2024 How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in Arizona?

Stephen R. Glazer

If you were arrested and charged with a crime in Arizona, the future may seem uncertain. Even first-time offenders could face potential jail time and fines. Working with a criminal defense attorney offers crucial benefits. A lawyer can work to get your side of the story across to a judge or prosecutor. Often, your legal counsel can reduce the penalties that you are facing. You may be wondering, “How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Arizona?”

Are Attorneys Worth the Cost?

It may be tempting to consider defending yourself or not hiring a private defense attorney. Defendants have the right to represent themselves “pro se,” but doing so can come with inherent risks. Facing criminal charges is an emotional ordeal, and making decisions on your own behalf can lead to errors and additional stress.

If you’re not a lawyer, you’ll lack the legal knowledge necessary to craft an effective defense. Having a talented attorney on your side can help you make decisions with an objective, clear mind and feel more confident in those decisions.

Representing yourself could also lead to errors that can seriously compromise your case, such as if you were to miss a filing deadline, miss a hearing, or file an incomplete or incorrect motion. Arizona has strict rules on how evidence can be admitted and how hearings are held. Experienced attorneys can bring years of formal training and first-hand experience when representing clients.

Lawyers often have working relationships with judges and prosecutors that can prove crucial when negotiating plea bargain agreements. This is an advantage that most average citizens do not have when representing themselves. A lawyer’s courtroom familiarity can work in your favor when trying to reduce the charges you are facing.

How Do Lawyers Charge for Their Time?

Defense attorneys work on either a billable hour or flat fee basis. If your lawyer charges by the hour, they may disclose their hourly rate during your consultation. Once you accept representation, they can charge you by the hour for the time they put into your case. Often, they will require an up-front payment known as a retainer. The retainer is billed until it is completely depleted, at which point you may have to pay another lump sum of money for your defense.

Attorneys who work on a flat fee basis charge a one-time fee for their services, generally with the understanding that they will represent you through trial if needed or even through the appeals process if necessary. An attorney is more likely to charge a flat fee if they are confident about how much work your case will take them. If they believe they will be putting in additional hours for which they are not compensated, a flat fee is unlikely.

Ultimately, the fees any attorney charges are based on their experience, success rate, training, and reputation. Attorneys who come from respected law firms and have a track record of success can charge clients accordingly for their services. In choosing a lawyer, you’ll want to select someone with relevant experience, knowledge of your local legal system, and a solid reputation. As with any professional, the better the service, the higher the cost is likely to be.


Q: What Types of Fees Do I Have to Pay as Part of My Defense?

A: Depending on what type of crime you are charged with, you may have to pay court fees, supervision fees, and other costs associated with your defense. If you volunteer to attend drug rehabilitation or are court-ordered to attend, you will have to pay those fees yourself. Anyone facing a DWI may have to pay for the use of an ignition interlock system.

Q: How Can I Save Money on My Defense?

A: One way you can ultimately save yourself time and money is through hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a track record of helping clients who face the same charges you are facing.

By resolving a case sooner rather than later through the timely filing of motions, negotiations with prosecutors, and the implementation of a strategic legal plan, your attorney may be able to reduce the time you spend facing charges. A reduction in your charges or penalties could also ultimately save you money.

Q: Is a Criminal Lawyer Worth the Cost?

A: When it comes to preserving your freedom and liberties, many clients find that an attorney is worth the cost. A lawyer’s main job is to protect your rights throughout the criminal court process. Having legal counsel provides a level of certainty during uncertain times. A knowledgeable lawyer brings years of experience to your defense so you can improve the chances of resolving your case with favorable outcomes.

Q: What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

A: Your criminal defense attorney may spend considerable time preparing for your defense. This involves researching and investigating the facts and background of your case. A defense attorney may consult with outside professionals who have knowledge in certain areas, like forensics. A defense attorney also reviews the testimony of witnesses to find weaknesses in the state’s case against you.

Q: Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney for a Misdemeanor?

A: Yes, it’s advised to hire a criminal defense attorney for a misdemeanor. While the penalties for misdemeanors are less serious than those for felonies, they can still have a significant impact on your life and leave you with a criminal record. An attorney can help reduce the negative impacts of your charges and fight for an acquittal or a favorable plea deal. As a layperson, it will be extremely difficult to represent yourself and negotiate with prosecutors.

Schedule Your Criminal Defense Consultation Today

The up-front cost of legal representation may seem daunting, but the peace of mind that a lawyer affords is well worth the price for many defendants in Arizona. The cost of legal representation is often tied to the experience and reputation of a law firm’s attorneys. At Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC, our lawyers are client-focused, and winning is our priority.

We do not take cases unless we believe we can offer a clear legal strategy that benefits our client. Once we take on a client, we focus on maintaining our relationship with them and communicating honestly and directly. Call us today for compassionate and personalized legal guidance.

Glazer, Hammond & Smets, PLLC

Providing Experienced and Compassionate
Legal Counsel for Northern Arizona.

Request Your Free Consultation

Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Location

Address 508 N. Humphreys St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Map And Directions