Being charged with a crime is understandably terrifying. You’re likely to have many questions about the process and what you can expect. One of the most common questions, of course, is how much does a criminal lawyer cost in Ottawa.
That’s what we’re going to look at here. We’ll find out the cost of a criminal lawyer Ottawa, why it’s a difficult question to answer, and the factors that go into how much you’ll pay. By the end, you should have much more clarity on the cost of an Ottawa criminal defense lawyer.
What Criminal Lawyers Charge in Ottawa
It’s incredibly difficult to give an exact cost of what criminal lawyers charge in Ottawa. The reason is that it can depend on a huge range of factors. A simple case that doesn’t go to trial is likely to only cost a few thousand dollars, however, a complex case that does go to trial may end up costing over $50,000.
In general, a non-trial case is expected to cost between $2,000 and $10,000, whereas a trial case is usually in the region of $5,000 to $50,000. We admit that having such a huge range of figures isn’t particularly helpful.
Due to this, the best thing you can do is to have a consultation with your chosen lawyers. Many practices will offer this consultation for free, and you’ll be able to go over the case and ask about their fee structure and have an estimate of the overall costs.
If those costs sounds completely unaffordable to you, then help may be at hand. In you’re a low earner then you may be eligible for legal aid. This can be an important way to get legal representation without significant costs, but sadly, not a huge number of people are eligible.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Criminal Lawyer in Ottawa
There are several factors that affect how much you’ll pay for a criminal lawyer.
Complexity of the Case – The more complex a case, the more time and resources it consumes. Thus, your lawyer will charge you more if they deem your case to be a complex one.
Legal Service Required – Cases that go to trial require more legal work from your lawyer. As such, you’ll pay more in legal fees if your case goes to trial versus if it is resolved without going to trial, such as via a plea bargain or negotiation.
Duration of the Trial – The longer a trial stretches, the more work a lawyer does. So, when your case goes to trial, the fee you pay is likely to rise depending on how long the trial lasts.
Reputation of the Lawyer or Law Firm – Some lawyers simply charge more than others. Lawyers with a strong reputation in criminal defense tend to ask for higher fees.
Hourly Rate Versus Block Fees
Criminal defense lawyers are known for charging their clients by the hour. However, many criminal lawyers and law firms now opt for flat rates, also called block fees.
In hourly rate billing, your lawyer charges a set amount for each hour they work on your case. So, the total amount you’ll pay is calculated by multiplying the hourly rate by the total number of hours spent on your case. But in flat rate billing, you pay a predetermined fee, irrespective of the scope of the legal work.
The flat rate/block fee billing is fast becoming the preferred choice amongst people needing criminal defense lawyers. Whatever your preference, your chosen lawyers should be upfront about exactly what they charge and any potential additional costs.
Do Higher Fees Indicate Better Results?
The “you get what you pay for” notion doesn’t always apply in criminal law. The fee that a criminal defense lawyer charges is not necessarily a reflection of their skill or success rate. Just because a criminal lawyer is expensive doesn’t mean they will give you better service or that they will you will get a better result.
Like in every other business, criminal defense lawyers can charge whatever they think is fair for their services. However, this figure depends on several factors and can be unrelated to their abilities. For example, lawyers with more overheads typically charge more to cover their relatively higher running costs.
There are other lawyers out there that may charge more to give the impression they’ll provide a premium service. Due to this, it’s important not to automatically equate the most expensive lawyer with the best lawyer in your area.
Fees are just one factor that goes into choosing a great criminal lawyer. It’s important to focus on finding a lawyer you have a good connection with, and one that has a proven track record of delivering excellent results.
The costs of a criminal lawyer Ottawa Ontario can vary depending on numerous factors. The most crucial of these are the complexity of the case, the services required, and the duration of the trail. These factors mean the final costs can be anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to over $50,000.
The best thing you can do is to get a consultation right away to get a much better idea of how you can be represented and how much you’ll need to pay. If are in need to legal representation, then contact AGP LLP today. We’ll be happy to offer you a consultation and guide you on the next steps.