The average cost of a criminal trial in Missouri varies based on the severity of your criminal charges and the attorney fees for your case. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney will use their expertise to ensure that these costs are justified in their aggressive pursuit of a “not guilty” verdict for your case.
Criminal Trial Cost Breakdown: 2 Factors to Consider
The major points you should consider in estimating your anticipated fees for a criminal trial are:
1. The Severity of Your Criminal Charges
The severity of your criminal charges can help to determine the length of your trial and whether any litigation resources will be needed to successfully pursue your defense. The longer timeline for your trial and more litigation resources required will result in higher trial costs for your case.
- Misdemeanor: If you are on trial for a misdemeanor, your trial costs will be lower than they would for a more severe offense. A misdemeanor carries less severe penalties than a felony. Therefore, an attorney may charge you a lower hourly rate. Additionally, your attorney may not need to pursue litigation resources such as an expert witness or an investigator, thereby lowering the fees for your case.
- Felony: If you are on trial for a felony, your costs will be much higher. Felonies carry severe penalties, so an attorney will charge a much higher hourly rate for representation. Additionally, your attorney may use litigation resources such as an investigator or an expert witness for your case. These resources are costly and will be added to your attorney’s fees.
2. Criminal Defense Attorney Fees
A criminal defense attorney usually charges an hourly fee for criminal trials.
An attorney’s hourly fee is calculated based on a predetermined rate usually dependent on an attorney’s expertise, which is then multiplied by the number of hours that the attorney spends on your case. If your case goes to trial, your fees will be much higher considering that it could take months of extensive preparation before your trial date.
An attorney’s trial fee also typically includes charges for:
- Court filing fees: Your attorney may need to file a motion with the court such as a motion to dismiss or suppress during the pre-trial phase.
- Discovery: Your attorney may expend extensive time as well as use additional researchers to assist with the discovery phase of your trial.
- Litigation resources: Your attorney may need to use litigation resources such as an expert witness who will testify on the strength of the evidence at trial or an investigator who can help the attorney throughout the discovery phase of your case.
- Miscellaneous expenses: Your attorney can also charge you for miscellaneous expenses they incur throughout the trial. These expenses can include travel, hotel stays, phone calls, photocopying, etc.
Get the Best Estimate for Your Case
Every case is different, and these costs can vary from the low hundreds to the thousands. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney to know how much your case will cost.
Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation. With my more than 25 years of experience as a criminal attorney and a chief assistant prosecutor, I can help navigate your case to a successful resolution.