It totally depends on your case, meaning how complex is it, how many court dates might it take up, is it going to trial or not, and how much work am I going to have to put into it? For us lawyers time is money, so the number one question is how much time—how many hours—will I spend working on this case?
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It seems difficult to answer at the beginning, when I know nothing about your case and you’ve called me up wanting to know. But you’d be surprised at how accurately us lawyers can come up with an estimate. And again it’s all related to time.
Felonies are going to cost more than misdemeanors. Cases that likely will go to trial will be more than cases that are going to settle. For a misdemeanor that can hopefully be worked out without too much fuss, perhaps arranging something where it stays off your record, $1000 is about the floor. If it looks to be more complex, which they often are, it could be $2,000 or more.
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Felonies, which carry a minimum of one year and other harsh consequences if convicted, will be more. Here your price floor for a low level (Class D or E felony) is $2,500. For violent crimes which can mean mandatory prison time, $7,500 and up.
These are non-trial fees, meaning what you would expect to pay to resolve your case through a settlement with the prosecutor. Adding in the time and preparation of going to trial, which means reviewing mountains of evidence, cross examining witnesses, picking jurors, and also potentially having a sentencing hearing if convicted, then it’s going to be many times those prices I just listed. Realistically, very few cases go to trial. But yours might be one of the few which does.
It’s going to be a lot of money, but you have to understand that you are now in a situation where your whole future is at risk. You could lose your freedom, your job, your reputation—everything is at stake. Get the best lawyer you can afford.
Patrick Stegall is a <a href=”/contact”>Memphis criminal defense attorney</a>. He’s helped thousands of clients stay out of jail and put these difficult situations behind them. Call him at 901-205-9894 for help.