How much are legal fees

how much are legal fees

One of first question we hear is how much are your legal fees?    The better question is how much are your legal fees for a specific kind of criminal case.   We usually charge a flat fee for all criminal cases.  We offer payment plans on felony cases.   So why does our law office charge less than our competitors in the same area of law?  You will ask yourself – am I getting less services?  Are the other lawyers betters because they charge more?


How much will my lawyer cost for my criminal case in DC?

So you were charged last night with a criminal case in the District of Columbia. You now are left with having to hire a criminal lawyer in the District of Columbia. Where do you begin?

Should I Seek a Referral for a Friend or Family for my Criminal Case?

When trying to figure out How much are your Legal Fees?  You may consult with family and friends.  If you are like most, you will try to seek a referral from family and friends. However, you may be too embarrassed to ask friends and family, well because of the nature of the charges. Furthermore, your friends and family may not know a criminal lawyer in the District of Columbia. The next option is Google.

Using Google to find my criminal lawyer in the District of Columbia

Unlike Maryland or Virginia there is no master list of names of people arrested in the District of Columbia; and therefore, you will not receive solicited mail advertisement from lawyers. For example, if you are charged with any offense in the State of Maryland you can expect to receive about 20 or more mail advertisements from lawyers. If arrested in DC, you will not receive mail advertisements from lawyers. Therefore, you will probably google “Criminal lawyer for (fill in the blank) arrest” or “Arrested for (fill in the blank)” You will now be left with trying to weed out who to call first because there will be about eight criminal lawyers on the home page.

Do not be a Shy Consumer when looking for a Criminal Lawyer in DC

Do not be a shy consumer. Just because you are charged with a criminal offense in DC does not mean you don’t shop around and look for the best service.  Just like when you buy a product on Amazon or in the store, you do reviews for the product. You look at the ratings of the products using all the tools the internet gives you. The same applies to lawyers. Read the reviews and look at lawyer ratings. There are some services that give lawyer scores to help you make an informed decision.  Not bragging but check out our reviews.

Do not hire the cheapest, inexperienced lawyer

There are a lot of lawyers in the District of Columbia. In fact, a lawyer who passes the bar may take your case the minute after being sworn into the bar. Should you hire that lawyer, hmm… I think you know the answer to the question. You wouldn’t want a doctor who just got his medical license to do major surgery on you.

Do not hire your friend who does tax or real estate law

Yes, I understand the temptation to get your college roommate or your cousin Vinny to handle your case. However, criminal law in the District of Columbia is not an area that a lawyer can just pick up a book and understand. It takes years for the lawyer to learn his craft in his specialized area.

Will I have to pay hourly or a fixed fee for a criminal lawyer in DC and how much?

Most criminal lawyers in DC will want to have a conversation before quoting a fee in a criminal case. Most experienced criminal lawyers in DC will charge a fixed fee for a misdemeanor case in the District of Columbia. Most misdemeanor cases (with 1 or 2 counts) average between 1200-3000.00 dollars depending on the facts of the case, priors of the client, and complexity of the case. Felony in the District of Columbia start at 3000.00 and can go substantially higher based on the complexity of the case. Most experienced criminal lawyers can give you a fixed fee for a felony case based on prior cases.

Technology - How we charge Lower fees

The realities are some law firms, and solo practitioners have not changed with time.   There has been a revolution in the practice of law, which requires lawyers to save money for the client while increasing productivity.  This revolution of change is based on the cost of legal research, cloud computing, advertisement cost, and the automation of the practice of law.

Legal Research - How we Charge Lower Fees

Legal research used to be controlled by the major vendors – Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis.   Lawyers can now do free research on Google Scholar or Fastcase (a service provided to lawyers for free who members of the DC or Maryland Bar).  Some lawyers do not know that this is a free service provided by the local bar association.

Cloud Computing - How we charge Lower fees

Cloud computing has drastically reduced costs because a small law firm has the same computing power that huge law firms had in the past.  With cloud computing, lawyers can communicate with clients, store client files, calendar management of the firm, and share client files with other members of the firm.    This means that the traditional office space that required large rooms to accommodate large client files is eliminated.  Furthermore, the client’s information is protecting with encryption.  At Rollins and Chan law firm, we use Clio case management software.  We have been using this service for the last five years.    With Cloud computing, we rarely ever send “snail” mail to a client.  Instead, the client is sent a link to access the letter or file through a secured portal.  Even the retainer agreement is sent to the client using Hellosign and the client signs on their cell phone or iPad.


Traditional advertising, such as the yellow pages and television ads, has been virtually eliminated by google, bing, yelp, yahoo, and other search engines.   We no longer have to pay the massive upfront cost on for a 1-page ad.  Instead, because we write information Blogs,  make information videos, and write quality organic articles – search engines favor this and give free advertising because we provide this service.  We do, from time to time, pay for ad-words on the search engines if we are in need to develop more clients.   Furthermore, clients can review the services of the law firm online.    We strive hard to get good reviews for clients, and this increases our chance for repeat and referral business.  The lawyer can not skate by with weak services to a client because the client can do reviews.  In the past, a small law firm like us had to rely on word of mouth – now we can reach thousands of potential clients because of good online reviews.


Some things a lawyer does – he or she has done a thousand times already, such as general letters to opposing counsel requesting discovery.  If the lawyer has to retype the opposing lawyers’ information into the letter this cost the client.  Instead, lawyers can, through good case management software, have the ability to press a button and draft that letter within seconds.   Another example of office automation is to use Skype, or Google Video is a low-cost alternative for clients to meet us while avoiding the expense of travel and parking fees associated with downtown DC.


If law firms are not leveraging with technology and are using more traditional forms of practice, you will find your lawyer fees substantially higher.   Remember, they have to pass the file storage, legal research, and advertising onto the client through the charges.    So when you call us and say why your fees are so much lower than XYZ law firm, it is not because they are somehow superior.   Remember, the marble floors, and you are paying fancy paintings.  You have to come to the lawyer to solve the problem, not be impressed with how great the décor of their hallway is.

Specific Cost Per Case:

I hope this article helped you in trying to find your criminal lawyer in the District of Columbia. We are very friendly and there is no pressure to hire, so If you are charged with a criminal offense, give us a call and let us help you.

Cost of a DUI in DC and Maryland?

Cost of Sexual Solicitation Case in DC?