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   Comments (1)

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.
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   Comments (1)
CostHelper News


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013


Our Top 10 Favorite Secret Menu Items
Don't believe everything you read. Those menus posted at your favorite fast food spot or coffee stand are not the be all and end all of their offerings. || Posted October 25 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
class B selling marijuana
Amount: $5,000.00 per hour
Posted by: Krob in Linn Creek, MO.Posted: May 8th, 2015 10:05PM
Paid 3,000 up front and had to pay 2,000 before preliminary hearing.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

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
Angiogram of heart
Paid: 55150.00
Had this procedure done to check heart due to abnormal stress test. Did not need any stents or any other procedure as everything was negative... [more]
-Pamela Garrett
Angiogram Cost
HELP: asbestos in furance - many questions
Paid: 0.00
I am renting out my home in Grand Rapids, MI and have received a notice from the city that the home must be inspected... [more]
-Busa
Asbestos Removal Cost
Belly
Paid: 45.00
The clamp was annoying so it took away concentration of the tiny sting of the needle. I had just turned 15 at the the time and I've had it for almost a year and it has healed fast and never given me any trouble... [more]
-Madi
Body Piercings Cost
Duckwork
Paid: 3009.00
Single family home... [more]
-Lfdykes
Ductwork Cost
2 half shafts replaced
Paid: 140.00
Bought the axles myself on ebay for 40 each, then had a mobile mechanic come to my house to do the work. It is not a hard job, but has a couple tricky parts for a subaru. Easier for a honda or toyota... [more]
-Subbie Giy
Replacing a CV Boot Cost
Even with insurance looking at going broke
Paid: 55000.00
Recently on a camping vacation my 11 year old became very sick. Took him to the closest hospital. Found out he is type 1 diabetic. Was very sick and had to be flown from Rock Springs WY, to Salt Lake City, UT. 185 mile on the ground... [more]
-Broke and confused.
Air Ambulance Cost