Criminal defense lawyers don’t charge uniform fees for all cases. This article looks at the factors that cause variations in the fees charged.
There are certain factors that contribute to the final figure charged by criminal defense lawyers to clients for their legal fees. When lawyers are representing clients who are faced with criminal charges, the fees they will charge will be determined after some considerations have been factored in. Let us try to understand what these factors are. Let us also look into the important role they play in the determination of the legal fees that will have to be paid by the client.
It is worth mentioning, before going any further with this discussion, that fees for legal services are, in actual fact, not charged in a – totally arbitrary – manner (in most jurisdictions). It is unlike the relationship between a seller and a buyer where the former names a price that he wants as long as the buyer is willing enough to pay for that price, no matter how steep it might get. In most jurisdictions, the quanta of counsel remuneration is being followed. This is the set of rules that are followed in coming up with the amount that will have to be charged by the lawyers for their legal services rendered. It, however, tends to name the minimum figures that can be charged by the lawyers.
It is against the lawyers’ code of ethics to demoralize their professional colleagues when they set too low fees. That is why the minimums are determined. Although the minimum amount is set, there is no maximum amount that is specified. The lawyers can charge as high as they want. As a result, many lawyers take this as an opportunity to set their legal fees in such a way that they vary from lawyer to lawyer. In actual fact, the variations are brought about by the factors we are just about to look at.
The first thing the criminal defense lawyers would take note of in determining how much to charge their clients is the type of case. If you compare a murder case to a petty theft case, it is obvious that he would charge more for the murder case. Murder cases have the tendency to be more drawn out than, say, a case of robbery or theft. In order to mount a solid defense for the murder case, a lot more research and work will go into it than what would usually be required for a petty theft case. This is an obvious reason for the increase in the legal fees.
It is also important for the lawyer to note at which specific time or stage in the trial he was retained to represent his client and take over the mounting of the defense of his criminal case. If a lawyer’s services such as this top DUI lawyer in Fort Lauderdale were already acquired at the beginning of the case going into trial, he is more justified in asking for a higher fee than one who was retained halfway through the trials.
There is no denying that the professional standing of the lawyer, including his respectability, would also have an effect on the amount that will be charged the client. Naturally, the high-profile lawyers would earn more since they would charge more in legal fees than the lawyers who have a modest standing or are still considered ‘upcoming’.