One of the most commonly asked questions our office receives is how much will it cost for a lawyer to defend an allegation of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in Michigan. This post is intended to answer the question in general terms, however if you are accused of a sex crime, please call for more information about your particular case and what you can expect to spend on a lawyer.
The Smith Blythe, PC is very up front with clients regarding attorney fees and costs. There will not be hidden charges or any surprises. It is our intention to be straightforward with clients so they know what to expect.
If you have not been charged and do not yet have a lawyer, but the police are contacting you regarding allegations from Michigan, Shannon Smith and Gail Benson are routinely hired to communicate with law enforcement, Child Protective Services (CPS) and the prosecution. For this kind of representation, we typically charge a flat fee. Many times, by paying the flat fee, our office has been successful in getting charges dropped before they begin. If for some reason charges are pressed despite our efforts, our office will apply some of the pre-charge flat fee toward part of the pre-trial retainer for your case.
If you are charged or facing a potential trial, our office requires an advance retainer. This retainer will cover all of the pre-trial preparation including motions, meetings with you and witnesses, reviewing documents, preparation and more. If a client decides to take a plea, this charge will include the plea and sentencing as well. Since we never know what will happen and many of our clients are falsely accused, we prepare for every trial seriously and go above and beyond to make sure you have the best representation and chance of winning. Shannon Smith and Gail Benson routinely travel throughout Michigan to defend CSC cases.
If the case goes to trial as many criminal sexual conduct trials do, we charge a daily trial fee. Depending on whether you hire one or both attorneys, the daily trial fee will be required for each day the court designates as a date for trial.
In other cases, we will charge hourly for our time if the issue involves simply filing a motion, consulting on a case or doing work that does not meet the threshold of a full-blown trial. In those cases, we will take a retainer up front and bill against it as we work on the case.
At a consultation, we can also give you a fairly good idea of what to expect in terms of costs to defend your case. Depending on the allegations, experts can be useful to defend allegations of criminal sexual conduct. Sometimes we will need an investigator to get more information. The costs are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
With that said, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for in terms of a lawyer. There are certainly lawyers out there who will take on a case for a minimal fee…but you could be left with a minimal effort on their part to defend your case. With sex crimes, your life and liberty are on the line. For cases involving criminal sexual conduct and sex issues, it is critical to hire an attorney that has experience representing clients accused of sex crimes and has adequate time to prepare your case. Hiring a law firm that charges less and takes on every case that walks through the door could mean jeopardy for your future.
The Smith Blythe, PC does accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover & American Express.