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How Much Will an Ottawa Impaired Driving Lawyer Cost Me?

No one budgets for a criminal lawyer.  Often we put aside money for that trip down south or for new patio furniture or a new car.  Medical expenses are for the most part covered by OHIP.  For someone facing a DUI charge, this is a cost (both financial and emotional) that is never planned for.

HOURLY BILLING VS. A FLAT FEE

There are two common billing models used by criminal attorneys.  Hourly billing is simply that.  The lawyer keeps track of all of the time the lawyer and support staff spend on the file, and add in any necessary expenses such as transcripts, add HST, and that is the bill.  The problem with that is for most clients is that the bill can be unpredictable, and sometimes what is at first thought to be a five thousand dollar fee has for whatever reason ballooned to nine thousand.  No one likes surprises.  At Aitken Robertson we would rather spend our time researching and preparing your file, and not docketing time to bill out each time we talk to you or spend time on your file.  We are lawyers not bean counters.  At our firm we offer clients a flat or block fee.  That fee is inclusive of everything other than HST and such things as transcript or expert costs.  We honour our fee quotes.   We even include travel time and mileage in the fee.  Historically we have found our clients prefer such a billing model.

HOW IS THE FEE CALCULATED

Given our experience, once we factor in such things as

  • The complexity of the charges;
  • The seriousness of the charges;
  • The likely time required to resolve the file;
  • Whether the file will likely be a trial or a plea of guilty;
  • The range of results for the clients given our efforts;
  • The skill that will be required to get the client the result he or she needs;
  • The lawyer’s experience and reputation.

We will be able to give an accurate flat fee for the client of our bill.  The estimate will be based on whether we were able to get the charges dropped or substantially reduced on the one hand, to a trial where we bill on the basis on how many days the trial will take or alternatively what the fee will be if the client decides to plead guilty.

DO I HAVE TO PAY EVERYTHING UP FRONT?

No.  Aitken Robertson offers a reasonable payment plan starting with a modest initial retainer.  From there most of our clients take advantage of the monthly payment plan we offer.  We do not charge interest on our payment plans.

HOW ARE THE PAYMENTS MADE?

Many clients forward funds by etransfer, credit card payments, money order, cheques or cash.  All of those methods are accepted by us.

DOES AITKEN ROBERTSON CHARGE FOR THE FIRST CONSULT?

We do not.  We offer a thirty minute free consult.  We want the chance to review the client’s unique situation to determine if we are in a position to assist.

SHOULD I SAVE MY MONEY AND JUST USE DUTY COUNSEL?

That of course is a very personal decision.  However, Legal Aid Ontario has changed the rules, and Duty Counsel at court can no longer assist charged persons who do not qualify.  Essentially any one working full time even at minimum wage will not qualify for such representation.  The other downside to using Duty Counsel is that even though they are quite knowledgeable, and put in considerable efforts, given the number of people they see every day, only allows for limited time that can be spent on any individual file.  Your file deserves attention.  It may well be that you have no defence.  Or perhaps you do.  At Aitken Robertson we will thoroughly review your file and your situation to advise you of the range of possible outcomes and your chances for success.  We will listen to what your goals are and we will endeavour to help you achieve them.  If we don’t think we can help you, we will tell you that too.

DOES AITKEN ROBERTSON HAVE AN OTTAWA OFFICE?

Yes we do.  We are located  in Ottawa.  Our Ottawa lawyer is Virginia Dolinska.  To make an appointment to meet with Ms. Dolinska please call us at 613-505-0059 or email us at freeconsult@callalawyer.ca.

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