Facing a criminal charge can be a very stressful and terrifying moment for most people, especially if the accused has never been in legal trouble or has even faced the criminal justice system. Most people understand the benefits of hiring a private lawyer versus just being assigned to a public defender. Public defenders are qualified attorneys who are educated, skilled, and public defenders who work very hard, long hours.
However, private attorneys have more "skin in the game" when it comes to their win-loss record. A private criminal defense attorney depends on their reputation for results to receive referrals and generate new clients. So the private attorney will have a lot more at stake to produce favorable results in your criminal case.
The obvious difference between choosing a public defender and a private criminal defense lawyer is monetary. However, the costs are significantly different. For example, if you face steep fines and prison time, the price of losing your criminal trial is much higher than the cost of retaining a top criminal defense attorney. So you might be wondering, "How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida?"
First, each criminal case is different, and the resource requirement for every criminal matter is different. For example, does your criminal defense strategy necessitate the hiring of expert witnesses? Expert witnesses charge hundreds of dollars per hour. All expert witnesses charge for an initial case review, investigation, a written opinion, travel expenses, travel time, expenses, and the time they spend giving expert witness testimony in a criminal trial. The defendant pays all of these expert witness costs. An experienced criminal defense attorney will only use an expert witness if having expert witness testimony is essential to your case's defense strategy. Public defenders usually do not have the monetary resources or budgets to obtain expert witnesses in all criminal cases. Under Florida Statute 29.006(3), expert witnesses may be summoned for the case of an indigent defendant as long as the public defender in the criminal case deems the use of an expert witness necessary to carry out his or her duties.
One important point to understand about hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is that it is easy to fire a private criminal defense attorney and retain another attorney. A private criminal defense attorney is running a business. He or she has one objective- to perform his or her duties to the best of their abilities. A private criminal defense lawyer will not stay in business if they are not operating ethically and building a reputation for obtaining exceptional results. A reputable private attorney will charge a fair and reasonable rate and will work his or her clients' cases efficiently and thoroughly.
For a private criminal defense attorney to produce favorable results for his or her clients, a private attorney invests a substantial amount of time and money into their knowledge and skills. Private attorneys who produce great results are in demand, and they can command higher hourly rates. In most cases, private criminal defense attorneys are passionate about defending people who are charged with a crime. They often have strong personal convictions about the United States Constitution, human rights, and the right of equal protection under the law. For many attorneys who choose to enter private practice, they see their profession as fulfilling and not just a job. These qualities often make a private attorney much more competitive amongst their legal colleagues, which greatly benefits their clientele in terms of receiving quality representation at a fair price.
Other Circumstances that Affect the Cost of Hiring a Private Criminal Defense Attorney
The charge level will determine the amount of time your attorney will need to spend on your case. For example, a simple misdemeanor charge costs less to defend than a serious felony criminal charge. Felony charges often require many more court appearances, significant pretrial preparation, additional legal research, and a considerable about of time in negotiations with the State's attorneys in a criminal case.
Another factor that determines the cost of your defense with a private criminal attorney is your criminal record. For those individuals who have never committed a crime, the opportunity to strike a plea deal or fight for leniency during sentencing can take much less time.
One major consideration in terms of the cost of hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is the location of the criminal offense. If the crime was committed in a small, rural community, the cost of representation might be much cheaper than in a city such as Los Angeles. This is due to the cost of living differences. In other words, hiring a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles will be much more expensive than hiring a defense attorney in a rural town in North Dakota.
The last factor the determines the cost of a criminal defense lawyer is experience. An attorney who is just starting his or her practice will be willing to take in any case that they can earn a retainer fee. A more experienced attorney with a stellar reputation will be in demand and more selective in which cases and clients they handle.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side will help you or your loved one build a compelling defense strategy that weakens the prosecution's case against you or your loved one. Your attorney can prepare and mount a defense that challenges everything from the validity of a search to the proper handling of evidence.
Put Our 150+ Years of Collective Defense Experience to Work for You!
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, our Florida defense lawyers at Musca Law offer a free criminal defense case evaluation. You need a legal professional who has the ability to prove this in court in order to help you avoid a conviction. To get your case started, simply call us at (888) 484-5057.