How Much Is It to Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer in BC?

Written by Jerry Steele

Criminal Defence

How Much Is It to Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer 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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On top of the concerns and stress of facing criminal charges, it’s understandable to also worry about the financial burden of hiring a criminal defence lawyer in BC. However, regarding legal representation, you can’t afford not to employ an experienced criminal defence lawyer in BC. Here, we’ll discuss some of the different payment structures BC criminal lawyers use and a general idea of what to expect when it comes to cost.

Payment Structures for a BC Criminal Defence Lawyer

As mentioned, there are different payment structures for hiring a criminal defence lawyer in BC. The most common are:

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

Hourly Rates

Hourly rates are the most common legal payment structure used by BC criminal lawyers. With this fee arrangement, clients are charged for each hour the lawyer works on their case. The hourly rate can vary depending on the complexity of the case, as well as the experience and reputation of the lawyer.

Depending on a lawyer’s experience, they may charge as little as about $300 per hour, but more experienced lawyers tend to have hourly rates of $500 to $700 and higher. Keep in mind, the money you spend on a criminal defence lawyer can be some of the most important money you’ll ever spend, so this isn’t somewhere to cut corners.

Flat Fees

Flat fees are a set amount paid for all the legal services provided, regardless of how many hours it takes. This can be beneficial if your case is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require much time or complex legal work. However, if your case becomes more complicated than initially thought (which is often the case), you may pay more than you would have with an hourly rate.

Contingency Fees

Contingency fees are typically used in civil cases, but some criminal defence lawyers may also offer this option. With contingency fees, the lawyer is paid a percentage of the settlement or damages awarded to the client if they win the case. If they lose, the client does not owe any legal fees.

According to the Law Society of BC:

In a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the maximum contingency fee allowed is one-third of the amount recovered. In all other cases involving personal injury or wrongful death, the maximum allowed is 40% of the amount recovered.”

Contingency fees in cases unrelated to personal injury or wrongful death have no set maximum limits. Lawyers typically adjust their contingency fee rates based on factors like:

  • The claim amount
  • Level of risk
  • Stage of case resolution

Keep in mind that with contingency fees, the client is responsible for covering all disbursements related to the case.

This can include:

  • Medical reports
  • Court filing fees
  • Photocopying charges

These costs are typically paid regardless of the outcome of the case.

Legal Aid

Another option for those who may not be able to afford a lawyer is BC legal aid. Legal aid is government-funded legal assistance for low-income individuals who cannot afford representation. The eligibility requirements and services offered vary by province or state, so be sure to research the options available in your area.

Contact Jerry Steele to Discuss the Cost of Hiring a Top Criminal Defence Lawyer in BC

Contact Jerry Steele to discuss the cost of hiring a criminal defence lawyer and explore your options for payment. Every case is so different, but we are committed to working with our clients to find a solution that works for them. Call 778-700-0012.