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

Kevin M. Lemley

When contemplating hiring a lawyer, it’s normal to wonder what the cost will be and if you can afford it. You have probably heard before that lawyers may be expensive and that the fees can be confusing. Working with an experienced Arkansas criminal defense lawyer is crucial to getting a positive result in your case that will be worth the costs. Fines, possible jail time, and the effect a criminal charge can have on your life make securing legal representation vitally important.

How Costs Are Calculated

The cost of hiring a lawyer varies depending on your case type, how much help you want, and location. In Arkansas, the average hourly rate for a criminal defense lawyer is $151 per hour. The most common payment types in criminal defense cases are hourly or flat fees.

  • Hourly: In these situations, you pay the lawyer for the time they spend on your case. It is typical to pay a retainer or deposit upfront. The lawyer then bills against your retainer (deposit) instead of invoicing you directly. If a retainer is not involved, your law office will likely send you a bill at the end of the month.
  • Flat: This is when you pay a certain amount for help with your case. There is no extra math for you to do. The cost remains the same whether your lawyer spends 20 hours or 50 on your case. Sometimes, the office can break up the flat fee into multiple payments over time.

Where Does My Money Go?

The cost of a criminal defense lawyer may surprise you, but it pays for itself in what you receive: the peace of mind that someone is working on your behalf. When you hire a lawyer, you are hiring the education, experience, investigative skills, and time and effort it takes to help you get the desired outcome for your unique situation.

The cost of enlisting the support of a law firm is not just for the lawyer you hire but even for the people who make the research tools your lawyer uses to dive into your case. In addition, everyone on staff keeps the office running so your attorney can focus their time and energy on your case. People working at a law office may include assistants, secretaries, and associate lawyers.

Do I Need a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney?

When mulling over the cost of an attorney, you may be wondering whether or not you need an attorney. While the choice is ultimately up to you, the main question should be, “What is the likeliest punishment if I get convicted?” Unless you have a simple parking ticket or another minor offense like a jaywalking citation, the consequences of a conviction could be severe. When jail time is possible, having an attorney represent you is worth the time, effort, and money.

Having an attorney work with you can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal to avoid trial. If you go to trial, an attorney can defend you and help reduce your charges. Trials can be expensive, whether you have an attorney or not.

Not having an attorney can lead to complications and extra costs in the long run. Even minor offenses can carry hidden costs that may be difficult to comprehend, like effects on future employment or excessive fines. Having an attorney work with you can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal.

Get the answers you need so you are not blindsided later. Our criminal defense lawyers will review your case and consult with you first so you know what to expect.


Q: How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in Arkansas?

A: While costs depend on the specifics of a case, the average hourly rate for a criminal defense lawyer in Arkansas is $151 per hour. Since this is just an average, some lawyers may charge more, some less, and some charge flat fees instead of per hour. No matter the cost, you want a lawyer to protect your rights under the law.

Q: What Is the Highest Retainer Fee for a Lawyer?

A: The amount of a retainer typically depends on two factors: the hourly rate of the lawyer and the type of lawyer you need. You use these two factors to calculate the retainer fee.

If the caseload for the situation is estimated to be 30 hours and the lawyer’s hourly rate is $200, the retainer will be $6,000 for the lawyer’s estimated time.

Remember, the cost of a case can depend on the area and the specifics of the case. At Lemley Law Partners, we have flat fees and make your costs easy to understand.

Q: What Does the Defense Do in a Criminal Case?

A: In a criminal case, the role of the defense is to bring the most robust case forward against the prosecution’s case. This may include but is not limited to, attempting to convince the jury that there is reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt.

While it may seem possible to go into court alone, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can ensure you are represented well and that your rights are protected. No matter the situation, your Arkansas criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and create an appropriate path forward.

Q: What Is the Most Common Criminal Defense?

A: While there are many ways to defend against a prosecutor’s case, the most common is to argue reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt means claiming that the prosecutor’s case does not entirely prove the defendant is guilty. While this is the most common criminal defense, it is not the only way your defense attorney can help your case. Give your case the attention it deserves by contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Contact An Arkansas Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are questioning whether or not hiring a criminal defense lawyer makes sense for you, remember that you don’t want to show up to court alone. The education and experience it takes to succeed in the courtroom doesn’t come from a quick search online. The costs of great representation are justified.

Our lawyers have the experience to evaluate your case, determine your legal options, and help defend your rights. Get in touch with our criminal defense team at Lemley Law Partners today.