Three Key Factors to Determine Criminal Attorney Fees

We are often asked how does a law office decide criminal attorney fees? If you have ever dealt with more than one lawyer in your life, you already know the answer to this question: because every case is different!

Below are three key factors that affect criminal attorney fees:

1. The Number and Severity of the Criminal Charges
Most people understand that hiring a criminal defense lawye-r for representation in a DUI is much cheaper than hiring representation for First Degree Murder. The more severe the charge, the more likely it is that your criminal attorney fee will be higher. Additionally, if there are multiple charges, the fee will likely be higher.

2. The Complexity of the Criminal Case
A criminal attorney fee may be higher or lower depending on the complexity of the case. For example, a shoplifting charge won’t require a lot of witnesses or medical experts, but a DUI charge might need an expert witness on blood alcohol. Cases that make the news are often more complex and require much higher fees. The more complex the case, the more likely it is that your criminal attorney fee will be higher.

3. The Experience of the Criminal Defense Attorney
As one attorney noted: you don’t pay a gunslinger by the bullet— you pay him for his gun. Frequently, it is the reputation, skill, and knowledge of an experienced criminal defense lawyer that turns a bad situation into a good outcome. More experienced attorneys often demand higher fees.

There are other considerations as well, including the location of the case, whether an attorney will have to travel, the number of anticipated court appearances, the number of witnesses, etc.

At our office, we have tried over forty jury trials and have successfully negotiated thousands of cases. We have also handled dozens of high profile cases in the media. If you have any questions and need to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, feel free to call our office.

Criminal Attorney Fees

High profile cases, which are often front page news, are much more complex and often require higher fees.

 

Child Support is No Laughing Matter When it Comes to Divorce

Each state has their own laws when matters revolve around child support. Knowing the exact payment can weigh on a few different factors, so it is important to consult with a local child support attorney on these laws.

Some general factors include both parent’s wages and income from all sources along with the number of kids within a family.

Other areas of concern circle around the average amount of child care costs, health care costs, benefits or even costs associated with a previous divorce.

It’s important to keep in mind that child support is key to a child’s well-being. With this condition, lower costs are a concern and hiring a lawyer to leverage payments can go a long way for both parties.

For someone to lower a payment, they must show a substantial change in circumstances, which means the individual’s circumstances have changed since the initial order on child support. This may include situations that relate to health concerns of a parent or a change in employment to name a few.

With all of this in mind, how much child support each parent pays can differ significantly. Nonetheless, the relevancy of a lawyer in the matter is vital in all accounts.

To estimate what your child support payment may be, you can use the Tennessee Child Support Worksheet, which can be found here.

For other areas of family law in Murfreesboro, feel free to contact Joe Brandon & Scott Kimberly, Attorneys at Law at 615-890-2399.

Tennessee Adopts Two New DUI Laws in 2014

Driving under the influence of alcohol is serious business in Tennessee. Not only are those who are behind the wheel affected. Their families are often affected as well because individuals can serve significant time in jail for DUI offenses.

With this in mind, legal representation is key when it comes to DUI matters, as there are several offenses for which people can be charged.

DUI offenses range from Violation of Implied Consent and Refusal to Submit to Blood Alcohol Information, which are misdemeanors, to four-time repeat offenders, whose conviction would be considered a Class E Felony and may contain up to one year of jail time.

More serious DUI offenses also include Child Endangerment, Vehicular Homicide, and Aggravated Vehicular Assault, all of which may occur while driving intoxicated.

In the state of Tennessee, two new laws were adopted this summer that involve the aforementioned topics.

Amelia’s Law
The first new DUI law in Tennessee is named after Maryville’s Amelia Keown, who was killed in a collision by a repeat DUI offender. Under this law, it is possible for any drug/alcohol offender to be monitored daily with a transdermal monitoring device.

DUI Recidivism Reduction Act
The second new DUI law in Tennessee gives the court power to sentence second and third time DUI offenders to substance abuse treatment after serving a designated period of time in jail. This law could ease the overcrowding in jails as drunk drivers are sometimes grouped in the “non-violent” class.

While there are many scenarios that pertain to DUI law, the one constant that remains the same is that sound representation is crucial to all parties involved in a DUI case.

Divorce and Legal Separation: Finding Correct Lawyer is a Vital Element

In today’s time, divorce is a common threat to marriage. While reasons and grounds may vary, it remains true that it happens every day.

Many studies claim the divorce rate in the United States is around 50%. In fact, according to the website DivorceRate.org, the United States ranks as the nation with the sixth highest divorce rate in the world.

According to Enrichment Journal, the following is a breakdown of divorce rates based on the number of marriages. With these numbers, it can be said that roughly 40%-50% of marriages may end in legal separation.

  • The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
  • The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
  • The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

With most separation situations in Tennessee, it is in the best interest of the spouses to find the correct lawyer. For an uncontested, agreed divorce, there are a few basic requirements and criteria to keep in mind.

Residency. One of the first requirements of an agreed divorce is a six-month Tennessee residency. To comply, both spouses should have lived in Tennessee for six months at the time of filing. There are other ways to have residency, but this is the main one.

Property Division. Another requirement involves assets. In short, the spouses need to agree on property division. If the spouses share real estate or the spouses are part of a business structure, an agreed divorce may not be the best route. That being said, the spouses should have a clear-cut strategy on how marital property will be divided.

Signed Agreement. One of the final requirements, as in most legal binding matters, is a signed agreement must be fulfilled. With no objections and once signed, this signed agreement becomes the cornerstone of the Final Order of Divorce.

Alimony. Alimony is another item to examine when it comes to agreed divorce. If both parties are not in agreement on alimony, then the divorce may be changed from “uncontested” to “contested” rather quickly.

Remember that finding the right lawyer is a critical part of legal separation and divorce. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office.

Do You Need Your Child Support Changed?

I am often asked by parents paying child support or parents receiving child support: “if something has changed since my child support payment was calculated, how can I get my child support amount changed?”

In short, you have to file a Petition with the Court to modify your child support payment— and you may want to act quickly! While Courts have the authority to modify a child support amount, they can only modify that amount back to the date that a Petition is filed. They can’t do anything about a support amount that has already become due.

Consider the following:

Jack owes Jill $500 per month in child support. In January, Jack finds out he is entitled to a modification. In March, Jack files a Petition to Modify Child Support. In June, the Court enters a new child support order. Because a child support order may only be retroactively applied to the date that a Petition is filed, Jack is entitled to a retroactive modification from March forward; however, because he did not file until March, Jack will not receive a modification for January or February!

The one thing that you should take away from this post is that if you want to modify an existing child support order, you should act quickly! Every month that you let pass without filing a Petition is one more month that a potentially inaccurate award becomes permanently due.

The attorneys at our office have handled dozens of child support modifications. If you think that you may be entitled to a child support modification, give our office a call to discuss your case. Either of the attorneys at our office will meet with your personally, discuss the facts of you case, and explain the law surrounding modifications.

If you or anyone you know need assistance with a child support case, give our office an opportunity to help.

-Scott-