One of the questions that often gets asked when discussing legal matters is how much does hiring a lawyer cost. To help you make a good decision when choosing a criminal lawyer, we will give you some guidelines in further text that you should follow.
The importance of legal services
First of all, it would be a huge mistake to abandon the fight for your rights because you find that a lawyer is too expensive. The consequences of not having an experienced legal representative would cost you even more. When the stakes are high, don’t hesitate even a second. Call a lawyer immediately. In addition, as we wrote before, the chances of getting legal aid are higher in the field of criminal law, especially for the province of Ontario.
Be open and prepared
When discussing the case with your potential lawyer, make sure you collect all the relevant papers and information that you can present to him or her. That way you can quickly get an accurate quote. Describe events in the order they occurred and present all facts in detail. Give the names and addresses of potential witnesses.
Determine and be open about your expectations. Don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer if he or she has relevant experience and has already dealt with such or similar issues. Prepare in advance all the questions you want to ask, i.e. how long the process could last, expected fees, what chances you have of winning, etc. Also, you can consult with multiple lawyers before you make your decision.
Discussing the rates is important. Your lawyer can charge per hour, ask for a percentage of earnings or give you a fixed price. It all depends on a specific case and type of charge (if it is a domestic assault, drunk driving charge, marijuana possession, etc.).
Both you and your lawyer should come to an agreement about the billing method, which should preferably be recorded as part of a fee agreement in writing. Ask for an estimate of the total cost for the case.
Have in mind that the most skilled lawyers are not always the most expensive. Quite the contrary — if they have admirable expertise in certain areas of law, they could be the cheapest for those particular cases.
If you want to know what the average criminal lawyer fees in Canada and Ontario are, you can check The Going Rate publication by Canadian Lawyer. As you can see, the average hourly rate for a lawyer in Ontario in 2014 was $235 dollars. Of course, the best way to determine the price for your specific circumstances is to call a lawyer immediately.