The short and truthful answer to "How much will this cost?" is: it depends.
As you consider your defense, remember that no lawyer worth their salt ever quotes a fee without knowing specific facts about the case. Watch out for certain types of lawyers that promise big results on the cheap:
- The Letter Lawyer - The struggling lawyer who, desperate for business, sends letters to defendants as soon as their arrest records are public
- The Newbie - The newly licensed lawyer who learns on the job at their clients' expense
- Meet 'Em and Plead 'Em - The lawyer with no intention of investigating or fighting the charges who just wants to resolve the case quickly through a plea and move on to the next client
- Pay As You Go - The lawyer who charges a separate fee for every filing or appearance; clients usually end up paying much more than they expected
- Jack of All Trades, Master of None - The lawyer who dips into criminal law occasionally to supplement their original practice, such as civil, family, or immigration law; this is like hiring a heart surgeon to do brain surgery
Just because someone has a law degree doesn't mean they are qualified to defend your case. In the long run, cheap attorneys can end up costing you more because you have to hire another lawyer to clean up the first one's mess, or you lose and have to pay the considerable cost for an appeal, or you end up going to jail (or prison) and having a criminal record.