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Retainers in Criminal Matters

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Again, just like the hourly rate a retainer is reasonable depending on what you want to do. If you’re in a situation where you absolutely have to turn over every rock in an attempt to get out of the charge a common example are commercial drivers who cannot have any blemishes on their receive otherwise they lose their insurance and/or their license and therefore, their job, their livelihood. They absolutely have to have so in that case, you know you’re going to have spent more time not the case. So how much time and also the likelihood that it’s going to have to be tried.

And then the other as far as the size of the retainer is the complexity of the case. How many witnesses are involved? If it’s just one police officer who observed a crime, you may not need as much of a retainer as somewhere there’s 10 witnesses. And you may need to hire outside experts. In some cases in criminal, we will send our clients to have lie detector tests because credibility is an issue. Well, those people that run polygraph machines are experts, they are not inexpensive, and so you may build that into the retainer to understand that this is an expense that we have to undertake in this case in order to convince the prosecutor that the client is not guilty at least of what they’re being charged. They may be guilty of something else but trying to find what the appropriate charge is something that is more fitting of the facts all of that, that’s a lot of groundwork that goes into it. It’s not just the 10 or 15 minutes you might spend in court for one stage in the process.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney, James Johnson, discusses retainers in criminal matters.

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