When your freedom and the rest of your life are in the balance, you don’t want to cut corners with your choice of criminal defense attorney. You also want to know that you’re getting what you paid for, and the different fee structures offered by different law firms can be confusing at first. Make sure you understand the arrangement before signing a contract.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Wisconsin
Several key factors affect how much you’ll pay for criminal defense representation in Wisconsin, including:
- The lawyer’s reputation and experience. Attorneys who have been practicing for decades typically charge more, as you benefit from their years of experience in various situations and the time they’ve dedicated to understanding the finer or more obscure points of law that might apply to your case.
- The complexity of your case. A straightforward DUI charge will take less time and work than defending someone against a murder charge with plenty of evidence arrayed against them.
- The number of charges against you. Each criminal charge will require its own unique defense. If you’re facing multiple charges, your attorney will have to prepare a defense for each, increasing the cost of their representation.
Hourly Rates for Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wisconsin
Many criminal defense lawyers charge on an hourly basis. Most have their clients pay them a retainer, which is a deposit for services, and the lawyer will bill against the retainer. If there is a balance at the end of your case, it will be refunded to you. Lawyers typically charge anywhere from $100 to $500 an hour depending on factors like their experience, reputation, and educational background.
Flat Fees for Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wisconsin
Flat fees may be assessed for simpler matters. For example, if you’re hiring a lawyer for a speeding ticket charge, petty shoplifting, or a DUI, they may charge a flat fee because the case is fairly straightforward and the stakes are comparatively low. With a flat fee, the attorney provides the client with a list of services included in the fee as well as optional additional ones. If the client wants to add those additional services, the lawyer may have a different fee structure to include those, like an hourly rate.
Other Costs Associated with Criminal Defense in Wisconsin
Other costs that could affect the amount you could pay for criminal defense include:
- Court costs and fees
- Investigative costs
- Expert witness fees (professional services that are usually a few hundred dollars an hour.
Some lawyers also charge a higher hourly rate during a trial than they would for preparatory work on your case.
Consult A Trusted Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Case
Facing criminal charges in Wisconsin? Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C. can help whether you’re looking for OWI defense, help fighting drug charges, or facing homicide charges. Contact us today for a consultation about our considerable experience, our aggressive approach to defense, and our fee structure for protecting your rights and freedom.