Different lawyers charge different amounts. The fee depends on many factors, including the severity of the charges, the amount of time that the attorney will have to spend on the case, the attorney's skill, and many other factors. You should discuss the specifics of your case with attorneys in your area, either by scheduling an office conference or over the phone, but not in a public forum like this one.
The best answer to your question is another question "How much does a car cost?"
It really depends on the experience of the lawyer, the jurisdiction, the charge, defenses, and in general how much work the lawyer will have to do.
If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer you can have a public defender appointed for you.
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I am an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.
If something I say disagrees with what your own lawyer is telling you, you should rely on your lawyer who is familiar with you, your entire case, the local courts and practices.
Most questions are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Few, if any, legal matters should be handled via Internet communication. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services.
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Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. Click on the "More..." link for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about this AVVO Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I am an experienced Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.
First, is the possession charge a first, second, third? For first offenses, non-criminal resolution are become more and more the standard resolution and an experienced attorney will be able to quickly achieve such a result and SHOULD charge less. Second and subsequent charges could be issued as a felony resulting in attorneys charging much more for a retainer.
My other observation based upon the limited information you provided, is this: You can cooperate with the police AND keep you identity a secret. There are MANY levels of cooperation with the police from a simple "confidential debriefing" which involves providing information only and your name never leaves the room, to introductions (by you of an undercover officer to a suspected dealer) and controlled buys (by you from a suspected dealer where you are usually wearing a wire and/or are under video surveillance.
Bottom Line: Contact and hire a local attorney (he/she might know the officers involved) to contact the police and negotiate a "return" to the area that will give you peace of mind and put you in a comfortable position to resolve all of the charges (and potential charges) against you. Good Luck.