- Get more than one quote: You can expect to get a wide range of quotes since there are no governing entities that require attorneys to charge a certain price. It is not uncommon to get quotes for a Misdemeanor DUI anywhere from $1500.00 to $7,500.00. With that keep in mind, that price is not a reflection of the competency or effectiveness a DUI or criminal lawyer to defend your case. Many other factors contribute to a law firm’s decision on fee schedules. Some factors include overhead and operating costs; advertising costs; competition; and geographical area.
- Understand global fees: Global fees structures are those that encompass the cost of both pre-trial and trial defense services. Global fees are usually much higher than flat fees. Before you agree to enter a global free agreement, you should know the differences and some statistics: Only about 2% to 3% of all Gilbert DUI and criminal cases end up going to trial. In perspective, that means 97% to 98% of cases are resolved, or dismissed without a trial. Then, if a trial is not needed, the Law Firm still keeps the entire global fee. No refunds. In all fairness, that is not to say charging global fees is a bad thing; some people prefer this structure, because it gives them peace of mind, in knowing they will not have to pay additional attorney fees for a trial if it is needed.
- Understand flat fees: Flat fees arrangements are usually lower than global fees. They are “tiered”. The first tier includes a flat attorney fee for pre-trial services. If resolved in that tier, no additional fees are owed. If an unresolved case results in the need for a trial, there will be a separate fee, which is the second. Those that chose this fee structure, prefer to pay the lessor flat fee, with the odds significantly in their favor (97% to 98%) that they will not need a trial. Make sure the separate tier fees are included in the fee agreement.
- Request a discount: Many criminal defense lawyers, who defend Gilbert AZ criminal charges, will agree to a discount if they feel the prospective client is serious about retaining their services, and the discount is fair and reasonable.
- Fee reductions for advanced payments: Some criminal defense firms will agree to waive a percentage of the fee, if the entire amount is paid in full, up front. The percentage waived may range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the seriousness of the charges.
- Obtain of the Fee Agreement: Make sure you get a copy of the fee agreement as soon as it is signed by both parties. The fees, terms and timing of payments and services agreed upon, needs to be included in this document. It protects both parties. It protects you from being billed for additional unexpected fees or services not included in the fee agreement.
- Comply with the Fee Agreement: Most Criminal & DUI Attorneys who defend Gilbert AZ charges will allow for flexible or timed payments, especially of the charges are serious. If you fail to make payments as agreed upon, your attorney may file a motion with the court, requesting to terminate your representation. If this happens, you will be left with no private practice attorney, and will need to hire a new attorney who will likely charge you full price.
- Be cautious of Law Firms that refuse to provide telephone quotes: If you know exactly what your charges are, an experienced DUI lawyer or criminal defense attorney will have a range quote which they can give you by phone. Although all DUI and criminal charges have their own unique circumstances, generally, they know how many hours approximately will go into defending the charges.
- Consider other factors besides the price: Take into account the criminal attorney’s defense and trial experience; licensure, credentials, geographic location, client reviews; and referrals from trusted sources. You want to feel confident, they can effectively defend you; be accessible for your questions and concerns; and labor to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
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Law Office of James Novak
4500 S. Lakeshore Drive
Tempe AZ 85282