Many people that seek the skills and knowledge of an expert criminal defense lawyer have one large and overarching concern in common. How much will their services cost me and how will I be billed?
The majority of criminal lawyers use two distinct methods for billing their clients. The first method is an hourly rate for their services. The second is a flat fee for handling the entirety of your case.
Hourly Rate Billing
If a criminal defense lawyer prefers to charge an hourly rate for their services, they usually require the client to provide them with an up-front retainer that the lawyer will hold in trust throughout the process of your case.
While the lawyer reviews your file and the evidence surrounding your case, he or she will record their hours and bill you against the funds that are held in trust. At such a point where the funds provided in the retainer are exhausted, the client will be asked to replenish the funds so that the lawyer will continue to work on your case. This cycle will continue until your case is complete.
Flat Fee Billing
In the second billing method, the lawyer provides you with an overall quote for his or her services in seeing your case through to a conclusion. Much like the hourly billing method, you provide your lawyer with an up-front retainer, against which he will bill the hours that he accrues working on your case.
When the funds provided in your retainer are exhausted, you will be asked to bring in more money towards your file. However, this method differs from the hourly rate method because, once the funds that you have provided reach the total flat fee that your lawyer has quoted you, he or she will be required to complete your case without charging you any additional fees.
Mr. Zoppi’s Approach
Criminal Defense Lawyer Graham Zoppi strives to provide the highest level of convenience for his clients and, in doing so he accommodates both billing methods. The billing method that you decide on will depend on your preferences, as well as the type and complexity of your case.
Most clients prefer the flat fee billing method because it affords them a certain level of certainty. Mr. Zoppi will strive to tailor a custom fee structure for your case, helping you to get the quality representation that you deserve without subjecting you to any unreasonable financial hardship. His fees are reasonable and competitive with other lawyers in his field.
In some cases, clients may be unable to afford legal services on their own. If you find yourself in this position, you can apply for legal aid through Legal Aid Ontario. Mr. Zoppi accepts legal aid in selected cases and prides himself on not turning away any legal aid clients.
However, depending on the number of cases he is currently working on, Mr. Zoppi might have to limit the number of legal aid cases he is able to take on at a given time. In those situations he will ensure that one of his qualified associates is assigned your legal aid file and will supervise and mentor the file as required.