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How Much Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?

While I’m on the phone with potential new clients one of the first questions I get asked is “How much does it cost?”  At first, they get annoyed because I can’t give an outright number.  I get it.  You’re worried about your criminal charge, your job, maybe even your freedom and now this attorney seems to be giving you the run around.  I promise that’s not the case.  Before I ever quote a potential new client a price, I evaluate many things.  The last thing I want is to overcharge you for something that could be done for less.  Similarly, I don’t want to undercharge you and lose money on the case (which is terrible for my business and employees).  If you find yourself facing criminal charges in Louisiana, one of the most critical decisions you’ll make is choosing the right criminal defense attorney to represent you. They have to be the right fit not only personally and professionally-but financially.  Here are some factors that I consider before giving you (the potential client) a price:

1. The Complexity of Your Case: The complexity of your legal matter plays a significant role in determining how much I’m going to charge you. Less complex cases, such as minor traffic violations or misdemeanors, generally involve lower fees compared to complex felony cases or federal charges, which often require extensive legal work.

2. My Experience and Reputation: Highly experienced and reputable criminal defense attorneys in Louisiana often command higher fees. My expertise and track record of success can be invaluable when it comes to securing the best possible outcome for your case.  My experience and reputation will save you months-even YEARS of jail time.  Is is really worth it to go with that naive attorney who charged you $5,000 less?  Maybe…maybe not.  But it’s something to consider.

3. Case Preparation and Investigation: Thoroughly preparing your defense requires time and resources. I will need to gather evidence, interview witnesses, review police reports, and potentially consult with experts. These efforts contribute to the overall cost of your defense.

4. Trial or Negotiation: If your case goes to trial in Louisiana, the cost will typically be higher than if it’s resolved through negotiation or a plea bargain. Trials involve additional court appearances, expert witnesses, and more extensive legal work.

5. Location and Jurisdiction: The cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney can also vary depending on your location within the state and the jurisdiction in which your case is being heard. Larger cities and high-demand areas may have higher legal fees.

6. Billing Structure: Criminal defense attorneys charge clients in different ways. Some use hourly billing, while others offer flat fees or a combination of both. Our firm usually does a flat rate (pre-trial) and a trial rate.  If it goes to trial than you will be responsible for the additional fee.

7. Payment Plans and Financing: We don’t want money to be the reason you can’t hire our firm.  We offer payment plans and/or financing options to make legal representation more affordable for our clients. Don’t hesitate to inquire about these options during your initial consultation.

Ultimately, it’s essential to view the cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney as an investment in your future. We can help protect your rights, negotiate favorable plea deals, and, if necessary, fight hard during your trial to secure your freedom.  If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana, give our firm a call at 504-434-7000.  During your free consultation we’ll discuss not only how we can help you personally and professionally-but financially.  We will discuss fees and payment options to ensure transparency and alignment with your budget.