The short answer is that there is a wide range of potential legal fee costs. Many factors will determine what a particular lawyer would likely charge for such representation. The most likely factors are as follows:
- How much experience and skill does the lawyer have in DUI representation? For instance, as the law has greatly changed since Dec 2018, what extra courses has the lawyer taken to stay current? Is the lawyer a member of the prestigious National College of DUI Defense? Is the lawyer one of the very few who own the same kind of breath alcohol testing equipment that the police use?
- How serious or complicated is the case? Some are fairly straightforward involving a stop at a RIDE program while others involve accidents with injuries or deaths. The more witnesses involved in the case generally makes the file review more lengthy.
- Potentially what are the consequences to the client? Will the client potentially lose their job or face immigration deportation? The greater the consequences involve even further and fuller preparation.
HOW DO LAWYERS CALCULATE WHAT THEIR BILLS SHOULD BE?
It varies widely. Sometimes it is a simple as the client saying that they have X dollars available for representation, and the lawyer will need to determine if that is a suitable budget for that particular file.
Usually though, for Aitken Robertson, when we meet our potential clients, we explain in detail how we bill, and that unlike most criminal lawyers, we do not bill by the hour. Frankly, we do not have the time to docket the account each time we spend time with the client on the phone or in person nor when we speak to the Crown Attorney. Rather, we want to focus on providing high quality representation.
We explain to our client prospects that we will quote a price that is inclusive other than HST and certain out of pocket legal disbursements such as court transcript costs, and experts’ fees. Routine disbursements such as postage, photocopying, faxing, mileage and travel time are not billed for.
Our fee relates to how the file ends:
- Was the charge withdrawn by the Crown Attorney’s Office;
- Were we able to convince the Crown Attorney’s Office to reduce the charge to careless driving;
- Did the matter proceed to trial, and if so how many days did it take to complete;
- Did the client opt to plead guilty.
For the lawyers that bill by the hour, it can lead to an unpredictable final bill for the client. For Aitken Robertson clients, they will know what their file will cost. We take the uncertainty out of the equation.
WHAT SHOULD I ASK THE LAWYER ABOUT HOW THEY BILL?
- Is it by the hour or flat or block fee billing?
- Are there certain things that are not included?
- How much of an initial retainer do I have to pay?
- Can I do a reasonable monthly payment plan?
- Does the lawyer charge interest on the payment plan?
- Will the lawyer give the quote in writing?
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I ASK THE LAWYER ABOUT?
- Perhaps the lawyer can give examples of similar cases as yours, and let you know how the cases turned out for the clients;
- Has the lawyer written any books on impaired driving, and will they give you one for free?
- Are there any Google reviews that the lawyer can point to?
- Find out if the lawyer has a website of relevant materials important to you
- Has the lawyer represented lawyers in Pickering before? Does the lawyer have an office that you would find conveniently located?
Our office on Ritson Road in Oshawa is conveniently located just 3 blocks east of the courthouse. Feel free contact us to book an appointment or to request our free book on defending impaired driving charges. You can call 905-725-3564 or 1-800-668-1657 or contact us right here on our website by hitting ‘Contact Us’ on the top right of the screen.