If you’re facing misdemeanor charges, we know what you’re thinking: it’s just a misdemeanor. How serious can it be? Do I even need a lawyer? And is it worth the cost to hire one?
If these questions are going through your mind, the most important thing to note that there is no such thing as a minor criminal offense. Any criminal charge, including a misdemeanor, can have serious, lasting repercussions, and hiring a criminal defense attorney is more than worth it.
Many defendants avoid consulting a criminal lawyer for misdemeanors due to the perceived cost of a private attorney. However, hiring an attorney is often cheaper than you may think, and in many cases, it can actually save you money. Here’s what you need to know about the cost of a lawyer for a misdemeanor from the trusted criminal defense attorneys at the Griffin Law Office.
What is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a categorical term used to describe any lower-level criminal act. Common misdemeanors in California include DUI/DWI, reckless driving, trespassing, drug possession, domestic violence, shoplifting, public intoxication, and solicitation, among others.
Misdemeanors are prosecuted less harshly than felonies, with penalties including a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail (with some exceptions). Without adequate representation, these penalties can come at a major cost and have significant repercussions on your life, both now and in the future.
Average Cost of a Lawyer for Misdemeanor Charges
Since each case is unique, the cost to hire a lawyer can vary based on a number of factors. These include:
- The charges you are facing
- The complexity of your case
- Your criminal history
Essentially, the more time it will take for your attorney to work on your case, the more expensive it will be. Because of this, misdemeanors tend to cost less than felonies. Other factors that can influence the cost include the experience of the attorney, whether they charge a flat fee or an hourly rate, and your location. Due to the high cost of living in California, a criminal defense attorney for a San Diego misdemeanor will likely cost more than a lawyer for a similar situation elsewhere in the country.
The typical criminal defense attorney’s hourly fee ranges from $100 to $400 per hour. An attorney who works on an hourly rate may also charge a retainer fee on top of their hourly legal fees.
Taking all of these factors into account, the average cost of a criminal defense attorney for a misdemeanor ranges from $1,500 to $5,000, with lower-level, uncomplicated misdemeanors sitting at the bottom end of the spectrum. This is only an estimate, however, so the best way to find out how much your specific case will cost is to schedule a free consultation with a local law firm.
Is the Cost Worth It?
It’s all too common to see misdemeanor offenders attempt to handle their own cases. They may think they’re saving money, but the results of this decision can be catastrophic.
When you work with the Griffin Law Office, we will apply our extensive skills, resources, and experience to dismiss or reduce your charges to the fullest extent possible. In doing this, our goal is to soften the blow of a misdemeanor charge or conviction so you can begin to get your life back on track.
A criminal conviction can mean months behind bars and exorbitant fines along with a criminal record that can impact your eligibility for a job or a loan. These impacts can prove expensive, so the cost of a skilled criminal defense lawyer for a misdemeanor tends to pay for itself. We offer free consultations, so you can get a better idea of how we can help you and how much it may cost before you make a decision. Contact us today at (619) 815-7281 to get started.