Call around: There are no governing entities in Scottsdale, AZ that dictate what a criminal defense attorney can charge for their services. So you may get quotes with a major gap between high and low. Remember that lower fees do not necessarily mean the attorney is less effective to defend your case. While at the same time, higher costs may not mean they are any more qualified either. There are many factors that attorneys consider for pricing including supply and demand; overhead and operating costs; competition and geographical areas.
Request a discount: Many criminal attorneys who defend Scottsdale criminal charges, will extend a discount if you ask for it, and if they feel you are serious about hiring them.
Negotiate: A good number of attorneys will agree to an offer from the client to pay a higher amount up front, example a reasonable and fair amount of $80% to 90% of the total quote. This, in exchange for a 10% to – 20% reduction of the total cost.
Obtain and keep a copy of your Fee Agreement: The Attorneys fees, costs and terms should be included in the fee agreement. Get a copy as soon as you sign it. The fee agreement protects you in the event you are billed for fees not outlined in the fee agreement.
Understand global fees: Global fees are costs that include one amount for pre-trial and trial services. Global fees are generally higher fees than flat fees. Keep in mind before you agree to pay global fees that only about 2% to 3% of all Scottsdale DUI and criminal cases in Maricopa County ever go to trial. In other words, 97% to 98% of cases are resolved, or dismissed with no trial needed. And if a trial is not needed, the Law Firm does not refund any money you paid for the higher global fee.
Consider flat fees: Flat fees are usually are “tiered” fees. This means the Law Firm will charge one flat fee for all pre-trial services. That is the first tier. Then if your case goes to trial, they will charge an additional amount, or the second tier fee. So if the case resolves without a trial, you never have to pay more than the first tier fee. Put simply, you don’t have to pay a trial fee, if you don’t need it. Make sure the amounts for both tiers are spelled out the fee agreement.
Negotiate and adhere to the terms: Most Scottsdale, AZ Criminal & DUI Attorneys will negotiate terms for flexible payments, especially for serious charges that will be more labor intensive. Once the terms are agreed upon, be sure you adhere to them. If you fail to pay, or chronically miss payments, your attorney may file a motion with the court to terminate their representation on your behalf. If this happens, you find yourself in the middle of your case, with no representation; and will need to hire a new attorney who will likely charge you full cost to defend you.
Arrange for a Stop-Loss: It is rare for a criminal defense attorney to charge hourly. But if they do, find out if they are willing to agree upon a stop-loss maximum or ceiling amount that is the most you will be required to pay for services. If agreed, make sure it is included in the fee agreement.
Consider other factors besides cost: Take into account the criminal attorney’s trial and defense experience in defending Scottsdale DUI charges, training, education, licensure, credentials, peer and client reviews; and referrals from trusted sources. Follow your instincts, as well as facts. You should make sure they will be accessible to you for questions and concerns, and be comfortable with communications. They will be your voice, and legal advocate throughout the process. You should feel confident, that they are qualified for the job, and willing to do everything possible to get the best outcome in your case.
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