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Is it standard for a criminal lawyer to charge fees upfront?

Miami, FL |

we are meeting with a lawyer on monday to discuss re-opening a case a family member was convicted of 30 years ago. they idea is to have the conviction reversed in order to file for permanent residency and avoid deportation to nicaragua. the lawyer said the cost would be $5000 and wants the payment up front. Is that standard practice?

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Attorney answers 2


Yes. Most attorneys require an upfront advance against fees. Some require payment in full on a fixed fee basis before they begin work.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


The short answer in criminal cases is YES. I would suggest a consult first (explore all options and find out how confident the attorney is with regard to success) and also urge that you meet with an attorney with experience in immigration law. Finally, I also suggest that you get several opinions from well regarded criminal law attorneys before hiring one.

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