Find the right lawyer now

Criminal Defense Attorney Fees

Find a Local Criminal Lawyer near You

What Are Criminal Defense Attorney Fees?

In any criminal case, the accused has the right to obtain an attorney provided by the state. This is commonly known as “the right to an attorney,” and is guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Sometimes, a criminal defendant may want to hire their own defense attorney. In such cases, they will usually need to pay a fee for the attorney’s private services.

There are many reasons why a person might hire their own defense attorney. One of the most common reasons is to avoid any potential conflicts of interest with a state-provided defense attorney. Or, the defendant may have access to criminal defense lawyers who they feel more comfortable working with.

What Is a Flat Fee?

There are many different ways that attorneys obtain compensation for their services, such as through hourly rates and other types of fees. Flat fees indicate that the lawyer will charge an overall fixed sum for their services provided throughout the case.

Many criminal defense attorneys charge flat fees rather than hourly rates. This is often common for cases that are relatively straight-forward or routine. This is much different from personal injury cases where a contingency fee is commonly used (i.e., fees based on the outcome of the lawsuit’s damages awards).

Sometimes, there are other costs that an attorney might charge besides the flat fee. These include costs that may come up unexpectedly. An example of this in a criminal case is when the attorney needs to hire a private investigator to conduct additional investigations. Thus, the total bill may include the flat fee, plus any additional costs incurred along the way. 

Should I Hire My Own Criminal Defense Attorney?

Some people may prefer to hire their own criminal defense attorney if they become involved with criminal charges. This can help them to avoid conflicts of interest. Or, some defendants may want to select an attorney of their choosing based on different background aspects, such as religion or personal outlooks. You may wish to hire a criminal lawyer in your area if you or a loved one is facing criminal charges. This can help ensure that your rights are properly protected and represented during the trial process.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 12-19-2016 02:31 PM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.