How are criminal defence legal bills computed?

Understanding the intricacies of criminal defence legal bills can sometimes be challenging. Delving into the realm of legal bills can be manageable. With a foundation of understanding, navigating these waters becomes more manageable. This article will aim at dissecting the world of legal billing. 

criminal defence

Fee Agreements

Think of it like shaking on a deal at your neighbourhood hockey game. Before the game starts, you and your lawyer talk. You decide on the fee, and they jot down their services. And, just like we always say “sorry,” even when it’s not our fault if the anticipated costs and fees might hit $1,000 or more, that agreement has to be on paper. It’s just how it rolls.

Billable Time and Disbursement Fees/Expenses

Ever track how much time you spend watching hockey or sipping drinks? Lawyers do the same but for their work. Throughout the case, they’re logging in their hours and any extra costs – from photocopies to those midnight coffee runs. At month’s end, or once the issue wraps up, they draft a bill, adding any special notes or tweaks. After giving it the old once-over, the final bill gets zipped your way. 

Percentage of Settlement

Let’s say you slip on an icy sidewalk outside your favourite poutinerie and decide to take legal action. If you win, there’s a payout, right? You might often agree to give your attorney a percentage of that final settlement amount instead of paying an hourly rate. This method can be a win-win; if you get more, so do they. This amount often wraps in all those pesky court costs and fees. So, the better they do for you, the better they do for themselves. 

Hourly Charge

Maybe you’re the type who likes knowing exactly where each penny’s going. If so, you might prefer the old-fashioned hourly charge. Here, your lawyer’s fee is like a taxi meter. It keeps ticking for each hour they work on your case. The end charge? Their hourly rate times the number of hours worked. Remember, though, while you pay for their time, there might still be extra costs like those filing fees or a private investigator’s rate. 

Prosecutorial Judgment

When figuring out if a corporation (or even Joe from next door) should face charges, prosecutors have a lot to chew on. They’re looking at the strength of the evidence, weighing the chances of getting a thumbs up at trial and thinking about the big picture—like what a conviction means for all folks involved. It’s not just a game of “guilty or not guilty.” It’s all about ensuring justice is right and fair for everyone.


Whether you’re being billed for every tick of the clock, a chunk of the settlement, or curious about the ins and outs, having a bit of knowledge is always handy. And remember, if things get confusing, hiring a professsional never a bad idea to hire a legal expert. After all, like with our beloved hockey, sometimes you need a teammate to help make that winning play.