How Much Does an NYC Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost?

Information About Hiring Cody Warner

The first question people often ask when they are charged with a crime is, “How much does an NYC criminal defense lawyer cost?”

The cost of hiring an NYC criminal defense lawyer depends on mainly two factors—first, the number of hours it will take your NYC criminal defense attorney to represent you and, second, how much your NYC criminal defense attorney charges per hour.

This cost analysis remains the same even when your attorney charges a flat fee. When charging a flat fee, your attorney first learns about your case to determine approximately how many hours it will take to represent you and then multiplies the projected number of hours by his hourly rate to determine the total cost of representation.

The number of hours it will take your attorney to represent you is dependent on the complexity of your case, which is impacted by many things, for instance: How many witnesses and/or police officers are involved with your case and need to be investigated? Are there voluminous amounts of digital or paper records that need to be examined? How many unique legal issues exist in your case that must be researched and analyzed?

Your attorney’s hourly rate is dependent on many factors such as your attorney’s experience level and reputation and the market rate for NYC criminal defense attorneys.

Although all attorneys know their hourly rates—even if that rate is used to determine a flat fee—most NYC criminal defense attorneys don’t advertise them, which makes it very difficult for people to answer the question, “How much does an NYC criminal attorney cost?”

Unlike most NYC criminal defense attorneys, Cody believes that pricing transparency is important. Transparency is more than just transactionally efficient so that prospective clients know how much it costs to hire an NYC criminal defense lawyer—transparency fosters a strong attorney-client relationship because clients know that their attorney isn’t playing fast and loose with their fees.

NYC Criminal Defense Attorney Cody Warner’s Pricing

Cody’s hourly rate is $275 per hour—a competitive rate in New York City for high quality criminal defense. Also, for most cases Cody offers flat fee pricing, and clients may choose whether they prefer a flat fee or hourly billing.

Flat fees are often mutually beneficial for both the client and attorney. For the client, a flat fee provides certainty about the legal fees. For the attorney, a flat fee provides an incentive to be efficient and get clients a favorable outcome as soon as possible—which also aligns with the interests of the client. Although some complex cases have unpredictable time requirements that make flat rates unfeasible, for many common cases—like a DUI or a simple drug possession case—Cody can analyze your case to determine a fair flat fee.

Criminal cases can go through several distinct procedural stages, and they often conclude within the first few stages. To help his clients reduce costs when using flat fee pricing, Cody provides a separate flat fee for each stage of a case, and his clients only pay for the stages that their cases go through.

Cody’s flat fees begin at the following prices:

Stage 1: Arraignment

  • $825

Your arraignment is your first court appearance, when you are officially charged with an offense. Some cases—typically misdemeanors where you are issued a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)—can occasionally be resolved favorably at the arraignment. For such petty cases, it’s not uncommon for an NYC criminal defense attorney to work out a deal with the district attorney’s office at the arraignment that results in the charges eventually being dropped.

Stage 2: Pre-Omnibus Motion

  • Misdemeanor: $2,750
  • Felony: $4,125

If your case doesn’t conclude at your arraignment, you can expect many things to happen during the weeks that follow. Your attorney conducts investigations, reviews available evidence from the prosecution, researches and analyzes legal issues, serves subpoenas needed to obtain evidence from third parties, corresponds with all parties, and negotiates with the prosecution in an effort to obtain a dismissal or an acceptable plea offer.

The length of this stage can widely vary—from a day to many months—and it ends when either your case is resolved or the court adjourns the case for your attorney to file an omnibus motion.

Stage 3: Omnibus Motion

  • Misdemeanor: $2,475
  • Felony: $3,300

If the court adjourns your case for your attorney to file an omnibus motion—a lengthy written motion that is tailored to your individual case and helps ensure that your rights are protected throughout the remainder of the matter—certain procedural steps have occurred in your case that indicate your case is moving forward. For a misdemeanor, the allegations have been sworn to by witnesses under the penalty of perjury. For a felony, your case has been heard by a grand jury, which decided that sufficient evidence exists to issue an indictment. By the time your attorney must write your omnibus motion, all the prosecution’s evidence—barring a few potential exceptions—is available for review. During this stage your attorney can conduct a complete and thorough evidence review, which allows him to incorporate all possible legal arguments into the omnibus motion. Depending on the arguments and issues raised in the omnibus motion, the court may dismiss your case or the prosecution may decide to offer a better deal. Consequently, cases that reach this stage are often resolved without resorting to trial.

Stage 4: Hearings and Trial Preparation

  • Misdemeanor:  $2,200
  • Felony: $5,500

If the court won’t dismiss your case and the prosecution won’t offer an acceptable resolution, then your case proceeds to trial. Before trial, you may have pre-trial hearings that your attorney requested in your omnibus motion. Pre-trial hearings are typically conducted for the court to determine whether certain evidence will be admissible at trial.

To prepare for hearings and trial, your attorney must do many things, like outline all the evidence, develop an overall trial strategy, draft compelling opening and closing statements, research legal arguments, prepare for jury selection, draft questions to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, coordinate with any defense witnesses who will testify, and prepare you for what to expect.

This stage can last much longer than expected. Sometimes, a case may be on for trial for over a year. Since the prosecution has the burden to prove their case, they must align the scheduling for all their witnesses, which can be very difficult, especially for complex cases with many witnesses. Consequently, the prosecution is often not ready for trial. If they are not ready for trial for an extended period, your right to a speedy trial may be violated and your attorney can file a motion to dismiss your case. Further, when the prosecution prepares for trial, they sometimes realize their case is not as strong as expected and they may offer a better deal. Accordingly, many cases that are adjourned for trial don’t in fact go to trial.

Stage 5: Trial

  • Per Day: $2,750

If your case is one of the rare few that goes to trial, then your attorney executes the prepared trial strategy. Trials vary significantly in length, with some misdemeanors taking less than a day and very complex felonies taking months. Generally, most misdemeanor trials last several days and most felonies last less than 10 days. Each evening during trial, your attorney assesses that day’s developments in your trial to make sure that your defense is optimized.

Hiring NYC Criminal Defense Attorney Cody Warner

If you are interested in hiring Cody Warner to represent you or your loved one, he can be reached 24/7 for immediate representation. He also offers free consultations—virtual or in-person. During your consultation, you will discuss your case with Cody, and Cody will propose a strategy to implement for your case. If you would like to move forward with the proposed strategy, you can retain him as your lawyer, and he will get started putting the plan into action.