How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor includes minor offenses like theft and assault are far less severe crimes than a felony. They are serious crimes compared to an infraction, though. The maximum punishment for a misdemeanor is one year in jail and $1,000 as a fine. 

If a person gets caught for a misdemeanor, the first thing that comes to his mind is, “how much does a lawyer cost for a misdemeanor if I want to hire one?“.

Before discussing lawyer costs, let us look at examples of a misdemeanor.

  1. Destroying evidence
  2. Physical attack on anyone
  3. Exposing naked body
  4. Theft
  5. Driving a car when your license is suspended
  6. Intoxicating yourself when in public and creating a nuisance
  7. Having drugs in your possession
  8. Drunken drive
  9. Driving recklessly

A misdemeanor attracts minor punishment and doesn’t include grievous hurt. If it involves serious bodily harm, it is a tantrum and attracts aggravated penalties. These offenses don’t harm others or are victimless, like driving while intoxicated without causing an accident. Otherwise, these offenses turn into wobblers or a combination of two or more crimes that lead to severe convictions.

When people commit a misdemeanor, they think they can do away with it as they are a minor crime. However, if you have a criminal misdemeanor lawyer, he will help you through the process efficiently. The real problem arises when a misdemeanor charge results in grave consequences later. 

How much does a lawyer cost for a misdemeanor case?


The cost of hiring a lawyer means a lot to some people as they would be unprepared for such an expense. These are unexpected situations that stretch your budget and burden you. Usually, people shell out even the last penny to get out of jail because a charge in your name is highly undesirable. 

Average lawyer cost for misdemeanors


There is a difference between first-degree and second-degree misdemeanors. Thus, there are also differences between the average lawyer cost for first-degree misdemeanors and second-degree misdemeanors. Let’s have look at both costs separately. 

Second-degree misdemeanor

A second-degree misdemeanor incorporates basic charges and different first offenses. The typical attorney will charge somewhere in the range of $1,500 to $3,500. The less expensive and unpractised lawyers will charge as low as $750, while more costly lawyers will charge about $4-5,000. Examples of a second-degree misdemeanors are poor conduct, petty theft, and trespassing on others’ premises.

First-degree misdemeanor

A first-degree misdemeanor is somewhat unique. They are more serious because these offenses attract long punishments as one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Instances of first-degree misdeeds include:

  1. Abusive behavior at home
  2. Opposing arrest without displaying violent behavior
  3. Having marijuana

You need to shell out $2000 to $3,500 as lawyer fees. If you want a less experienced one, he will charge you around $1000, and a highly experienced one would charge you around $5000.

Now after answering your query about how much lawyers charge for misdemeanors, let us understand the factors you should consider before hiring a lawyer.

Tips before hiring a misdemeanor lawyer


  • Hire a local lawyer

Misdemeanor cases multiple sittings, and more preparation. In such a case, you need to hire a local lawyer who is accessible while your attorney prepares for cases during trials in court. He can understand even minor details if you visit him frequently.

  • Go through reviews: 

If you have chosen any lawyer who is your friend’s reference, go through the reviews online. Check whether the lawyer is friendly and talented to argue your case. 

  • Don’t hire a family friend

Never hire an attorney who is your family friend. Check for the reviews, and if he has served many clients, and has many satisfied clients, go ahead and hire him.

Frequently Asked Questions:


  • Do I need a lawyer for a misdemeanor? 

Yes. Initially, it would appear as if it is easy to get out of a misdemeanor charge as they are not severe. In reality, they may attract many legal implications later.

  • Is a criminal defense attorney that costly? 

Sometimes yes. If you hire a less experienced one, he will not take high fees. Instead, if you hire a highly experienced one, he would charge around $5,000.

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A misdemeanor would not attract heavy fines or penalties. But can create problems in the future. Examples of a misdemeanor are driving under the influence of alcohol without harming others, theft, possessing drugs, etc. 

Never think you can get away with a misdemeanor offense, hiring a lawyer would definitely benefit you. The above writing piece would help you understand how much an attorney cost for a misdemeanor.

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