How Do Criminal Defence Lawyers Charge In BC?

Written by Jerry Steele

Criminal Defence

How Do Criminal Defence Lawyers Charge In BC?

Written by Jerry Steele

Criminal Defence
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For more than 20 years, Steele Law has successfully guided individuals and business entities through the unique challenges posed by criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as prosecutions in state and federal courts nationwide.
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If you’re not intimately involved in the legal system, the way lawyers charge their clients for their services might be unclear. Today, we intend to clarify this subject and talk about how criminal defence lawyers charge in BC. Often, you won’t wonder about this until you’re facing criminal charges and you’re wondering how the financial side of things will play out.

How BC Criminal Defence Lawyers Charge Their Clients

Let’s give you a head start by covering four primary pricing structures BC criminal defence lawyers might use:

  1. Hourly rates
  2. Contingency fees
  3. Flat fees
  4. Legal aid
  5. Pro bono

Hourly Rates 

Most lawyers charge their clients by the hour. Typically, their hourly rate will depend on factors such as experience and reputation in the industry. The more experienced a lawyer is, the higher their hourly rate tends to be. So, if you’re seeking the services of a top-tier lawyer, then expect to pay top dollar—often, this is rewarded with top-tier results. 

This doesn’t mean automatically choosing the most expensive lawyer by any means. Rather, always do your research and make sure you understand the value of a lawyer’s services.  

Contingency Fees

This is an interesting type of pricing you might come across for certain types of cases: contingency fees are fees paid to a lawyer only if a case is successful, typically a percentage of the damages recovered. With that in mind, it is perhaps not surprising these fees aren’t permitted for family law cases that involve child custody. In some cases, they can be used for other family law matters with approval.  

Contingency fees can be a suitable option for those who cannot afford to pay hourly rates. Still, it’s worth noting that the percentage of damages recovered is typically higher than what you would pay hourly. 

Flat Fees

This type of pricing is becoming increasingly popular in more straightforward cases. A flat fee is a fixed amount paid for legal services, regardless of how much time the lawyer spends on your case. Generally, this pricing structure works well for routine cases requiring little time and effort from a lawyer. In criminal defence cases, it’s not as common to see flat fees, as each case tends to be unique and may require more time and effort from the lawyer. However, some lawyers offer flat fees for some instances or specific services within a case. 

Legal Aid

Legal aid is a BC government-funded service that provides legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford their own representation. To qualify, you must meet certain income and asset requirements, and the type of legal issue must fall within the scope of legal aid services. Learn more about Legal Aid BC here.

Pro Bono

Pro bono work refers to free legal services provided by lawyers for those who cannot afford representation but do not qualify for legal aid. This type of work is usually done voluntarily, often as a way for lawyers to give back to their community and help those in need. Clients can access pro bono services through organizations such as the Access Pro Bono Society of BC.

Conclusion: How BC Defence Lawyers Charge Their Clients 

While legal fees may seem daunting, different options are available to individuals seeking legal representation in BC. If you’re interested in learning more about pricing at Steele Law, we encourage you to contact Jerry Steele today so we can offer direct answers to your questions. 778-700-0012