2024 How Much Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost in North Carolina?

Facing a criminal conviction can be frightening. Depending on how your case unfolds, you could be looking at serious jail time, hefty fines, and a significant change in your life’s trajectory. That’s why you should never face a criminal conviction alone. You will need an experienced attorney to guide your case, but you may be wondering about the criminal lawyer cost in North Carolina. While it could be substantial, a lawyer is also key to a successful case.

What Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost in North Carolina?

There is no set rate for a criminal lawyer’s services in North Carolina. Whether you are facing DWI charges, drug charges, or some other charge, it depends on a multitude of factors, particularly the various fees that every lawyer will charge. They’re all different, as every case is different. The cost of hiring a lawyer could range by thousands of dollars, not counting out-of-pocket litigation costs. Here are some of the various factors that could influence a lawyer’s rate:

  • Experience: When shopping for a lawyer, you will want to go with someone who has experience dealing with cases similar to yours. That includes trial experience, which can be invaluable if it comes time to defend yourself in court. The more experience a lawyer has, the more they may charge for their services.
  • Familiarity With Local Laws: It is also helpful to find a lawyer who is familiar with the courts and legal systems relevant to your particular region. A lawyer who has built their experience in North Carolina can advocate for you in ways that a lawyer who has recently moved states may not.
  • The Complexity of Your Case: Every criminal case is different and brings with it certain complexities that are unique to the case at hand. Your case is no different. If a lawyer thinks your case will be particularly complex, they may charge you more to handle it. With complexities come extra time and resources that need to be devoted expressly to your case.
  • Trial Necessity: If it appears that your case may not need to go to trial, your lawyer will likely charge you less. Trials are costly, time-consuming, often public, and require a range of resources. Some criminal trials last for months, while others last for years. When deciding on their fee, your lawyer will likely take into account whether or not your case will need to go to trial. If they charge hourly, a trial will likely take more hours and, thus, be more expensive.
  • Pay Structure: Every lawyer charges their clients differently. Some charge a retainer fee, which is essentially a down payment that you pay at the start. Others charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay them if they win your court case. This largely applies to personal injury. Others work at an hourly rate, billing you for additional services and expenses as the case goes on. Pay structure is something to discuss with any prospective lawyer.
  • The Caseload: Some lawyers are in higher demand than others. The odds are that if they charge reasonable fees and have a decent track record, many people in need of the same services as you will reach out to them. Lawyers have to consider their current caseload and whether or not they will be able to devote a reasonable amount of time to your case, as well as the others they may be working on at the time.


Q: How Much, On Average, Does It Cost to Hire a Criminal Attorney in North Carolina?

A: While most North Carolina attorneys tend to charge an hourly rate, there is no way to determine an official average cost to hire an attorney in North Carolina. Attorneys’ fees are always changing and are largely dependent on the case at hand and the factors that come with it. Some of those factors may include the severity of the charges, the media attention that might be attached to the case, the lawyer’s current caseload, and the amount of resources needed.

Q: What’s the Most a Criminal Lawyer Can Charge?

A: Lawyers are allowed to charge whatever they want for their services. It is up to the clients in need of those services to decide if they are willing to pay what that lawyer requests. It is incredibly beneficial to retain the services of a lawyer during the duration of your criminal trial. Going without a lawyer is possible but strongly discouraged. If you believe a prospective lawyer is charging too much, there is nothing wrong with looking for representation elsewhere.

Q: Should I Get a Lawyer for Reckless Driving in North Carolina?

A: It is recommended that you retain a lawyer whenever you are charged with anything, including reckless driving. A lawyer’s primary job is to look out for their client’s interests and do whatever they can to make sure their client receives fair treatment under the law. A lawyer can help have your charges reduced, provide you with options for your defense, and offer you sound advice throughout the entire process.

Q: Can I Just Pay My Ticket and Not Go to Court in North Carolina?

A: Yes, you can pay your ticket and not go to court in North Carolina. However, by waiving your right to fight the ticket and deciding to pay the full amount, you are essentially pleading guilty. Therefore, the consequences of being found guilty will fall upon you, such as the effect a guilty plea for a traffic ticket will have on your car insurance or your driver’s license points. You may want to consider hiring a lawyer and fighting the ticket, as the tide could turn in your favor.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Lawyer Today

Criminal lawyers can be costly to retain, but their services can also be invaluable for your case. Whatever you are fighting, whether a white-collar crime, such as accidental insider trading, or other types of criminal charges, you will want someone by your side who has extensive criminal knowledge and experience. The legal team at Steven T. Meier, PLLC, can provide you with options for your defense and help you build an effective strategy. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can.

Request Your Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Available 24/7 and Walk Ins Welcome