Different attorneys will charge different prices. I've been doing this a long time and what I've kind of seen is that there is a standard of price, depending on what you're charged with, where your case is and what your prior criminal record looks like between attorneys who know what they're doing and have experience and can get you a good result. I would say there's a range of prices, again, depending on certain factors.
But there are some attorneys that have come into the market that will undercut the big attorneys that are the most successful attorneys in Los Angeles. This is just part of economics and part of doing business that other individuals will come in and charge prices low in the market.
Lawyer With Criminal Defense Experience Matters
The only problem with this is if the attorney that's charging the lower fee is doing that so they can get experience by gathering a bunch of cases at small prices, this could be a problem for you because that meets they don't already have experience.
They haven't been practicing criminal defense in Los Angeles for a long time and you're going to probably suffer in the result that you obtain. They'll get experience. They'll get some money so they can charge higher prices in the future, but you are not going to get what you want out of your criminal case.
That's where you have to be careful. Just because someone is charging a small fee doesn't mean they know what they're doing. You're going to have to do your research. Check out their reviews. Check out a site called Avvo and see how long they've been practicing.
See if they are actually the attorney that is going to do the case. Sometimes these services are marketing cheap fees and they get a bunch of cheap young lawyers that don't know what they're going to handle the cases.
So, you have to look into it a little bit and then go meet with the attorney. Come with a list of questions. Talk to them about it.
Author of “The Art of the Perfect Defense”
I've written a book called The Art of the Perfect Defense. It has a chapter that talks about what you need to do in deciding how much you pay, which attorney you hire and some of the pitfalls to look out for. But, the bottom line is this.
You're really not going to find any book or any type of information that's going to tell you exactly what an attorney charges, because the reality is, they can charge whatever they want. But you will find some ranges.
A lot of times your typical felony case might be $5,000, but there are some attorneys – even good attorneys – who could charge a little bit less. If they like the courthouse where your case is pending and they do a lot of cases there, it might be easier for them to do it, and if the case looks like a good case where they can get you a great result, they might be more willing to give you a little bit better price than they normally do.
To say, here's the formula. You're going to have to do a little bit of research and use your common sense as well as you talk to these attorneys as far as what the price is and what's reasonable as far as lawyer fees in Los Angeles.
Lawyer You Feel Comfortable With
But once you do a little research and make a few phone calls and go and sit down with somebody who you think knows what they're doing and you feel comfortable with them, then you can really make an informed decision about hiring a criminal defense attorney, see if it's in your price range, talk to the attorney a little bit about what is a fair price and then hire somebody that you really feel comfortable with.
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