How are the Fees Arranged with a Defense Lawyer
Fee arrangements are available for the payment of criminal legal fees. Factors that may be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee in a criminal case may include the following:
- The time and labor required;
- The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
- The skill required to perform the legal service properly;
- The likelihood, if apparent to the defendant, that the acceptance of the particular case would preclude other employment by the attorney;
- The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
- The time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances of the case;
- The nature and length of the professional relationship with the defendant; and
- The experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney or attorneys performing the services.
The range of fees which may be charged by criminal defense attorneys may vary a great deal depending on the attorney, client, and crime involved. The determinative factor in assessing the fee is often the experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney. Since this element, as well as many of the factors listed above, is extremely subjective, it is difficult to determine whether any fee in a criminal case is actually unconscionable. Any uncertainty in determining unconscionability should be resolved in favor of the attorney.
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