Understanding the Cost Structure of Criminal Lawyers

Criminal Lawyer
Criminal Lawyer

Criminal lawyers generally deal with cases like drugs trafficking, theft or robbery, physical or sexual assault and many more. An experienced criminal lawyer can offer valuable legal advice and work with you on your release from the case. So, as a service taker, you must know how much are criminal lawyers?

How much are Criminal Lawyers for Misdemeanor Charges?

  • Second-degree misdemeanor

The second-degree misdemeanour charges are different from the charges which fall under first offences. A criminal lawyer will cost, on average, around 2500 CAD.

The cheapest charge might fall to around a thousand dollars, whereas more expensive criminal lawyers will charge about 5000 CAD.

Some second-degree misdemeanour includes small amateur theft, trespassing, violation of security, misbehave and so on.

  • First-degree misdemeanor

On the other hand, first-degree misdemeanours are more challenging and require skilled and experienced criminal lawyer support which can increase how many criminal lawyers may charge.

The lowest amount starts with around 1500 CAD for hiring a criminal lawyer. On average, criminal lawyers charge about 4000 CAD from their clients, which can jump high up to more than 6000 CAD is severe cases.

Some first-degree misdemeanour includes domestic violence, resisting from arrest, refusal of co-operation, and so on.

Cost of Criminal Lawyers for Felony Charges

  • Third-degree felonies

The average cost range of criminal lawyers for third-degree criminal felony offences is somewhere around 5000 CAD to 10,000 CAD.

Criminals who are charged with third-degree felonies can face up to 5 years of prison with almost 5000 CAD fine.

  • Second-degree felonies

Second-degree felony charges cost even more as they much more violent charges claimed against a person. Criminal lawyers may charge around 25000 CAD at highest and minimum 7000 CAD.

Some of the second-degree felonies include certain dangerous theft and fraud activities, stolen property, buying of illegal substances and so on. You can be jailed for 15 years if criminal lawyers cannot prove your innocence.

  • First-degree felonies

These crimes are punishable by death. Criminal lawyers are required to be highly skilled, experienced and with a strong profile.

These types of criminal lawyers charge a minimum of 10,000 CAD for each case. The amount can rise up to 100,000 CAD with the average cost at around 50,000 CAD.

Factors that Affect How many Criminal Lawyers will Charge

  • Case complication

The major deciding factors of the cost of criminal lawyers are the complexity and seriousness of the case. This is evident as criminal lawyers charge more for felony charges than other misdemeanours.

Criminal lawyers invest more hours on serious charges when they require more pre-trial time, negotiations, and court appearances. Complex cases also involve intense investigation and testimony from witnesses from the attorney’s point of view. This eventually increases criminal lawyers’ fees.

  • Hourly rate vs flat fee

If the case is straight forward and less complicated, criminal lawyers charge hourly fees which reduces the total cost. However, the hourly rate can be misleading and confusing as clients, in most times, cannot calculate total cost from the very beginning.

On the other hand, complicated and time-consuming cases require more time from criminal lawyers. This skyrockets the fee of attorneys. This type of billing gives clients upfront knowledge about the total cost.

  • Skill and experience

This is just straightforward, simple as more skilled and highly experienced criminal lawyers will charge more money for their expertise. This is another reason why felony cases cost more.

On the other hand, simple misdemeanour cases do not require the expertise of high-profile criminal lawyers, which can reduce the cost they charge.

  • The criminal history of clients

Criminal history also affects how many criminal lawyers charge for a case. The previous history of criminal records means attorneys will have to put more time, effort, preparation, presentation and negotiation. These eventually result in criminal lawyers charging more for their valuable time poured in for the case.

  • Geography

The location of the crime and court hearings affect the amount charged by criminal lawyers as well. Just like how food and other products cost different at different parts of the world, criminal lawyers charge a different fee following the flexibility of the crime place and court location.

Should you be Hiring the Cheapest Criminal Lawyer?

Some clients get fooled by the assumption that only the high price criminal lawyers are best in the business. It is true, depending on your type of case, but you do not need a high-profile criminal lawyer for straightforward criminal charges.

On the other hand, criminal lawyers who charge very little have a lot of baggage in their briefcase with an ample amount of cases. This means that they will not be able to provide you with much time and effort. So, it is not always wise to choose the cheapest criminal lawyer as well.


It is evident that many factors affect how many criminal lawyers charge. However, clients must remember that they pay for what they get. So, highly experienced and skilled criminal lawyers will charge you high price, but their approach to your case will be pervasive as well.


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