Getting Justice: How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Felony?

Running into trouble with the law can sometimes have serious consequences. This is especially true if you’ve been charged with a felony.

With proper legal representation, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to successfully defend yourself in court. This doesn’t come for free, though, and not everyone knows what to expect.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to answer ‘how much does a lawyer cost for a felony.’

So… How Much Does a Lawyer Cost For a Felony?

There are a handful of factors at play when the cost is determined. Depending on the crime, you may find that hiring an attorney for a felony charge could either be a reasonable or astronomical price.

The complexity of the case also plays a huge role. A crime that spanned multiple years and involved multiple parties will probably cost much more for legal representation.

Let’s explore both a simple and complex example of a felony case.

A Simple Scenario

David and his friends are celebrating David’s 21st birthday in New Mexico. The group of four males is notorious for getting into trouble when they spend too much time together.

They’ve spent the last 72 hours in and out of a drunken haze and have attended numerous parties to commemorate the occasion. The group has decided to celebrate for one last night.

While killing time before that evening’s gathering, David’s friend drives the group to the mall. In the car, everyone except the driver had been passing around and drinking out of a bottle of liquor.

While walking through the mall, David sees his favorite athletic apparel store. His friends leave him to visit the food court.

Impaired by alcohol and what would normally his better judgment, he comes up with a plan to steal a pair of new Nike sneakers that cost $600. Shortly afterward, David’s friends return to find him being escorted out of the mall in handcuffs.

Since New Mexico’s felony theft threshold is $500 and David’s theft exceeds this number in value, he is charged with felony grand theft.

Something More Complicated

Michael and a group of his friends are in their last semester of college at a large school in Texas. As with many students at this age, ‘senioritis’ is hitting them fairly hard, and they’ve been making ample time to celebrate their journey.

One Saturday night, Michaels and a large group of his friends all go out to a strip of bars as they usually do. As time goes on, more and more people from the group begin to break away and relocate to another venue or head home for the night.

Eventually, Michael realizes that if he chooses to stay out that evening, it would have to be by himself. After he says goodbye to the last of his friends, he decides to go to one last bar and get a drink before calling it a night.

While there, he meets a girl named Emily. The pair quickly realize they have similar interests and personalities, and eventually Emily invites Michael to return with her to her apartment before calling an Uber to take them.

While Michael is unsure about the implication of this invitation, Emily then informs him that her roommate is out of town so that they don’t have to worry about anyone bothering them while they’re ‘alone together.’ Their ride arrives, and they get in.

After drinking more alcohol at her apartment, the two end up having sex. Although Michael planned on Ubering home after the encounter, he falls asleep in Emily’s bed.

He is suddenly awoken by a blow to the face. A large male is standing over Michael, holding him down and punching him repeatedly.

Emily’s boyfriend had come over to check on her and found Michael lying in her bed. A fight ensues, and Michael gets the upper-hand as his adrenaline kicks in. 

He shoves the male out of the way, causing him to trip on a backpack on the floor. Emily’s boyfriend crashes into the edge of a dresser, knocking out multiple teeth and breaking his nose.

Michael escapes and calls a friend repeatedly to come and pick him up.

A few days later, Michael is arrested and charged with rape and felony aggravated assault.

Typical Rates You May Encounter

As you can immediately tell, one case will involve far more work than the other.

In general, easier cases can be handled by less experienced attorneys. So, you may find rates as low as $150 per hour or as high as $350+ per hour for more complicated matters.

Other lawyers may charge a minimum fee to work on felony cases due to the amount of work involved. This can range from a few thousand dollars to $10,000+.

If your attorney charges you hourly, they may bill you for the time they spend answering your phone calls or emails. If your lawyer charges a flat fee for the case, make sure it’s clear what services are and are not included.

Court costs can be highly variable depending on the state, but typically add thousands to your attorney fees.

The Verdict

Regardless of what state you’ve been charged with your crime in, you will likely pay $5,000+ for legal representation in a felony case.

This isn’t a definitive number, though, and you’ll likely find attorneys willing to be flexible with you if you shop around. You can visit this website for an example of an experienced attorney who cares about their clients.

Defending Yourself in Court Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about the answer to ‘how much does a lawyer cost for a felony’ in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making a plan to get the best legal representation possible.

Want to learn more legal tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.