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Frequently Asked Questions

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How much does a defence lawyer cost for a criminal case?

The initial retainer at Dahlem Criminal Defence is $2500 + GST. This covers all initial court appearances and other matters up to the decision to go to trial, or to resolve by a guilty plea or some other disposition. The guilty plea or other disposition will have an additional fee, usually between $1500 and $2500, depending on how much work it will be.

Trial fees and other days in court are $6000 a day, which includes all the preparation work for the day in court. Longer trials are more costly.

Do criminal lawyers take payment plans?

Many criminal lawyers will extend payment plans to their clients. Dahlem Criminal Defence is happy to offer payment plans to its clients. Your quoted fee will be divided into monthly installments. Trials are usually 6 to 12 months in the future, so there is time to arrange for the legal fees.

How much do criminal lawyers charge per hour?

Many Canadian criminal lawyers charge flat fees for their services. However, the hourly fee for an experienced criminal lawyer can be $300 to $750 per hour. More senior and more experienced lawyers are more expensive. Disbursements, such as filing fees, photocopying, online search fees, the cost of transcripts, and other expenses incurred by your lawyer are also billed to the client.

What is the difference between a criminal and civil lawyer?

Criminal lawyers represent people who are being prosecuted by the government for an offence contrary to a criminal statute. In Canada, these criminal statutes are the Criminal Code, the Income Act, the Cannabis Act, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and many more. Criminal lawyers don’t sue people, but represent their clients in criminal court. Crimes are prosecuted by the state using government employed criminal lawyers called prosecutors.

A civil lawyer acts for a person who is suing another person, or who has been sued by somebody. The government is not typically involved, except to provide the courthouse, the judges, and the other staff. For example, when one driver sues another driver for a car accident, both people will have civil lawyers. If a driver is being prosecuted for having committed the crime of dangerous driving, then the lawyers will be criminal lawyers.

Criminal and civil lawyers have very different skill sets that do not necessarily translate from one field to the other.

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