If somebody has pressed charges against you, the first thing you have to do is to hire a good lawyer. Finding a lawyer that you can trust can be hard, but it is also important to find one whose fees you can actually afford.
When hiring a lawyer, you have to keep in mind that the job of a criminal lawyer in Singapore is considered prestigious. There are only a couple of hundreds of them and don’t have a lot of options to choose from. You have to be prepared to pay fees that may not be that cheap.
How Much Do Fees Cost?
Generally, there are no fixed prices of fees in Singapore. Criminal lawyers offer either fixed fees or an hourly rate. Experts advise that you should choose hourly rates rather than fixed fees.
Hourly rates fees tend to be more expensive but they are also safer. Hourly fees get you an overview of what your lawyer actually does and whether he/she does it or not. Lawyers suggest hourly fees when they are not sure how much time and effort a matter will take them.
Of course, you are expected to pay higher hourly rates for more experienced lawyers. If it is too expensive to you, try finding a junior lawyer instead. Also, you can propose to your lawyer a maximum amount of money you are ready to pay and ask him/her whether it is going to be enough to cover all the work.
For matters that are larger and require more work, you may be asked to pay a deposit. Deposit is an amount of money you pay in advance to as a pledge and that will be given back to you later. It is advisable to ask your lawyer about the future fees before you engage him/her.
You don’t want to hire a lawyer that you are going to be able to pay later, so, don’t forget to ask about the fees during the first consultation. Also, don’t feel ashamed to ask whether you can get a discount on the price.
Many lawyers are ready to give you a discount if it will make a more trustworthy relationship between them and their clients.
What Do Fixed Fees Include?
If you opt for fixed fees or if you’re not allowed to pay hourly rates, you should know what is included in your fixed fee. Bear in mind that things that are included in fixed fees are rather fixed, as the name itself suggests.
Lawyers rarely allow any deviation from the list, which means that anything outside the list will be charged additionally. And here is a list of things that are included in your fixed fee paid to a lawyer:
- Writing a letter of representation and sending to a prosecution
- Having a meeting with a prosecution
- Writing a plea of mitigation
- Postponing your trial date until everything from the list is done
- If you plead guilty, they have to show up in a court and emphasize some things from your plea of mitigation
You know the cost to hire a criminal lawyer, you should know how to find a good criminal lawyer after this.