The cost of hiring an attorney for a murder defense charge in California will depend on a number of factors. Murder cases are the most serious charge in California, and will generally cost more than more simple, straightforward cases, such as a misdemeanor assault charge. Felony cases typically have more court appearances, have more complex evidence, and require more difficult negotiations with prosecutors.
Typically, murder cases require a criminal defense lawyer Orange County, CA to devote significantly more time than other types of cases. This can also increase the cost of a murder defense. A more experienced attorney — who may have good relationships with prosecutors and an ability to identify issues in the case with more ease — often charges more than less experienced lawyers.
Your attorney may charge you a flat fee, where you pay one fee regardless of how much time they spend on the case. The advantage of this type of fee arrangement is that you know exactly how much you will spend on your defense. Alternatively, your attorney may charge you an hourly rate, where you pay for each hour that they spend on the case (with initial funds deposited into a trust account and the fees withdrawn periodically). The benefit of this type of arrangement is that if your case is resolved quickly, you may spend less money overall.
In addition to attorneys’ fees, you may need to pay for expert witnesses to testify about evidence in the case. These represent costs that will be billed on top of attorneys’ fees.