If you've found yourself in trouble on the wrong side of the law, one of the first things that anyone would advise you to do is to hire an attorney. While a good defense attorney can be your best friend when it comes to getting out of criminal trouble and assisting you with winning your case, it will come at a fairly large financial cost. If you need to hire a criminal defense attorney quickly, here are just a few ideas as to how you can pay for their services.
Seek Out a Court-Appointed Lawyer
When you're arrested or being charged with a crime, you'll be read your Miranda Rights. Part of the rights that are explained to you is that you will be offered an attorney at no charge. This can be beneficial if you happen to fall in the income bracket set forth by your county and state. A court-appointed lawyer will help you fight your case to the best of his ability and use community and state resources to represent you and get you a reduced sentence or an acquittal—depending on the charges and recommendations from the judge and prosecuting attorney.
In some cases, a lawyer may accept barter in place of their services. This often occurs if you already have an established relationship with the lawyer or their offices. For example, if you work in automotive, you could trade services by having the lawyer represent you and you could do some automotive work in exchange. This is one way to save money on lawyer services, if you're financially unable to pay upfront.
Ask for a Set Rate
Some lawyers may offer their services at a set rate. This offers a more inexpensive way to save money over the course of your entire case. Because some cases are more complex and require an extensive discovery process, lawyer fees can add up. Waiving any contingency fee or upfront fee for services as well as costs related to every inquiry involving the case can help save you money.
Find Affordable Financing
Some lawyers charge hundreds of dollars per hour for their services. While this may be worth it to have an attorney that will represent you in a complex case, it can drain your bank account. Inquire about in-house financing to help curb your overall legal costs. Another option would be to visit your local bank or credit union to obtain a personal loan to help cover legal costs and fees. You may have to have a small down payment or some form of collateral to help secure the loan—especially if you have problem credit.
Finding ways to pay for legal help can be challenging. Using multiple outlets, including borrowing from family and friends is the best way to get your lawyer paid and get a head start on your legal case.