Legal Fees in General
When charged with a serious crime, many individuals are concerned both with the possible consequences of the criminal charge and the cost of retaining a qualified lawyer. While the potential consequences of a criminal charge may be unnerving, the cost of retaining a criminal defense lawyer may be overwhelming and immediate.
Because Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers set their own fees, there can be enormous differences in what they charge, either as a flat or fixed fee or per hour. Since nearly every criminal defense attorney advertises himself as a skilled and aggressive trial lawyer, it may be tempting to retain the attorney who charges the least. After all, why pay more than you need to?
While those responsible for issuing licenses to those who have passed the bar may take the position that all licensed lawyers are competent, that position is mostly nonsense. Lawyers, like any other professionals, vary in ability. A few are simply masters of their craft. They see legal and factual issues that other lawyers miss, effectively cross-examine witnesses, and captivate jurors with their closing arguments. In contrast, some lawyers are unable to identify important legal issues, draft air-tight motions, construct sound trial strategies, vigorously cross-examine witnesses, or articulate winning arguments. As a result, they succeed less frequently in representing their clients.
Obviously, talented criminal defense lawyers are in demand and, therefore, they can charge higher fees. To attract clients, less talented lawyers charge lower fees.
We recognize that the cost of retaining a highly skilled Cambridge, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer can be a debilitating expense for an individual or his family. While Attorney Mahoney is a very capable advocate for his clients and, perhaps, one of the very best cross-examiners in the country, we charge legal fees that are comparable to other firms. And, in many instances, we charge less. After all, we likely pay far less overhead by maintaining a Cambridge, MA office than do lawyers renting offices in downtown Boston.
Because of variables we cannot control or always anticipate, it can be difficult for us to properly estimate the number of hours needed to prepare a case for various hearings or for trial, we usually charge our clients on an hourly basis. By charging an hourly rate, we protect the client from paying too much in legal fees where we have, despite our best efforts, overestimated the time and commitment required and, at the same time, protect ourselves from having to invest many more hours than anticipated into a case for a modest fee. While we are driven by a genuine passion for our clients’ causes and obtaining a just result for them, we must cover our operating expenses, including the salaries of our hardworking staff.
For those cases for which we can, from experience, accurately assess the amount of time and effort required to represent the client successfully, we offer fixed fee or flat fee agreements. If we do offer a client the option of a fixed or flat fee, the client may always opt to enter into an hourly fee agreement.
During our free initial consultation, Attorney Mahoney or Attorney Ionson will, following an in depth discussion of your case and your expectations, discuss our legal fees with you, including any additional costs associated with your particular case, such as investigation fees, expert fees, court fees, and other anticipated expenses. For many District Court level criminal cases, there are few additional costs. Call us at 617-492-0055 or by using our online questionnaire to schedule an appointment with us to discuss your case.
Unfortunately, because of the complexities involved in properly estimating the number of hours needed to successfully represent you, we cannot discuss anticipated legal fees with you over the telephone or through email correspondence.