Whether you decide to retain a lawyer or not to assist you, it is important that you understand the what your rights are, the seriousness of the charge or charges against you, what are the best and worst case scenarios, what happens when you go to court, and the responsibilities of the Crown Attorney. It is for these reasons that I offer each person with a free 30-minute consultation so that you can better understand the criminal law process and what your options are.
When you initially consult a criminal defence lawyer it is often difficult for that lawyer to offer an estimate of how much the matter might cost. The reasons that a criminal defence lawyer will not guarantee a specific cost is that it may not be known how many court appearances will be required, whether this is a matter that is likely to be resolved or is headed for trial, what the position of the Crown is, how much disclosure there is to review, what research may be required, what witnesses need to be interviewed, how complex the case might be, and generally how much time and effort will be involved. Once I have received and reviewed the disclosure with you I will be in a better position to estimate what the anticipated legal fees might be.
Block fees encompass all legal services provided, excluding disbursements, and is a helpful method of billing that helps the client understand at an early stage what the matter is going cost. However, quoting a block fee is not a guarantee that your matter will cost that amount. It may be that your matter can be resolved much more quickly than anticipated or it may require greater time and expense. An hourly fee is a fee a lawyer charges, excluding disbursements, for the time spent on your file.
I am prepared to work with you on either a block fee or hourly fee.
For many, retaining a criminal defence lawyer can be expensive proposition. It is for this reason that it is important that there is transparency with respect to the cost involved in retaining a lawyer.
The costs involved in retaining a criminal defence lawyer are generally divided into two categories, legal services and disbursements.
Legal services involve, but are not limited to, court attendances, reviewing disclosure, meeting with the client, conducting legal research and review of the law, and correspondences and discussions with the client, Crown Attorney’s office and others involved in the matter.
Disbursements can include but are not limited to, the costs involved in mailing, faxing or couriering legal documents and correspondences, and photocopying.
I currently accept payment by cash, cheque, E-transfer or bank draft.