Fees

criminal defense lawyer fees in new york, ny nyc

How do New York City lawyers charge?

Common charging methods include hourly rates, flat fees, contingency fees, and retainer fees.

Hourly rates are often deducted from an advance payment given to the lawyer. For example, if a lawyer charges $300 per hour and you pay $1000 in advance, the lawyer may work on your case and keep track of the time spent and deduct each hourly fee against the advance payment and refund you any renaming balance.

Flat fees (or flat rates) are designed to be one total fee to cover all of the anticipated work involved in the client's case.

Contingency fees are fees that the lawyer earns only if the lawyer resolves the case in the client's favor or some other contingency occurs. Contingency fee arrangements are illegal in criminal cases in New York so in New York, you can't pay an Attorney only if you win your criminal case.

A retainer fee is, generally, an advance payment to a lawyer so that the lawyer will start working on the client's case. The retainer fee might be owed to the lawyer as part of a flat fee or might be the advance payment to be used as part of an hourly fee arrangement. So, your might be charged hourly against a retainer fee or you might be charged a flat fee and the retainer fee might be some or all of this flat fee.

How much does it cost to hire a criminal defense attorney in New York City?

Like other complicated but important services, the cost of legal services can vary greatly. A study on Thervo.com found the average hourly rate for a lawyer in the United States is $225 but ranging between $100 and $1000 per hour. You should expect that more experienced attorneys and attorneys in major cities charge more than the average.

Pros and cons of fee types

Type Possible Advantage Possible Disadvantage
Hourly If it doesn't take much of the Attorney's time, the total fee can be very low If the Attorney spends a lot of time the total fee can be very high
Flat fee You know how much you're going to have to pay You should find out exactly what portion of the case is covered by the flat fee
Contingency You only have to pay if you get a favorable result Not available for criminal cases in New York and there are other restrictions. Also Lawyers may be more hesitant to accept a contingency fee case if the odds of winning are low.
Retainer fees A retainer fee may be the cost the lawyer charges to make himself/herself available and might or might not be in addition to other fees - might have the same benefits of a flat fee Might be in addition to hourly or flat fees. Ask your attorney about this.

How much do lawyers charge in New York?

While the hourly rate for lawyers varies greatly depending on experience, practice area, complexity of the client's case, and the expertise and reputation of the law firm, a typical lawyer in New York charges between $122 and $485 per hour. Costs vary depending on the type of lawyer, so review our lawyer rates table to find out the average cost to hire an attorney in New York.

According to a 2121 study by a Clio Legal Trends Report, a hourly rates for New York lawyers are as follows:

Practice Area Typical Hourly Rate
Administrative $322
Appellate $308
Bankruptcy $420
Business $341
Civil Litigation $351
Collections $407
Commercial/Sale of Goods $471
Construction $325
Contracts $347
Corporate $389
Criminal $241
Elder Law $337
Employment/Labor $381
Family $304
Government $321
Immigration $453
Insurance $213
Intellectual Property $485
Mediation/Arbitration $438
Personal Injury $234
Real Estate $340
Tax $410
Traffic Offenses $122
Trusts $474
Wills & Estates $337

Many criminal defense attorneys in New York City charge "pre-trial" flat rates and separate flat or hourly rates for trial. You should keep in mind that "pre-trial" often includes your upcoming court date and, possibly, many court dates afterwards and all of the work to be done in-between. Because most cases do not go to trial, a pre-trial fee generally covers 100% of all the work that has to go into their case. A "trial" is when a jury is selected, witnesses testify, and the jury (or judge) decides the outcome of the case. Trials are rare. If a trial happens, it usually happens after over a year of fighting the case. Sometimes, people think that "trial" is the first time they go to court after they have been arrested but this is almost never the case.

Our office charges competitive flat fees for most services which means that time charges are reflected in the total fee. This is different from an hourly arrangement where you pay for every hour or portion thereof spent on each task performed by the lawyer, even for phone calls and travel to court.

With us:

  • We don't usually charge hourly rates
  • We need to speak with clients to determine what flat fee we can offer
  • There is never a charge for initially reaching out to see if we can help
  • We charge reasonable rates for quality criminal defense
  • We accept most major credit/debit cards
  • We base fees on the seriousness of the charges, complexity of the case, and the type of strategy you want to pursue
  • Everything is in writing

If you're reading about legal fees because you or a loved one has an upcoming court date for a criminal case in New York City, Contact Us for Help.

Before hiring anyone, you should feel comfortable about legal fees and the plan for your defense. We do not sacrifice quality for volume, and it's important to us that we take the necessary time to do everything possible to help our clients. Lance Fletcher handles criminal defense almost exclusively, he has expertise and experience that the average neighborhood lawyer who handles divorces one day and real estate closings the next, simply won't have. It always makes sense to hire the right lawyer for the case, and saving a few dollars in the short term could cost you in the long term in a missed opportunity for a dismissal or a more favorable disposition. Whatever you do, don't wait to talk to a lawyer if you're facing a criminal accusation. Even if you haven't figured out how you are going to pay for it, you need to know what you are up against. The earlier a proactive criminal defense lawyer gets involved, the more opportunities there are to get the right outcome.

Call or contact New York City Criminal Defense Attorney Lance L. Fletcher. The case evaluation is confidential and his office is conveniently located in Manhattan. Find out how easy it can to be to put Mr. Fletcher's experience and knowledge to work for you by contacting us at (212) 619-3900 for a consultation.

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