Aside from reputation and experience, pricing is among the first things potential clients always ask about when attempting to hire a private criminal defense attorney. This makes sense because most people have never experienced hiring a criminal attorney before and are completely oblivious as to what it will actually costs. In fact, clients are often so afraid of discussing the topic of cost that they just stick with a public defender even when they do not want to. This is a tragedy because one can often find very competent counsel at reasonable prices.
Why hire an attorney when you can have one appointed to you for free? This too is a common question and is tied to the question of attorney pricing. There is nothing wrong with using a public defender as there are many fine attorneys who work as one. But one thing you (should) get with a private attorney is time and that, in a nutshell, is what you are hiring. Public defenders are so over worked that they often have hundreds of clients to deal with and it is impossible to devout the time necessary to each one. With a private attorney you are buying personal service, personal attention, and often more experience.
So back to the question of cost. As you would expect, the cost for hiring a private attorney varies greatly within the community. Many criminal attorney's utilize flat fees in criminal cases (like we do here) because it provides the client with a known and certain cost. Other attorney's charge by the hour, which essentially means you agree on an hourly rate but the end bill is left open-ended. Flat fees are much preferred as they are predictable.
Now, if you call around for a simple DUI here in Fresno, CA, you will likely hear flat fees ranging from $1000 to over $10,000. The client often wonders why there is a difference and the reasons can vary. Be wary of the cheapest option you find because that might mean the attorney is just looking to improve cash flow and won't necessarily put the time in. Also be wary of the most expensive because you may be paying mostly for the attorney's name, which does not mean a whole lot as to how your particular case might play out. Also consider that most of the most expensive attorneys will assign the case to a staff attorney and will not handle the case themselves.
Instead, you should focus on hiring an attorney that makes you feel comfortable, who explains everything to you. Like most things in life you should probably follow your instincts even if that means paying a bit more. After all, is it not better to pay a bit more to an attorney who will do everything necessary to win your case then one who is just looking to close a deal?
We here at the Law Office of Nicco Capozzi are not the cheapest nor the most expensive and that is right where we want to be. We pride ourselves on running a very efficient and technologically advanced office that makes our processes run smoother and quicker. As such, we have more time to devout to clients while at the same time keeping our overhead down. We pass these savings on to our clients. We also offer payments plan that help clients spread out the cost. We provide 100% complete personal attention to your case and always do everything necessary to fight the case. But there are other very fine attorneys and we encourage you to call around and listen to your instincts. For more information about our pricing click here or read more about our firm here.