While you may think your case boils down to one or two simple questions — Can the prosecution prove me guilty? If so, what sentence can I get? — in reality the criminal justice system is much more complex than that, and obtaining the best possible result in your case will often require investigation, legal research and analysis, the filing of legal motions, and work directed toward convincing the judge, the prosecutor or a jury of the right and just way to bring the case to conclusion.
My fees will vary depending on the complexity of the case, the amount of discovery that I need to analyze, the possibility of an early favorable disposition of the case, the need for written and oral motion work, and whether a trial will be necessary. In general, I work on an hourly rate which will be determined when we reach an agreement on the work which I will be hired to do. I can usually give you an estimate of the amount of hours that your case will require. Unlike many lawyers, I bill in 6-minute increments instead of 15-minute increments, which can save you a good deal of money in the long run.
Generally, I will ask that a certain amount of money be paid up front before I start performing substantive work on the case. This money will be placed in a separate trust account set up on your behalf, and I will not withdraw that money until I have performed work to earn it, according to our fee agreement. You will periodically -- or upon your request -- get a statement from me detailing what work I have done on your case, and what the balance in your account is. If the funds you have deposited in your trust account become insufficient to complete the preparation of your case, I will ask you to deposit additional funds.
In some circumstances, I will accept a case for a flat fee, where I will agree to handle the case for a certain specified fee. That fee would include all necessary research, investigation, and briefing that would be required to bring the case to trial or to settlement.
Often, it will be necessary for me to hire investigators, expert witnesses, paralegals, or other professionals to assist me in the preparation of your case. If those professionals need to be hired, I will first ask your consent to retain them, and let you know what their qualifications and fees are. You will be responsible for paying all professional fees, including payment in advance should the professional require it.
Finally, when I am done with my work on your case, all funds remaining in your trust account will be promptly refunded to you.