Much like any other product or service, choosing the right criminal lawyer for you will include looking at what costs are involved. When people come to see us, one of the most common questions is “how much is the case going to cost”.
There are many criminal lawyers in Melbourne and as such the fees vary widely as well as the manner in which they are charged.
As far as how fees are charged, they can either be calculated by the hour, at stages throughout the case, or one ‘all in’ fee.
When you engage a criminal law firm, they must provide you with an ‘Estimate of costs’. This document will set out the manner in which the firm proposes to charge its fees, as well as an estimate of the total costs involved.
In criminal law, it is common for solicitors to also brief a barrister for an opinion on a matter or to appear at Court. If you receive a quote or estimate of costs from a law firm, make sure that you understand whether or not it is inclusive of barrister’s fees and / or any disbursements. Like solicitors, barristers’ fees will vary depending on their skills, experience and reputation.
The nature and complexities of a case will determine how easy it is to predict factors such as the amount of work required and how many hearings will be involved. For example, it is far easier to provide an estimate for someone pleading guilty to a strict liability traffic matter than a complex fraud matter occurring over a number of years.
Finally, there is far more work involved in cases where clients are pleading not guilty as these require additional pre-trial hearings, and the trial itself may continue for some days. Whereas most pleas of guilty are completed within one day.
Do you need more information? Contact us now.