Important Basics Before Hiring a Criminal Defence Attorney


>> What Is a Criminal Defence Lawyer?
>> What Do Criminal Defence Attorneys Do?
>> Criminal Defence Lawyer vs. Criminal Defence Attorney: Are They Different?
>> How Much Should You Pay a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

Important Basics Before Hiring

a Criminal Defence Attorney

Table of contents

What Is a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

What Do Criminal Defence Attorneys Do?

Criminal Defence Lawyer vs. Criminal Defence Attorney: Are They Different?

How Much Should You Pay a Criminal Defence Lawyer?


Nobody wishes to be prosecuted for any form of crime but it can happen to everyone. And when it

happens, you need to hire a criminal lawyer to take you through this difficult time. Often, the

criminal lawyer will assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to take.

Most criminal lawyers specialize in legal matters that may be beneficial to your case. However,

like any other industry, it is critical to know a little more about what you should expect before

entering into any relationship with a lawyer.

What Is a Criminal Defence


Criminal Defence lawyers are professionals

who have been admitted to practice law by

the Ontario bar. In other words, they are

licensed to practice their profession in the

province and the whole of Canada.

Specifically, these lawyers act as legal

representatives of defendants to help them

achieve the best possible outcomes for their

cases in various courts.

Criminal Defence lawyers will represent you

when you are charged with either

misdemeanors or felonies—the most popular

categories of criminal law.

For starters, misdemeanors are criminal

charges that are less serious and can result in a

fine or less than a year imprisonment. They

include prostitution, petty theft, simple assault,

trespass, disorderly conduct, public

intoxication, reckless driving, possession of

marijuana, and vandalism among others.

On the other hand, felonies are more serious

criminal charges, which may result in more

than 1-year imprisonment or a death penalty.

Common felony cases include rape, murder,

treason, aggravated assault, kidnapping, fraud,

robbery, intent to distribute illegal drugs,

possession of illegal drugs, and grand larceny

among others.

What Do Criminal Defence Attorneys Do?

Generally, the role of criminal Defence attorneys

depends on the circumstance of each case.

Contrary to what most people know, these

attorneys do much more than just showing up on

court to argue with the prosecution and make a

case to the jury. They also consult with their

clients to discuss the specifics of the case.

If you are the defendant, for instance, they will let you know the consequences that you are facing

and suggest for you some of the things they can help you achieve. They will only begin working

on your case if you choose to hire them. They may then interview eyewitnesses, select witnesses

to bring to trial, meet the judge to discuss the case, compile the case and do the necessary research

related to the case, or motion to have the case dismissed.

So, before your case goes on trial, a criminal attorney does a lot of work on your behalf. And in

case your prosecution evidence is stronger and you decide to plead guilty, your Defence attorney

will do everything possible get you a good plea deal. For instance, they will opt for out of court

settlement, which will get you easier sentence.

In case your case goes to trial, your criminal Defence

attorney will select the jury and defend you to the best of

their abilities. They can attempt to prove your innocence,

get you a shorter sentence, lower your charges to a

misdemeanor, or get you placed in a better facility. For

misdemeanor cases, your attorney will advocate for

community service or fines instead of jail time. Put

simply, when you hire these attorneys, they do

everything they can to ensure that you get the best

possible outcome.

So, while there is no guarantee that an

outcome of a case will be favourable to

you, it is important to hire an attorney who

understands how the court process works.

Hiring a good attorney will boost your

chances of winning the case or reducing

your sentence.

Criminal Defence Lawyer vs. Criminal Defence

Attorney: Are They Different?

Criminal Defence attorneys are licensed by the bar to represent defendants in

court. They are the professionals who will stand by your side and defend you in

court. On the other hand, criminal Defence lawyers are educated in the law but

aren’t necessarily licensed by the bar. Accordingly, although they can give you

legal advice or do some technical legal work for you, they cannot represent you

in court.

Despite the distinction, the two terms are often used interchangeably. So, if your

friends tell you that they know some good criminal Defence lawyers, they are

probably talking about attorneys.

How Much Should You Pay a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

Well, it depends. There is no standard fee

that a private criminal Defence attorney will

charge you. In Ontario, some attorneys may

charge $1000 while others may require you

to part with $20,000 or more to access their

services. The inconsistencies in cost are due

to that the fact that every case is unique and

every attorney is different.

A highly skilled attorney tends to cost more

than a brand new one with little or no

experience. However, this doesn’t mean that

the most expensive attorney is always the

best. You can still find great attorneys in

Ontario with reasonable rates. You just need

to understand that an attorney’s rate is

dictated by experience, reputation, seniority,

and skill-level.

You case specifics will also affect the cost of your Defence:

– A simple misdemeanor case that an attorney can handle in 1-2 days is likely to cost

you around $1000

– Several serious felonies require weeks or months of work. As a result, most attorneys

in Ontario will charge you by the hour, which may climb to the $20,000+ range in the


The best way to figure out how much your case will cost is to consult with a particular

criminal Defence attorney.


There you have it; some of the important basics that you need to know before

working with a criminal Defence attorney in Ontario. As you can see, these

attorneys are vital if you have been prosecuted for a crime. Always ensure that

you hire the best attorney even if that translates into digging into your deeper

pockets. The attorneys can save you from a potential jail term, especially if you

are innocent.

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