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1. Lawyers charge different amounts so it is smart to call several lawyers. Get a feel for who you think is honest and cares about you and your case and also consider price.
2. Most lawyers will meet with you for free to give you an idea of their thoughts on your case. I always provide free evaluations of a person's case on the phone or in person.
3. Lawyers may charge an hourly amount, flat fee for everything, or flat fee for portions of the case and more if the case goes to trial, requires motions etc. Find out what you get for your money.
4. In Wisconsin fee agreements are contracts that must be written down, signed by both the lawyer and client and the client gets a copy of the agreement.
5. The fee agreement should have a basis for the fee/hourly amount. The client can fire his or her lawyer at any time and is entlted to a return of any unearned flat fee.
Depending on the city you are in, a lawyer may earn anywhere from $40 per hour (the State Public Defender appointed counsel fee), to several hundred dollars per hour. The amount of the flat fee may be similar to the fine and costs if convicted $1,000 +.
Hiring a lawyer can save a person money in the long run. For example, if the case is amended or dismissed, or won at trial, the driver avoided fines, revocation, mandatory assessment, ignition interlock, increases insurance fees. These things easily add up to more than $1,000. Each person has their own expecations and goals with their case. Some people want to hire a lawyer to avoid the stress of having to go to court, others for piece of mind to review everything for legal issues, others because they feel they were mistreated by the police. When meeting with a lawyer for a free consulation, explain your concerns and goals and see whether the lawyer is a good fit to help you. Criminal cases require a lot of hard work. People who care about others work hard for them. Example, a lawyer representing his own child will likely put a lot of effort into the case. Try to find a lawyer you feel cares about you and not just money.