Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Drug Defense Attorney

Drug Defense Attorney Cost


How Much Does a Drug Defense Attorney Cost?

 
low costLow: Misdemeanors start around $2,000-$5,000average costMedium: Felonies can be $5,000-$15,000 at $100-$300+ per hourhigh costHigh: Felonies can run $20,000-$30,000+
post E-mail post Post  

Depending on the amount and type of substance involved, drug charges may be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Most states and the federal government define misdemeanors as crimes punishable by a year or less in jail; felonies are all offenses with a maximum sentence of more than a year.

Typical costs:

  • A lawyer may charge a flat fee for a specific phase of the case (such as the preliminary/pretrial hearing and motions) or an hourly rate of $100-$300 or more. Either way, you must pay the attorney an advance fee known as a retainer, based either on all or part of the flat fee or an estimated number of hours. If an attorney works on a hourly rate, as legal services are provided, the hourly fee is deducted from the retainer; when it's gone, you will be billed for more money. Whether your lawyer is working on an hourly rate or flat fee, retainers for a criminal defense attorney on drug-related charges start around $2,000-$5,000 for misdemeanors and $5,000-$15,000 for felonies, but can easily be $20,000-$30,000 and more for serious or life felonies, or complex cases that will involve a lot of hours and expert witnesses. The total legal fees will depend on the length and complexity of your case.
  • If you are facing felony charges and can't afford to hire an attorney, you are legally entitled to a lawyer at no charge to you. The judge will either assign a government public defender or appoint a private attorney to represent you. Nolo Press discusses how to get the court to appoint a lawyer and representing yourself.
Related articles: DUI Attorney, Felony Defense Attorney, Expungement

What should be included:
  • Drug crimes may include possession, manufacture, delivery, distribution, trafficking and cultivation. Charges may be brought in either the state or federal courts, depending on circumstances. The federal government imposes mandatory minimum sentences[1] based on the type of drug (marijuana may be considered less serious than cocaine or meth), the weight of the drug mixture and the number of prior convictions. A federal judge has little or no flexibility in the length of a prison sentence for a drug offense unless the person is able to provide the government with information to prosecute other drug offenders.
  • Anything you tell your attorney is confidential, but your attorney cannot lie to the court for you or knowingly offer a false defense. FindLaw.com explains what a criminal defense lawyer does[2] .
  • There are laws governing all the steps in a criminal case, starting with the investigation, arrest, arraignment and bail procedures. The American Bar Association describes the possible steps in a trial[3] and provides a diagram of how a case moves through the justice system[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Felony trials often require the testimony of expert witnesses, which can add $2,000-$7,000 or more to the total costs.
  • Attorneys working on an hourly basis charge for any time spent answering your questions on the phone or by e-mail, as well as case-related expenses such as interviews, research or photocopies. If hiring an attorney on a flat fee basis, be sure you understand what is and is not included, and if there will be additional costs if your case goes to trial.
  • Court fees or fines vary widely depending on the charges and location, and are in addition to your attorney's fees.
Shopping for a drug defense attorney:
  • Meet with several attorneys to find the best one to handle your case. Know the exact charges against you, your court date, your bail amount and any other pertinent facts. Ask about the attorney's education, experience and area of specialty. Lawyers.com gives tips for selecting a lawyer[5] , plus how to prepare to meet with an attorney for the first time[6] and what to do during an initial consultation[7] .
  • Search for attorneys through the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys or the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network's Lawyer Locator[8] .
  • Your attorney will provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand what is covered, and any other fees and expenses you might have to pay.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Drug Defense Attorney
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * per hour
Type of Case: Firm: 
Hourly or Sum: Fee Per Hour: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.drugpolicy.org/fighting-drug-war-injustice
  2.  criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-legal-help/what-you-can-expect-from-the-best-criminal-def...
  3.  www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network.html
  4.  www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how...
  5.  criminal.lawyers.com/Criminal-Law-Basics/Criminal-Law-Selecting-a-Good-Lawyer.html
  6.  criminal.lawyers.com/Criminal-Law-Basics/Criminal-Preparing-to-Meet-with-a-Lawyer.html
  7.  criminal.lawyers.com/Criminal-Law-Basics/Criminal-Meeting-with-a-Lawyer.html
  8.  www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Insulation and labor of sump pump
Paid: 11000.00
My 87 year old mother was just told by Roto Rooter it would cost her 11,000 for a submersible sump pump to be instaled and connected to her city sewer... [more]
-Maryizene
Sump Pump Cost
Disposals
Paid: 265.00
$265.00 is about the going rate for a badger 5 disposal in the Cincinnati area.... [more]
-Mark45236
Garbage Disposal Cost
timing belt, water pump and thermostat
Paid: 800.00
My car over heated and the thermostat needle was fully up. They replaced the water pump, thermostat, timing belt and other old hoses once they were inside the engine...plus an oil change. in my 1998 Pathfinder. All is well after that... [more]
-CBG
Replacing a Timing Belt Cost
Dentures
Paid: 6000.00
This will be my second set of dentures. I've learned there are different types for different budgets. My first pair were premium and lasted over 25 years... [more]
-MaggieMae 368
Dentures Cost
Gift of love
Paid: 300.00
I just made my son's wedding cake. It was 4 tiers, with a rough frosting exterior. The frosting was made with real butter and whipping cream. The cake layers were baked from scratch. It cost $300 for the ingredients and supplies... [more]
-Debobo
Wedding Cake Cost
Home visit, euthanasia & communal cremation
Paid: 300.00
Our experience was very similar to Sharlene's in Anaheim. Our lab (70 lbs.) was almost 15. He was given a sedative (shot) first. We had the convertible couch bed open in the living room... [more]
-Mary K Swift
Pet Euthanasia Cost