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The Cost of Freedom: Steps to Hire a Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney

When you are accused of a crime, it is a scary and stressful situation. You may feel that it is not worth the high fees, especially if you feel it is a clear-cut case for your freedom. However, it will be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney to help make sure your basic rights are upheld. They can also provide you with some guidance through the process.

What an Attorney Can Do

First and foremost, hiring a lawyer will ensure that you have someone on your side during the legal process. Defense lawyers are your advocates. They will work to make sure you are innocent until proven otherwise. They are also going to be the people who can help you understand what the charges are against you, what the implications are, and what your options are as you fight the charges. When you first meet with an attorney, you will get to talk about the charges, but they will also help negotiate any bail. Finally, they are the people that will help investigate the case against you, gather evidence, and put together a defense that will help your case in the trial. If you are convicted, you will want an attorney present to help with any appeals.

What Determines Costs

The hardest part of hiring an attorney is looking at how much you will have to pay for your case. However, there is a lot that goes into determining how much it will cost you in the end. The first factor is what jurisdiction you live in, but the experience of your attorney will also play a factor. Your attorney will be looking at the complexity of your case, the plea you are entering, and the possibility of trial costs. What you will need to make sure you go over with the attorney is what type of billing methods they use and when they expect payment.

How they Bill

How the defense attorney bills should be a factor in deciding which attorney to choose. There are two types of billing options that are used. The first is a flat rate price that will include everything from the minute they walk in the door to the end of your case. Your other option is an hourly fee. The benefit of an hourly rate is you only pay for the time they are actually working on your case, so if it ends early, you are not paying for unused time. In addition, with a flat rate, you will be expected to pay a retainer fee. Finally, other fees may be applied, such as consultation appointments, research, travel, and even printing costs.

Selecting Your Lawyer

After you have looked at the costs and how to law office bills, you will be ready for the final selection process of finding the perfect attorney for you. This will involve finding out how many cases they have handled, what types of cases they have handled, and previous clients that are willing to act as references. With this information, and knowing a rough estimate, you will have a good idea of which attorney will be best suited for your needs through the entire situation.

For more information about getting started with the right Fresno criminal defense attorney for your situation, give our team a call today (559) 206-2322.