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How much does it cost to retain a Criminal Lawyer in Toronto?

Criminal Lawyer in Toronto - While it is well acknowledged that hiring a criminal lawyer is not a cheap idea, it is quite difficult for a person to grasp what is a reasonable or realistic fee for the services of a criminal lawyer.

As is the case with other experts, there are a number of factors that will affect the final amount of your legal bill. In order to make an informed decision on how to allocate your legal budget, it is critical that you have a firm grasp of these considerations.

Criminal Lawyer in Toronto

Criminal Lawyer in Toronto Factors that affect your legal costs

Case complexity

Shoplifting charges plainly cost less to defend than murder cases, but case complexity can be a little more subtle than that. Additionally, the costs of a trial on a small and specialized subject might be drastically different from the costs of a trial involving several expert witnesses over a long period of time.


Our lawyers practise all over Southern Ontario and, on occasion, even outside the Province. Although we typically cover courts with no additional expenses in Newmarket, Brampton, Barrie, Milton, Orangeville and beyond with no additional travel, mileage and disbursement charges. However, some exceptions may apply, but this is not the case for matters that take place outside of the greater GTA.

Mode of trial

Mode of trial: As a result of the additional time and expense associated with Superior Court trials, including jury trials, A preliminary investigation may also be necessary in some circumstances, increasing the overall fees. In addition to the significant financial implications, your Bhardwaj Law criminal lawyer will go over the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing your case in a courtroom.

The seniority of the lawyer you hire

Unlike other consumer goods, a top criminal trial lawyer is not something that can be bought and sold at any time. Experience has value, and consequently, it comes with it a cost. Our partners demand greater block fees and hourly rates than our colleagues and students. The expenses and advantages associated with selecting a more experienced lawyer will be explained to you during your initial client appointment so that you can make an informed decision and choose the lawyer who is suitable for you.

Criminal Lawyer in Toronto

Block fees versus hourly rates

Typically, lawyers establish their fees in two distinct methods. Commonly, family and civil attorneys will fee you by the hour at a rate that is invoiced in tenths of an hour (six-minute increments). Commonly, real estate attorneys bill on a block fee basis, which provides a single price for all services required to complete a particular transaction, such as a residential house acquisition.

Some criminal lawyers still bill by the hour, but block fees are more prevalent throughout the profession. At Bhardwaj Law, our criminal lawyers are happy to help you choose the billing structure that best meets your needs. In the majority of instances, this is a flat fee system in which you are offered a fixed price for the management and preparation of your case, followed by further prospective flat fees for milestones such as new trial dates, bail hearings, or appeals. The flat charge provides a measure of predictability and makes it much simpler to budget for your case's expenses. It also tends to match your interests with those of your lawyer — you want a swift, favourable conclusion to your case, and your lawyer is financially driven to provide you with just that without increasing the cost by invoicing more hours.

Block billing is most effective in situations when the schedule and milestone events are somewhat predictable. If your case is atypical and may not follow a standard court procedure, an hourly charge is the easiest method to ensure that you only pay for the services you require.

What exactly is a retainer fee?

Before beginning work on your case, the majority of lawyers will want a deposit. This charge is typically referred to as a "retainer." In an hourly rate system, it may cover an estimated first block of hours spent on your case, however, if your attorney is paying you on a block-fee basis, it will likely be determined as a percentage of the anticipated total block cost.

Are the best things in life free, or do you get what you pay for?

Regardless of the cliche, Bhardwaj Law PC gives free consultations of 15 minutes or longer at the discretion of our senior lawyer. In our experience, offering free consultations is a significant drain on the limited time of our senior attorneys, who would rather devote their efforts to defending your case as a valued client. However, we are aware that no one will invest thousands of dollars in such a crucial decision without first meeting the attorney to whom they will leave their freedom. As a result, Bhardwaj Law has devised an original and novel method for billing for consultations.

Our lawyers charge a small fee for initial client consultation (typically $400 plus HST). Depending upon the case, the average retainer cost can start from $2500 per month. During this discussion, we will analyze any available evidence, discuss your background and the specifics of your case, and outline viable strategic defences. This consultation typically lasts one hour but can run longer at no additional cost. You will be given the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of the meeting. You can decide on the spot to hire our attorney, or you can take additional time to contemplate this crucial choice.

If you hire a Bhardwaj Law attorney following the initial consultation, the whole consultation fee will be added to your total legal expenses for the case. Therefore, if you decide to engage us, the consultation is virtually free. If you take a different path, all you will have to spend is a little fee to meet with a devoted and knowledgeable expert about your situation.

Money-Saving Advice for Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

When facing a criminal charge that might affect your job, family, and even freedom, it can be intimidating to attempt to "barter" or negotiate for the lowest feasible amount. Although the finest attorney for your case is not always the one who gave you the highest charge, you should be wary of making such an important choice based purely on the lowest bid.

