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How Do Lawyers Set Their Fees?

In Northern Kentucky and throughout the United States each lawyer sets his own fees and rates.  Many lawyers charge an hourly rate which has wide range.  In Northern Kentucky the rates normally vary between $85-350/hour.  In Cincinnati, the rates may vary between $75-$550/hour.  Rates are generally based on experience, history and ability in a specific practice area.  You can expect to pay a much less rate for an attorney fresh out of law school than one with 20 years experience.  Domestic relations/family area of practice generally range from $150-$275 in Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties.  Typical fees for Michael Bouldin, an attorney with 18 years experience in 2012 were $250-300/hour.  Criminal lawyers, on the other hand, often set fixed fees for representation on various criminal cases. Federal cases generally involve a great deal more work, hence more fees than state court cases.  Criminal cases vary widely, typically ranging from $500-$100,000+, but a representative sample of charges for state court in Kentucky may be as follows*:

DUI - $1200+

Misdemeanor - $750+

Traffic Offense - $350+

Felony D - $3000+

Felony C - $5,000+

Felony B - $10,000+

Felony A - $25,000+

As stated, each attorney sets his/her own fees based on their experience, case load and various other factors.  For example, a fee of $1200 for DUI would likely not include suppression hearings or trial and would be based on a first offense in Kenton, Campbell or Boone in first half of 2013. * The above examples are purely for illustration purposes.  In addition to the foregoing, actual fees vary according to a number of factors, including but not limited to: complexity of the case, actual charges, defendant's criminal history, whether PFO is possibility, number of total charges, whether defendant is eligible for diversion, deferred prosecution, probation or any other program, costs involved, necessity of expert witnesses, whether a plea or trial is likely, travel and expenses, number and complexity of pretrial motions and county of crime.  Most cases also involve additional fee if case proceeds to trial. There is generally no cost in calling an attorney and asking for his fees.  If you need a consultation in Northern Kentucky of have a question of legal fees, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net .

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