Flat Fees

We understand how difficult this process is for you, and want to make the payment structure as simple and predictable as possible. For these reasons, we charge Flat Rate fees (not an hourly rate), depending on three things:

  1. The lawyer you choose – more experienced counsel will often cost more
  2. The offence you are charged with – more complex matters mean that the lawyer must spend more time on your case
  3. Your path – whether you plead guilty, go to trial, or get an early resolution

Rest assured all of the fees and payment options will be discussed with you in our initial meeting. There are no surprise or hidden fees. Because we have numerous criminal defence lawyers at our office, we can meet virtually any budget.  If you absolutely cannot afford a lawyer, you should try to contact Legal Aid Alberta, Student Legal Assistance, Calgary Legal Guidance, or Native Counselling Services. These organizations may be able to offer pro-bono legal services if certain qualification criteria are met.

 

What your fees get you

When you hire our criminal defence lawyers, you get more than legal representation; you get piece of mind.  We know how stressful criminal charges can be, and beyond getting the best result, we will do everything possible to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with being charged.

There are generally two stages to legal fees. The first part is the “retainer” for the Initial Investigation of the case.  This is the cost of a full and comprehensive review of your case.  We will obtain all your information and detail your side of the story.  We will advise the Crown Prosecutors that you have retained a lawyer and require that they send all the information they have regarding your criminal charges to us for review.

We will then attend court on your behalf so you don’t have to.  For some offences, it is not uncommon to have 10 or more appearances in court before a trial or resolution. If you are working, this means that you may have to take off work for this time to sit in a courtroom. Having a lawyer appear for you so that you do not have to take off work can be a worthwhile investment.

After we gather all the information about your case and conduct a thorough review, we will present our findings to you.  As part of the process, we will review the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown’s case, and your chances of success.

The second part of the legal fees is dependent on whether you chose to plead guilty, not guilty, or accept a plea bargain (if available).  The payment of this fee can be broken down into installments based on how long it will take to complete the case, and all fees are due before the case is completed. Depending on what you chose to do, a substantive court date will be scheduled accordingly.  Ordinarily, a guilty plea or plea bargain can be set several days to several months from the day you make your decision.  A trial will typically take longer to arrange because the court, the Crown prosecutors, and ourselves have to ensure that sufficient time is booked for the trial.  The average lead time for a one day trial in Calgary is approximately 6 months.  The good news about this delay is that it often allows clients sufficient time to pay the legal fees without the payment schedule being too onerous.

At every opportunity, we will attempt to have your charges withdrawn by pointing out flaws in the Crown’s case and as a last resort, go to trial to argue it in front of a judge. In this situation, your fees include the preparation and research for trial. The relationships that our lawyers build with the Judges and Crown Prosecutors allow us to get the best possible resolution for you.