Here are some suggestions for maximizing the value of your legal budget.

Hire early: Many clients erroneously believe they may save money by handling early court appearances on their own and only hiring a lawyer after receiving disclosure and conducting their own crown pre-trial many months later. This is nearly always a poor decision. As Bhardwaj Law, criminal attorneys often bill on a flat-fee basis; there are little, if any, savings to be had by managing aspects of your case on your own. Moreover, by engaging in court appearances or disclosure requests without the assistance of a lawyer, you may be doing more harm than good to your case by causing delays that will be counted against you in court or by obtaining crown settlement positions that are less optimal than those your lawyer could negotiate. Therefore, we invite prospective clients to meet with us as soon as possible. The sooner our criminal attorneys may begin working on your case, the more favourable the outcome is likely to be, with minimal impact on your fees.

Choosing your trial mode: Due to the fact that legal fees are always, at least in part, dependent on the time involved in a case, actions that save time typically save money as well. This implies that deciding to end your case more quickly through a negotiated plea is frequently less expensive than going to trial. Even if your case does require a trial, you can save a significant amount of money if you choose to have your trial in the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice without a jury. Similarly, waiving a preliminary inquiry can minimize the amount of time spent on your case, resulting in cost savings. However, it is essential to have a thorough awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of these crucial strategic decisions. A Bhardwaj Law attorney will always explain the risks and benefits of selecting various trial strategies. Occasionally, the cheapest alternative is the best strategic choice, making the selection simple. Occasionally, waiving a preliminary investigation or jury might compromise the success of your case. Our criminal attorneys will educate you on the advantages and disadvantages of selecting your mode of trial, empowering you to make a completely educated decision that matches your budget with the necessities of your case.

Understand Disbursements: Disbursements are any expenses in addition to those directly attributable to your lawyer's professional services. These might include relatively simple expenses such as photocopies, mileage, and parking receipts, but they can also be rather costly if it is considered essential to pay private detectives or medical specialists to buttress your case. Additionally, you should examine whether it will be required to order transcripts during the trial or for appeals, as they may be quite costly in the event of protracted trials. Within the Greater Toronto Area, Bhardwaj Law's criminal attorneys do not charge for normal photocopying or transportation expenditures. Before incurring major charges for experts and transcripts, we will always consult with you to ensure that you are aware of both the costs and the advantages.

Payment Plans: Legal expenses can be expensive, and few individuals can afford to pay the full amount in advance. The majority of attorneys would gladly negotiate reasonable payment plans that assist in dividing up the bigger charge into more manageable components. These are often paid monthly and covered by post-dated checks, recurring instalments, or pre-approved charges to your credit card, ensuring that the complete amount is paid in advance of your case's anticipated conclusion. Ask one of our seasoned criminal attorneys to set up a payment plan that will ensure you receive the quality counsel you require at a price you can afford over time.

Explore payment options: In rare situations, some companies will compensate their workers in full or partly for legal bills incurred for matters unrelated to their jobs. Check with your company to see whether your benefits package includes 'legal insurance' - similar to health insurance; these policies may cover a portion or all of your legal bills. Consult with your accounting professional, if you are self-employed, to see if your case may be reasonably paid for by your corporation, resulting in tax advantages that decrease your final cost.

The Costs of Hiring an Ontario Sexual Assault Attorney

Sexual assault lawsuits have special concerns that might affect your case's expense. In situations involving sexual assault, the choice of trial method is very important. You will have the option of having a trial in the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ) or the Superior Court of Justice (SCCJ) if the Crown chooses the more serious indictment route (SCJ). SCJ cases are typically preceded by a preliminary investigation and are costlier than OCJ trials (though this option has been limited by recent amendments to the Criminal Code). The ability to cross-examine the complainant in a sexual assault case during discovery or a preliminary inquiry can add to your legal fees, but it can be of immense benefit to your final defence at trial.

Frequently, a solid defence in sexual assault cases entails the filing of crucial pre-trial motions. These can include requests to collect and introduce third-party evidence, such as medical or psychiatric records, as well as motions to allow cross-examination of a complainant regarding their past sexual history. The expenses of these motions must be weighed against their strategic value to ensure that you have offered the strongest defence possible.

The Costs of Retaining a Domestic Violence Attorney in Ontario

Domestic violence cases are sometimes referred to be "he-said, she-said" trials, as the only two persons with relevant evidence are frequently the two parties involved. It is tempting to believe that this will result in a brief and straightforward trial, but this is not always the case.

A solid defence in a domestic abuse case frequently entails a thorough and deliberate examination of evidence that may come from other family members, such as small children, whose testimony must be collected with caution. In rare circumstances, analysis of social media posts both before and after an occurrence might be decisive.



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