Are Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers Expensive?

Are Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers Expensive?

Having a good Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer has a tremendous value.

If you have been accused of a crime, one of your biggest concerns is how to avoid being convicted. If charged in Las Vegas specifically, you will want to know if Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are affordable. Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are generally not significantly more expensive than lawyers in other state. However given the size of Las Vegas, there is a higher record of criminal activity here, keeping criminal defense attorneys busy.

If charged with a crime, most folks understand that they want a good criminal defense lawyer but may not know what cost to expect. But because so much is at stake, you do understand that navigating the legal system with a good lawyer will increase your chances of a good outcome.

Las Vegas criminal  defense lawyer discussing fees

In general, your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer’s cost will depend on the crime and on the amount of time your lawyer spends on the case. Most attorneys charge by the hour so if it is a misdemeanor or small infraction, the case may be disposed of relatively quickly and inexpensively. A more serious felony charge for say assault or a drug crime, can take greater time to prepare for trial or negotiate a plea deal. Although it can be expensive, given the ramifications of a conviction – jail time, costly fines, long term damage to personal and professional reputation – it is well worth the expense to launch the best defense possible.

An average hourly rate is about $300 per hour so if your case takes 10 hours then you would expect to pay $3000. Sometimes a lawyer will charge a flat fee or offer a payment plan. If a flat fee is not appropriate because of the complexity of the crime, do not hesitate to discuss with your attorney what you can expect.

General Estimates

That being said, a general price range can be estimated based on the type of crime in question. Keep in mind these estimations can change depending on the state and the specific charge in question.

  • Infractions – up to $2,500

Generally refers to the most minor offenses on the books, like traffic citations or code enforcement violations. Ideally your attorney will be able to review your case, make an appearance on your behalf if necessary, and spend a small amount of time negotiating for a quick resolution.

Costs could increase, however, should you decide to dispute the infractions in question, which could take a little more time and effort on your attorney.

  • Misdemeanors – $2,500 to $8,000

As second-tier criminal charges, misdemeanors start getting more expensive in terms of legal representation because jail time is a possibility and fines can be hefty. Your freedom and your wallet can be impacted and you would want to avoid conviction.

The more severe the crime, the more costly legal representation can be. Misdemeanors tend to require a full courtroom proceeding, which leads to additional costs for everyone involved. You may find though that your attorney will work to help you avoid a costly trial and work towards getting the charges dropped or negotiate to a lesser charge. This is a valuable skill you want in your criminal defense attorney.

For example, a person charged with a first time traffic citation may find that their lawyer can negotiate a lesser fine or minimal or no jail time. A traffic citation is a criminal offense in the State of Nevada. Most traffic offenses are misdemeanors, while severe offenses can be charged as felonies.

  • Felonies – $5,000 and upward

Felony cases especially those involving violence tend to up the stakes in terms of punishment. Depending on the severity of the charges in question, most lawyers will charge more for this type of case. Costs will be affected by a number of factors including the skill of the lawyer, whether the case goes to trial, and whether investigators or expert witness will be needed. Because felonies carry greater penalties, they often require more court appearances and more preparation and research.

For example, legal defenses against drug charges can range from $3,000 to $10,000; cyberstalking can exceed $10,000; and domestic violence can be as high at $15,000 depending on the level of violence. It is not unusual for a capital case like homicide to cost over $50,000.

Choose the Right Attorney

The good news for Las Vegas residents is attorney Jherna Shahani. Ms Shahani has an extensive background and experience in criminal defense and a passion for defending her clients with care and compassion. If you are accused of a crime, contact Shahani Law and discuss your case. Contact Shahani Law today for a free consultation.

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