How Much Should You Pay a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

criminal law book and gavel

The price of hiring a criminal defense lawyer Marysville, WA like Feldman & Lee PS may be less expensive than choosing a similar attorney in New York, although there are certain factors to consider before making a decision.

Take note that an expensive fee for legal services doesn’t always guarantee a win for your case. At the same time, a cheaper rate should not be equated to subpar service.

Rate Factors

Law firms usually charge by the hour for their work, including a retainer fee. This is suitable for cases that have a foreseeable timeline, which means that they already know when the case will reach its conclusion. The retainer fee depends on the hourly rate.

Some firms require a flat rate for each type of case that lets clients have an idea of the total costs from the beginning. Your criminal history will also be a factor in pricing. For instance, a misdemeanor possession of marijuana may cost you between $750 and $2,000.

On the other hand, a theft allegation would cost up to $10,000 depending on your criminal background and the value of stolen items.

Private Practice

Private lawyers can be an alternative for those who prefer to deal with a single person. These attorneys normally charge their clients in the same way like those from law firms. Most of them require a bigger payment for felonies due to the heavier penalties, while some require an upfront payment.

You can negotiate on a deal that would allow you to have legal representation throughout the case, despite the number of rendered hours. However, be ready on not feeling that you overpaid if the case ended on a shorter than expected time.


There is no standard rate for hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Clients should take time to choose the best lawyer and be clear about payment options from the start.