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Russell D. Hilton, Attorney at Law, LLC
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How much does a criminal defense attorney cost?

This is one of the first questions I get from someone when they are looking for a criminal defense attorney to represent them or a member of their family charged with a crime.

Unfortunately, pricing for a defense attorney is not the same as buying a car, or some piece of new furniture. An attorney provides a service -- much like a painter or a mechanic.

Generally, when you call the mechanic and say "I've got some problems with my car, how much do you charge?", the mechanic is going to say we need to take a look first. This is true with attorneys as well.

What are the factors that an attorney considers for pricing?

Whenever you meet with a criminal attorney, he or she is going to ask about the alleged facts, your expectations, any prior criminal history, and any other factor that he or she believes is important in your particular case. Generally, cases that carry more jail time will be more expensive than cases that are not as serious.

Most criminal defense attorneys will meet with you initially for free to get this basic information and give you a quote.  Some will quote over the phone while others may want to meet in person.  

There is no doubt that attorneys can be expensive. However, it never ceases to amaze me how someone will go out and buy a new car when they already own two or three others.  But, when their liberty is on the line, they won't or can't come up with the funds to retain someone experienced to represent them.  When you’re faced with a serious charge, look for quality, not a bargain.

Don't hire an attorney on price alone. Make sure that you meet with the person and that it is a relationship that will likely be of benefit to you. Just as a cheap attorney may not do you a good service, a high price doesn’t necessarily mean good service either.

If you are a loved one has been charged with a crime, and believe that we might be able to help you out, give us a call and we will meet with you to assess your situation. If it's something I believe I can help you with then we can move forward. Otherwise, I can refer you to other attorneys who may be willing to take your case.

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