Attorney Options When You’re on a Budget
When facing criminal charges, you have a right to an attorney. You are told at your arrest that if you cannot afford one, then one will be provided. If you are in legal trouble and are worried about the cost of a defense lawyer, you aren’t alone. Criminal defense lawyers can be expensive. The average cost of an attorney is about $280 an hour.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, it does not mean that you have to defend yourself. In fact, you should never choose to defend yourself in criminal court.
Public defenders are assigned to your case. They receive multiple cases per week and may have double or triple what a private attorney has. Most people who face criminal charges wind up with a public defender. If you have a public defender, you cannot necessarily choose one. For instance, if you feel like your lawyer is not serving your best interests, you would have to seek out a private attorney. You cannot ask for another public lawyer.
Pro Bono Attorneys
Pro bono attorneys are lawyers who donate their time to a client who may not be able to afford it. You may be able to find a pro bono lawyer willing to work your case. The American Bar Association recommends that all attorneys donate fifty hours a year to clients who may not be able to afford their services. Many lawyers go above and beyond.
Private lawyers do cost money. Odds are, if you find a private lawyer who is not willing to work pro bono, he or she will charge you an hourly rate. You can discuss your options ahead of time and figure out whether you can afford the attorney. Keep in mind that private attorneys tend to offer the best defenses. They tend to have more time to focus on individual cases and can pick and choose the cases that they have. They are less likely to be overworked, compared to public defenders. Sometimes, your future is worth the cost.
If you can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer, there are options available to you. You do not need to be wealthy to afford a good defense. One rule to follow is to never represent yourself in a case. Most people who choose to represent themselves lack the skills and experience necessary. To find out how a lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer in Cypress, TX from Winfrey Law Firm, can help with your case, set up a consultation today.