Delivering outstanding criminal defense services is a demanding task. It is necessary for me to charge accordingly. I will, however, ensure that you will not incur unknown additional expense. I will provide you with written fee agreement, in advance, letting you know exactly what the fees will be in the case. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and fee quote. Typically, I do not charge hourly for my services in defending a criminal cases. Instead, I charge a flat fee, set in advance. For most criminal cases, I charge in parts. I charge one fee for handling every aspect of your case pretrial and a separate fee for the trial itself. I do that so that if a case is resolved without going to trial, the client is not paying for a trial that never happened.
I require the client to pay the pretrial fee and the trial fee at the beginning of the case. I place the trial fee in my trust account, and return it to the client if the case does not actually proceed to trial. I include in my standard retainer agreement a clause that says that if there is any dispute concerning the fee charged, the client may dispute the fee with the arbitration committee of the State Bar of Arizona, and I agree to be bound by its decision. No client has ever done so. There are costs associated with defending a criminal case, and the client is required to pay those costs. Typically, these include the hiring a private investigator, expert witnesses, and charges for documents and transcripts. I require an assurance from my clients that they can pay those costs, which I estimate at the beginning of the case.
I do not charge for routine costs such as phone calls, long distance phone calls, postage, etcetera. I have never had a dispute with a client over a fee.