What Does a Criminal Attorney Cost?
It goes without saying that hiring a Tampa criminal attorney will be an expensive undertaking and one which many people may have to stretch themselves to afford. Criminal attorneys can charge in a number of ways, but in nearly all cases the calculation of these fees will come down to a number of factors, including their own experience and qualifications.
Any criminal court case can be lengthy and therefore time consuming to the Tampa criminal attorney involved. Added to this is the cost of investigating your case for the purposes of gathering evidence for your defense, meeting with prosecutors and other court personnel and time taken to research all applicable law and past case precedents, you can easily see how hiring a criminal attorney can be very expensive. However, compared with representing yourself (unless you have extensive legal knowledge) hiring an attorney who specializes in your type of criminal case can be worth the expense in return for better results in court.
If you do not have the financial means by which to hire a private criminal attorney then you may be eligible for a court appointed attorney who will be appointed by the judge to represent you. It is worth noting that in most cases a private criminal attorney achieves only slightly better results than a court appointed attorney. If you are appointed an attorney through the court then the cost will be met by the state. However, the judge presiding over your case must inform the court at every stage of the trial what the cost of your legal counsel will be and that the state is paying.
A Tampa criminal attorney could charge you in one of a number of ways. Some will charge billable hours, which could be expensive given the length of many criminal trials. Others will agree a fixed rate with you in return for a deposit which is payable at the commencement of your hiring them. It is important that you discuss and agree on fees and rates before you hire anyone to represent you. You should also enquire about additional charges and expenses and ask for a written agreement detailing all charges and fees as part of the lawyer-client agreement.
Do also be aware that just because the Constitution allows for free legal representation, each state will interpret this differently and will have applied different legislation on who is eligible for free legal counsel in a court case. You may need to prove your financial circumstances, fill out a questionnaire and meet several other requirements with regard to your case and personal situation, before you can be granted free legal counsel.