Home Criminal Defense 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.

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 Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C.'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 Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C. thinks that it is due to the fact that most defendants incorrectly believe that they are unable to afford their own attorney. Our firm 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. We offer 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 Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C. 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.

We’re Here to Help You!

We are available by phone 24/7 to discuss your case, and we make it a priority to answer all of your questions as soon as possible.

(317) 969-8000

What Our Clients Say

Very professional and knowledgeable, and fighter when needed.”
- Tyler Height, Emerson Law Client
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JR is a problem solver, he works well with people and is very comfortable in court. My ex and I are decent friends and JR made this a very easy thing for us. I hope you the same! Glad I chose JR, couldn't have imagined this going any smoother than this!”
- Amanda, Emerson Law Client
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