Indiana Criminal Attorney Fees

The fees charged by criminal defense attorneys in Indianapolis can vary significantly, depending on the circumstances, complexity and specific facts of each case. For misdemeanor cases, an attorney in Indianapolis might typically charge between $300 and $3,000. For cases like a DUI, which is more complex, the fee may be considerably greater.

How Much Does a Metro Indianapolis Criminal Attorney Charge? (317) 969-8000

It is much more challenging to estimate attorney fees in felony cases. The costs in defending a felony charge are dependent upon the complexity of the case, the duration of the case, and the severity of the offense. To provide an example, in a simple possession case it would not be unusual for a criminal attorney to charge a fee of $2,500 to $5,000.

How Do Most Criminal Defense Attorneys Determine Their Fees?

Knowledge is power in effectively negotiating fees with a defense lawyer. The amount a criminal defense attorney will charge for a criminal case depends on a number of factors:

  • (1) the complexity of the case, the duration of the case, and the severity of the offense;
  • (2) the projected time and resource needed to dedicate to the case;
  • (3) whether the case is likely to go to trial;
  • (4) the going “market rate” for a similar case;
  • (5) the attorney’s efficiency; and,
  • (6) the attorney’s overhead in operating his/her law practice.

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Based on the elements above, the attorney will usually quote the prospective client an anticipated fee and will require a minimum deposit to commence the representation. Although defense attorneys typically describe the amount they expect to charge as a “flat fee,” many will reserve the right to demand additional payment if the case proceeds beyond a specified stage. This demand for additional payment frequently occurs where the attorney is unable to negotiate an acceptable plea deal and the case proceeds to the point of trial. At that point, many defense attorneys will condition further representation on the client paying another “deposit.”

Emerson Law's Attitude Toward Fees

When confronted with a criminal prosecution, nearly ninety percent of defendants remain unrepresented or put their faith in a public defender to handle their case. With a little bit of research defendants would find vast statistical evidence that hiring your own attorney, when compared to using a public defender or representing yourself, generally produces superior results. This is why it is confusing that most defendants never even consider the possibility of hiring their own attorney and instead opt to represent themselves (pro se) or use the services of a public defender.

Why don’t more defendants get their own attorney?

Emerson Law LLC thinks that it is due to the fact that most defendants incorrectly believe that they are unable to afford their own attorney. Emerson Law LLC offers its clients a flat fee. That is one fixed amount for representation unless the case goes to trial. See our Flat Fee Contract for the specifics.

MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE FEES – Marion, Hamilton, Boone, and Hendricks County

How much money do I will need to pay up front? Do you offer payment plans?

After an attorney has provided the amount of the total flat fee, the client and attorney need to determine how the client will pay that fee. Emerson Law LLC offers several options for the client to make payment:

Total Fee Paid Up Front

Clients who pay the entire fee up front will receive a 10% discount off of the total fee.

Payment Plans

If you are unable to pay the entire fee in one lump sum payment, Emerson Law LLC ordinarily will accept ½ of the total fee up front, with any remainder of the fee to be paid on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly payment schedule which will be determined by the client and the attorney (principally based upon the client’s ability to pay).


In some circumstances, the firm will work with the client on alternative payment arrangements, even when the client cannot pay ½ of the total fee up front. In those cases, we will work with the client to come up with a plan that works for the client.

Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Former Judge of the Whitestown Town Court, Attorney Emerson explains what to look for when considering a criminal defense attorney.

Criminal Penalties in Indiana

From Felonies to Misdemeanors we will explain the possible legal consequences associated with each criminal charge.

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How an Attorney Can Help

The State must prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Your attorney's job is to challenge the State's evidence.  Learn how an attorney can help with the use of Subpoena's and Depositions.


Whether you are contemplating divorce, or been arrested or injured you are probably scared, unsure what will come next and what to do.  Give me a call. We will sit down, go over your options and work to find a way to move forward. Call me or another attorney. But call someone and get the help you deserve.

- JR Emerson, Attorney

I am here to help. I am not here to judge. For nearly 20 years I have been helping people in difficult situations and I would be happy to speak with you to see how I might be able to help you too.

- Jill Bracken-Emerson, Attorney


Schedule a Consultation Now!

If you need help we are happy to talk to you at no charge.  Give us a call or click the button to make an appointment.

About Us

Our office is located on the north side of Indianapolis at 98th Street and Keystone Avenue.

3091 E. 98th Street, Suite 180

Indianapolis, IN 46280

Phone: 1-317-969-8000


Our Services

Our attorneys represent people in need of assistance with personal injuries, car accidents, divorce, family law and DUI/OVWI matters.  Our clients typically live in counties throughout central Indiana including, Hamilton County, Boone County, Marion County, Hendricks County and Johnson County.  Please contact our office to learn how we can help.

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Copyright © 2012-2019, Emerson Law L.L.C.

The laws governing legal advertising in the state of Indiana require the following statement in any publication of this kind: Advertising Material. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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JR Emerson is an attorney who represents men and women in family law matters including divorce, child custody modification, and child support modification in Marion County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Madison County, Johnson County. Cities in which he practices include: Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown, Carmel, West Clay, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Greenwood, Southport, Franklin, Plainfield, Avon and Danville, Indiana.