How much will a criminal defense attorney cost? This is one of the most common questions we hear when meeting with people facing serious and life-changing criminal charges. Unfortunately there isn’t one answer, but let me try to explain what you should know when investing in a legal defense.
Do you charge by the hour?
No. The Awad Legal Team develops a flat fee to cover all of your representation after meeting our potential clients and planning the best strategy moving forward with your defense. This flat fee will take into consideration what needs to be done in your case, how long we anticipate your case taking before it resolves, and achieving the goals our client considers most important.
We do not charge an hourly fee, therefore your fee will not increase based on the amount of work necessary to protect your rights. We will work countless hours including weekends. Whatever it takes to get the best resolution possible will be covered by our flat fee.
How will I know how much money I need?
We don’t have cookie-cutter fees for our services. The Awad Legal Team takes the time to get to know our clients personally and professionally. Our flat fee takes into consideration the complexity of your case, the severity of the charges, the likelihood of a timely resolution, and each individual’s specific facts. The Awad Legal Team offers free strategy sessions and consultations. After these sessions the client will know what the flat fee is for their specific case, and what payment options can be arranged to secure our representation once you decide to move forward with us.
Is my fee refundable if my case resolves very soon?
The Awad Legal Team provides a payment plan that does not require an upfront payment in full. Our stages of payment allow our clients to understand exactly what they are paying for, and when. There will be part of our flat fee due before initial representation, and a later fee due before the beginning of trial. If we resolve your case ahead of schedule and without a trial, you will not need to pay for those full services. You will not be charged a non-refundable trial fee if you never have to go to trial.
Should I pay for an attorney if I qualify for a Public Defender?
A significant number public defenders are some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the State. Muneer Awad was a public defender for four years before going into private practice, and it was during his time as a public defender that he received extensive training and mentorship that is not available to many private attorneys. Public defenders also often have better relationships with prosecutors and judges that allow them to give better information and expectations to their clients.
This is important to consider especially because of the overwhelming and undeserved negative perception of Public Defenders in our society. In certain counties such as Cobb County, there is no public defender’s office. Instead, private attorneys are paid by the county to represent people who cannot afford their own attorney.
However, a client should hold their attorney to the same standards whether they are appointed or retained. You have a right to ask your attorney questions about their experience in taking cases to trial or negotiating favorable plea deals, their expectations, and your likelihood for a favorable resolution. You should never feel like your attorney is not on your side and it may not be a bad option to meet or speak with multiple attorneys before deciding who you want fighting by your side.
Does an Attorney with more experience cost more?
Sometimes, but experience is absolutely important. Muneer Awad has represented over 500 individuals who found themselves trapped in the criminal court system. Mr. Awad has also prepared for and fought in numerous jury trials which include Not Guilty verdicts on murder, rape, and child molestation cases. Mr. Awad has also fought for countless dismissals and reductions of charges for clients facing offenses including murder, armed robbery, and possession with intent to distribute. An honest attorney should be able to tell you whether or not they have the specific experience needed to competently handle your case.
Will I save money by representing myself?
Not always. An honest attorney should be able to tell you whether or not you need an attorney at all. That is one of the things the Awad Legal Team decides during your free strategy session & consultation. However, if you are considering pleading guilty to a crime without an attorney you may be unaware of the costs associated with your guilty plea such as fines or probation fees. An attorney can also help you avoid life-changing consequences of a guilty plea such as a criminal record, license suspensions, or even deportation. Even people who think they are guilty don’t realize there are other options that will help them avoid court fines, probation fees, and a permanent criminal record.
Schedule a free consultation and strategy session with the Awad Legal Team to know what you should do next.