What Will a Domestic Defence Cost?
The short answer is that we can’t tell you how much a domestic assault defence costs in Minden unless you meet with one of our lawyers for one of our free 30 minute consultations. The long answer is that every case is unique and determining the cost of your defence requires us to consider several factors: the details of the event that led to the charge, the evidence the Crown has, what your desired outcome is, the time and resources the firm will need to dedicate to your case, and so on. If you’re in the Minden area and require legal counsel for a charge of domestic assault, contact our office for a free 30 minute consultation so we can determine what the costs of your legal defence will be. Before you do that, consider how the following factors influence the cost.
Time and Resources Required: A Brief Task vs. a Trial
Anyone who’s ever taken a vehicle to a mechanic before would know that the cost of an expensive repair is rarely because the part itself is expensive, but the labour itself is what raises the price. Likewise, with a legal defence, if a case can be resolved briefly it’s likely to be much cheaper than a case that will take a substantial number of hours and resources from the firm.
If your case can be resolved without a trial the cost is likely to remain much lower. For example, if you’ve been charged with domestic violence and the only evidence the Crown has is the testimony of the complainant, if that complainant is no longer willing to testify the Crown is far more likely to make a generous deal and reduce or drop the charges. The resources the Crown might spend on such a case, which they are less likely to win with such little evidence, could be refocused on cases they have a higher likely of success in. Since a deal with the Crown would take the firm far less time than a trial the cost would be lower. If you or the Crown insist on taking the case to trial the cost will increase as your lawyer must prepare their arguments and evidence to argue before the court.
Billable Hours: Unknown Costs
When a lawyer, or any other staff member of a law firm, work on your case there are two ways they can go about charging: billable hours or block rates. The traditional method, billable hours, means the final cost of your defence depends on the exact amount of time staff spent preparing for or arguing your case. The more time your lawyer spends on the case the more expensive the bill will be. The major issue with this method is that you won’t know the actual cost until the end.
If you hire a lawyer who tells you your case should only take 20 hours of work at $200 an hour, but something unexpectedly adds another 10 hours of work, your bill will go from the expected $4,000 to $6,000.
Alternatively, some firms are adopting a block rate system. They inform you of the cost up front, and you can feel comfortable that regardless of how much time your lawyer needs to put into your case, you already know what it’s costing you. When you do your research to decide which firm to hire, consider asking about their method of billing to find out if they use the one you’re more comfortable with: billable hours or block rate.
Aitken Robertson’s Lindsay office, which offers services to those in Minden, uses a block rate system of billing. This means no matter how much time or how many resources the firm dedicates to your domestic assault case, you can rest knowing the price remains consistent. In the event the price must be changed (for example, if the case goes to trial) the firm will discuss it with you to ensure things continue smoothly for you. Aitken Robertson also offers a no-interest payment plan. We consider the unique financial situation of every client, allowing those who can’t make a full payment in one lump sum to instead make several smaller payments over a long period of time. We believe that regardless of the time or effort required or the financial status of a client, everyone deserves quality defence before a criminal court, and we’ll work with you to ensure you get it.