A recent law practice management article described the client's perspective in hiring an attorney as one of the most complicated and stressful activities most people ever engage in - it was even described as more stressful than buying a house. The goal of Stolte Law, LLC is to make hiring an attorney much less of a headache. We offer up-front, flat-fee services. When you finish your initial consultation, you will know exactly how much your retainer will be. We are regularly told our pricing is lower by hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The base fee for every category of service is what the typical case will cost you. Our base fee covers everything up to trial - no matter how many times we appear in court for you. You don't have to watch the clock when we talk on the phone or wonder if you are being charged for an email.
The base fee covers entering an appearance, investigating the case, evaluating the evidence, attending pretrial hearings, researching issues, filing motions and the subsequent hearings, conducting plea negotiations, advising you along the way, and preparing the case for trial. The only additional fees are for expert services, travel outside my regular territory, and multiple count or extraordinary cases. You will know the base fee for your case when you hire Stolte Law, LLC.
HOURLY vs. FLAT-RATE FEE ATTORNEYS
An hourly fee agreement can leave you wondering how much your attorney will cost. Hourly attorneys will charge for phone calls, responding to or preparing an email to the prosecutor, or sometimes just to think about your case. I have even heard of people being charged when their attorney talked about the case over lunch! This can cause massive fluctuations in the costs of particular criminal cases and it can be a problem for a lot of people.
Another problem with hourly rates is that some law firms bill hourly at varying rates. Depending on whether the principal attorney or an associate is working on your case, the fees will vary dramatically - often with little assurance your bill will not exceed your bank account. If, at some point, the monthly lawyer bill is not paid, the hourly attorney might withdraw from your case. Unfortunately, this could leave people searching for an attorney in the middle of the case.
Other attorneys say they offer flat rates, but bill for extras like filing motions or making extra court appearances. When you interviewing potential attorneys, make sure they will not charge extra for these routine services. One of the most important services an attorney can offer is knowledge and understanding of the case. In addition to understanding the technicalities of the criminal case, you should know how your attorney's counsel will affect your financial situation.
APPOINTED ATTORNEYS & PUBLIC DEFENDERS
Many people do not know that appointed attorneys and public defenders are not free. For starters, most courts impose an application fee of around $100 just to see if you qualify. At the conclusion of the case, fees for the attorney are typically ordered to be paid back.
The appointed attorney or public defender fees become part of the fees in your case in addition to the fines, court costs, and monitoring fees. Failure to pay the attorney fees could result in probation revocation, extension of probation, or having the fee sent to debt collection with a 30 - 40% cost increase.
Stolte Law, LLC accepts a number of payment methods and we will work with you to develop a payment plan that fits with your budget. After the initial case evaluation, you will be given a set fee for all of the work in your case.
PREMIUM COUNSEL, AFFORDABLE RATES
Stolte Law, LLC, is proud to offer competitive, flat-fee legal services. Whether you are appealing a conviction, challenging a DUI stop, setting a case for trial, or petitioning for expungement, you will know our fees.
Call 913-575-8823 to learn more.