If there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on, it is that hiring a lawyer is expensive. However, is this really true? If you find yourself in legal trouble, and you are not able to afford a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA, does that simply mean you are out of luck? Like most things, the reality is not quite what people think. The truth is that the cost of attorneys varies quite drastically, and there are many cases when legal services are offered at no cost to the client. This guide will explain everything you need to know about legal services costs.
How Much To Expect
First things first, what if you need to pay for an attorney and no special cases apply. What should you expect to pay? There is always going to be a spectrum of costs when it comes to a lawyer. You will be able to choose a less expensive attorney to suit your budget.
Typically, however, the least expensive attorneys will still charge at least several hundred dollars. The most expensive attorneys usually fall in the range of tens or hundreds of thousands, but legal services that cost that much are completely excessive for the average person.
You should also know that your location will also affect lawyer fees. It is simply a natural thing for a lawyer in bigger cities to charge more than in smaller towns.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are the defendant in a criminal case, then you have the option to receive a public defender. You will know if your case is a criminal one if you are accused by the authorities, rather than an individual or group of civilians.
Public defenders provide legal services at no cost to the defendant. It is a basic right in the U.S. to never have to face criminal charges without legal representation. You can choose to waive your right to a public defender, but that is an option that is always offered at the arraignment, which is the first court appearance.
Other Legal Aid Services
If you are not the defendant in a criminal case, there are a few other options available to you to receive legal services at little or no cost to you.
- Pro bono attorney – Lawyers are encouraged to provide a certain number of hours of free legal services per year.
- Legal aid law firms – Some law firms are funded by the state and do not charge the client.
If you cannot afford an attorney, look into these options in your area.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense and the cost of attorneys.