Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I called a law office to consult over a criminal matter. Upon consulting with the attorney, it was explained to me that the matter would cost approximately $2,500, so long as the matter did not go to trial (of course, I understand that there may be other fees associated, such as the $80 I am going to pay to have a witness deposed by a private investigator). The attorney has interviewed me, briefly, to learn more about me, and to get a snapshot overview of the events in question. Otherwise, I have had no further interactions with the attorney I just received the contract, among other documents, and the contract seems to represent the monies paid as a retainer, which will cover all costs up until filing of charges. Filing of charges does not necessarily mean the matter will go to trial. It could still be dismissed, as I am to understand it. I do not necessarily have a problem with the hourly fee, nor do I have any contention with paying someone for services rendered. I do, however, take exception to the misrepresentation of the associated cost with handling my case. My overall question is, since I have yet to sign the contract, if I choose to not have this attorney represent me, am I entitled to a refund on the $2,500 retainer fee? Any answer to this question, as well as any advice on the matter is greatly appreciated.

Asked on 6/27/15, 10:46 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Allen Farshi Law Offices of Allen Farshi

The answer is a clear No. No signing no contract. At most assuming the attorney spent some time advising you he may sue in small claims court but will loose. Furthermore criminal defense retainers are generally not based on hourly fees but a flat fee, with a separate retainer to go to trial. I have been practicing criminal law for the past 16 years. Call me for an appointment if you decide to get a second opinion. 818 688 2225

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Answered on 7/06/15, 9:47 pm

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