Criminal law in Minnesota is different from other areas of law, and that is important when considering who to hire as your criminal defense lawyer. When you seek a lawyer for personal injury, or wrongful termination, employment issues, or other lawsuits, the question is most often “do I have a case?” Your consultation involves a fact exploration to decide if you have a good case to begin litigation. Attorneys often are paid out of settlement or damage, so their fee is dependent on the outcome
When you are charged with a criminal offense, and consult with a criminal defense lawyer, circumstances are very different. It means there is already a case, and it has a court file number, and the State has a lawyer, and that means you need one too. You are facing the most serious consequences a government can impose. Jail. Prison. The collateral consequences of employment, licenses, etc. are also on the line.
A good criminal defense lawyer charges flat fees. That means, you pay them immediately, and they handle the case from the beginning to end, so you are paying in advance for future work. That doesn’t mean the fee isn’t refundable. It simply means that you are giving you criminal defense lawyer security to handle the entire case because they have to stick to it. While this seems perhaps strange or risky, there is a reason behind it. A criminal defense attorney does not need to determine whether litigation can be started. It already has, and there is a lot of work to do quickly. And if you are facing a criminal charge, the outcome is either (1) Conviction, (2) acquittal, (3) dismissal (4) plea to lesser charge. Negotiating these outcomes, or trying a case to a jury, is time consuming, and requires a criminal defense lawyer with a reputation for jury trials. The trouble of a jury trial, and the chances of the State to win or lose, really drive the result of a case. Even if a trial doesn’t happen, aggressive representation, negotiation, and motion practice, and the clear threat of trial, are all necessary for a criminal defense lawyer to achieve the optimal result. A common mantra at The Law Office of Alex DeMarco is “a good lawyer prepares to beat a case, prepares for trial, but also prepares to lose.” A savvy defense lawyer must always be prepared for trial, but must also be prepared for sentencing if they lose. If a case cannot be won, sentencing itself is also an important phase that can make the difference between sitting in a cage, and staying free.
The other reason for flat fees is that a criminal defense attorney cannot charge a fee for a specific outcome, and cannot withdraw from the case without a motion hearing before the court. This is because criminal law involves constitutional rights, and the very freedom of a person. So a criminal defense lawyer is very much bound to you until the very end of the case, and so being paid up front provides them the resources the need to stay focused on your case.
Alex does things differently than most lawyers. In addition to a free consultation, Alex will review documents in your case without charge, in order to determine (1) the degree of difficulty. (2) The seriousness of the offense. (3) the criminal record of a defendant as this may affect negotiation (4) the strength or weakness of the state’s case. These are the factors that go into making a decision on a flat fee. With variability, depending on circumstances, generally misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors can all be handled for $2500-3500, low level felonies, drugs, financial crimes, felony domestic assault by strangulation, or other offenses which have stayed prison time, most often can be handled for around $5,000-$6,000. More serious felonies can varybe vary a great deal beyond these numbers.
Remember that Alex will consult with you for free, will review documents relevant to your case, and get back to you with a secondary brief consultation on strengths and weaknesses of the case and how much it will cost. Alex DeMarco is an affordable, competent, aggressive criminal defense lawyer who saves you money, provide predictability to live your life, and gets results. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, DWI, domestic assault, possession of controlled substance, assault first, second, third, fourth, fifth degree, murder, criminal sexual conduct, fraud, or any other criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Alex DeMarco today.