What is the basis for lawyer's fees for criminal cases like DUI, charges of theft or assault etc Win or Lose?
I am looking for attorney's who are fair that if they cannot win the case for the client to offer at least refund of the huge amount of fees they charge.
I know I am going to get lots of flack from avvo community attorneys and justification for the entitlement of charging outrageous fees.
4 attorney answers
That is not how things work. Contingency fees are not allowed in criminal cases. You would pay hourly or a flat fee, usually up front. If there is retainer money left after the case is resolved, that should be refunded.
Criminal defense is - mostly - not about winning. It's about damage control. If you have been charged with a crime it's because one or more people have determined that there is probable cause to believe that you committed the crime and an attorney (the prosecutor) believes that they can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Most criminal cases do not result in an acquittal or dismissal of all the charges. However, the reason that you hire an attorney is that the result you get representing yourself is almost always significantly worse.
If you want to compare this to engineering, think about taking on a project that a group of people - including another engineer - have already determined is probably impossible to complete. Would you still think it's fair that you get fired if you don't complete it? Would you also agree to give back your salary for all the work you put in when you get fired? Is that how your job really works?
No attorney would ever represent an individual charged with crime if there was a chance he/she were guilty if that were the case. Most individuals are guilty of something if they were arrested. In a court case, there will be a loser. Either the prosecution or defense. Are suggesting that one or the other shouldn't be paid? In engineering, there doesn't have to be a loser.
Robert D. Kane, Jr. Esq. Licensed in CALIFORNIA (based in City of Orange, Orange County;) and MINNESOTA (based in Eagan, Dakota County.) State and Federal Courts My answers are for general information only and not legal advice. My answers should not be relied on as specific legal advice. Much more information would most likely be needed for a legal opinion. My answers are based on Minnesota or California law as appropriate. I am only licensed in California and Minnesota. I provide legal advice and counsel during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. This relationship is established by a written agreement and a retainer (unless otherwise agreed upon.)
Lawyers are only allowed to have contingency fee arrangements for certain types of cases. Criminal cases are not among them. The reason you have to pay is that a lawyer's time is what he has to sell, and once it's gone, it's gone for good. Criminal cases can take up a huge amount of time, because the criminal dockets are overfull. I have spent entire days in court on a criminal case when I didn't have a trial, just stuck there waiting for other cases to be heard. Should I donate that time to my client? Law school is expensive, lawyers have student loans, mortgages, debts, children to support, same as anybody else. Yes, we get to charge more for our time than others, but that's because we are in a learned profession. We also have to do a lot of work that we will never get paid for, such as continuing education, which is required.