony charge. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is your best chance at reaching a favorable outcome in your case.
Why Is Determinate Sentencing Better?
Sentences can be either determinate or indeterminate. An indeterminate sentence is a sentence that encompasses a range of years. For example, “15 years to life” is an indeterminate sentence.
These kinds of sentences have minimum years, but the exact date of release is undetermined.
Parole boards will periodically evaluate cases and hold hearings to decide when, during the defendant’s prison sentence, they will be eligible for release or parole.
On the other hand, determinate sentences have a set amount of time that cannot be changed by a parole board.
If a defendant receives a sentence of three years in prison, that is the time they will serve, unless they become eligible for early release.
Determinate sentences have their benefits, including putting a defendant’s mind at ease, knowing when they will be released.
Indeterminate sentencing gives a parole board all the power to determine whether a defendant is eligible for parole.
Often, this may lead to discrimination or overly harsh treatment. When a defendant is serving a set sentence, they won't have to worry about these things.
An experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary for your legal battle. They will fight aggressively to help get you a fair sentence.
Can a Criminal Law Attorney Work on Contingency in a Criminal Defense Case?
No. Contingency fees are routine in personal injury cases, like car accidents. The lawyer will not charge any upfront fees but will take a percentage of the client’s settlement or court award.
Unfortunately, ethical rules prohibit contingency fees in criminal cases. They also don’t make any sense in a criminal context, since a defendant does not win any money which can be used to pay for an attorney.
Criminal defense attorneys will charge either an hourly fee or a flat fee. A flat fee is a sum of money you pay the lawyer to handle your entire case.
A lawyer will use their experience to estimate how much time it will take to handle your criminal case.
If the case is more complex than the lawyer initially thought, then the lawyer is out of luck. They agreed to handle the case for a flat fee, which is all you owe.
Why Not Use the Public Defender?
If funds are tight, many people think they will just use the public defender offered to them. Though these are great lawyers, most public defenders are swamped with cases. They are overworked and underpaid.
As a result, they probably cannot commit all the hours your case needs. If there are unique legal issues, then an intern in the office might be stuck researching them—which is not ideal for a criminal defendant.
By hiring your own lawyer, you can guarantee individualized attention for your case. This will increase the chances of receiving an excellent defense.
Most public defenders agree with this sentiment and will tell you to hire a lawyer if you can afford one.
Speak with a Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If the police have picked you up or if you believe you are the suspect of a crime, reach out to Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today. Our office has helped many felony defendants obtain favorable results.