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Is it appropriate for a lawyer to ask me for money up front?

Las Vegas, NV |

I received a reckless driving ticket in Las Vegas (doing 50mph in a 25mph zone) and I live out of state, so I'm considering getting an attorney to represent me. One I spoke to said they charge a $500 fee up front and they would attempt to get the ticket reduced to a parking violation (I don't think that's likely) or to a speeding ticket with a fine and traffic school. (which I feel is more likely) Once I give them my money, what prevents them from taking my money and running? How do I know they will show up for me on my court date and do what they say they will? This is my first experience with anything like this, so I am a bit apprehensive. I will probably pay the same whether I handle it myself or obtain the attorney, but if the latter gets the reckless off my record, I'd prefer that.

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

Almost every lawyer will charge an up front retainer fee. Check out the attorney on the Nevada State Bar's website and make sure he doesn't have complaints. If he doesn't then I think you can rest assured he will show up to court and handle your case for you. Attorneys are professionals with reputations to protect.

The information provided is not intended as legal advice and does not establish an attorney client relationship. If you are in the greater Sacramento area and wish a further consultation please contact me at (916)594-9442.


For every attorney who has failed to perform promised services under retainer, hundreds of clients have stiffed an attorney. Every attorney has learned to protect the right to collect a fee. Up-front retainers are usually required to b e placed in the attorney's trust account pending the delivery of the legal services intended to earn the fee. Most attorneys require a legal services agreement regarding the retainer and additional fees that night be due.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


I cannot imagine an attorney who handles this type of case not charging a fee that must be paid up front.
There is no guarantee about the reckless. That may need other tactics if simple negotiations fail.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.



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Most, if not all, criminal defense attorneys charge up front. My office represent quite a few out of state clients. We have a retainer agreement that specifies the fee and the scope of representation. While it's possible that an attorney could take your $500 and run, it's unlikely. There are many reasons why it's not worth it, including facing discipline with the State Bar. I don't think an attorney would risk his license for $500. As long as your agreement is in writing, you should be ok.

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