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Financing Your Legal Counsel

When you are suddenly arrested and booked on a serious criminal charge, the chances are that you do not have money laying around to pay a lawyer. In fact, one of the biggest inequities in the criminal justice system is the fact that the rich can afford to pay attorneys while the poor cannot. Theoretically, this problem is solved by having the court appoint an attorney, but in reality people who hire their own lawyers have two important advantages: they can pick their own attorney and they can control the costs of their defense. If you allow the court to appoint an attorney for you, it is very likely that you will end up being assessed some form of fees by the court itself. Further, you will have no control over who is appointed to represent you. Instead of relying on a court-appointed attorney to represent you in your criminal defense, consider ways in which you can finance your own legal counsel. Oswalt Law Group offers the following suggestions for managing the cost of your defense:

  • Ask for an estimate immediately. While no attorney can tell exactly how much time a case will take, most can make a good guess based on previous experience. An attorney should be able to give you a baseline figure so that you can begin to put funds aside to meet these costs.
  • Explore groups who may be willing to help. Defense funds are sometimes formed for those who are accused of particular crimes or who are of a certain religious or ethnic background. Ask your attorney if any such groups are active in your area.
  • Consider borrowing money. If you have a home or any other assets against which you can borrow, you would be wise to do so in most cases. It may seem unfair to have to borrow money to defend yourself, but the alternative is likely to be far more costly.
  • Consider another source of income. One way to pay for an attorney is to earn the money. If you have the opportunity to take on a temporary second job that will pay well, you may be able to cover the cost of your representation with this second income.

Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix, Arizona, knows that it is not easy to find the funds to pay for bail, attorney’s fees and other costs associated with an arrest. Contact us for information on how to make your representation affordable.

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