Different lawyers have different fees. Many defendants can expect to pay the following: $3,000-$5,000 for a misdemeanor and $15,000 to-$25,000 for a felony. Most attorneys want some or the entire fee paid up front .The fee varies according to a number of factors:
- How complex the case is - Most attorneys charge more for felonies than for misdemeanors - a felony is likely to be a more complex and difficult case with more work and more complicated defenses such as a lesser harm defense
- How experienced the lawyer is - Less-experienced lawyers usually charge a lower fee
If I'm Unhappy with my Private Defense Lawyer, Can I Change to Another?
You can generally change private defense lawyers at any time without court approval. You just have to pay for the time that lawyer has worked on your case. Your right to change lawyer is limited however by the prosecutor's right to keep cases moving on schedule. If you want to change attorneys on the eve of the trial, the prosecutor is likely to oppose, since a new lawyer probably needs time to prepare for the trial which will delay the trial. If so the judge can deny your request.
What Can You Do if You Are Accused of a Crime?
If you or a family member is accused of a crime, you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system. You can find a private defense lawyer through a referral service.