Smith & White, PLLC appreciate the work and potential sacrifice of our service personnel. For this reason we offer a 20% discount to active members and their immediate family. We also are usually willing to extend payments for a longer period to assist our service persons. If you feel you are a class of person, not a service person, but equally deserving of recognition for your service to our city, state or country, feel free to raise the issue with us. We have some discretion in granting the 20% discount. Like my father always said, it never hurts to ask.
Generally we charge flat fees that are known before you make the decision to hire us. While individual cases vary depending on their likely complexity, generally we base fees on the class of the offense with misdemeanors costing less than felonies and Class A felonies costing more than Class B’s which cost more than Class Cs. Our fees include our staff and investigator fees so are inclusive of all the fees you will pay to our firm.
Traditionally, attorneys charge hourly rates. We strongly believe this is part of why the public generally does not care for attorneys. With cases being very expensive, costs usually being for an unforeseen circumstance, and no specific outcome guaranteed, attorneys are perceived as adding insult to injury by drawing out cases for greater billable hours. Also, the attorney may withdraw before the case is resolved, despite being paid very high fees, because the client has run out of money. These leaves a bad taste as the client often feels that they have paid thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars for no result! We enjoy our jobs and do this work to help people. So we prefer it when our clients have a good experience. Knowing what a case will cost is an important part of that so we provide a legal flat fee to you from the start.
At your free consultation we will discuss the facts of your case, the applicable laws, and your rights and responsibilities. And, to the extent possible we will discuss anticipated ramification, outcomes and options so you can make an informed decision regarding how to proceed. All of these specific factors plus some additional issues will affect the final price for your case. Some cases may not be available on a flat fee basis in which case our hourly rate is $400/hr.
That said, as a general guideline, in Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston and South King are prices start at: $3400 for most first offense misdemeanors, including DUIs except in King County. Our prices start at $5000 for class C felonies, $7000 for Class B felonies, and a minimum of $1000 for most class A felonies. Note that additional counts, deadly weapon enhancements, strike offenses and other factors, like greater travel distance, and high BACs, accidents or underage passengers in DUI cases, will raise these prices. It should be noted that our DUI fee includes handling the Department of Licensing hearing.
Our fees for vacating and expunging cases are even less, starting at $750 and having an additional $300-$500 court appearance fee if a court appearance is necessary in your case. We have a $300-500 fee per appearance on matters like probation, etc, which are usually one or two hearing cases. We offer flat fees on our immigration work as well. Our asylum is billed as low as $100/hr. for those who are economically disadvantage but still deserved to be protected by the USA.
For your convenience, the Law Offices of Smith and White, PLLC accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, as well as Debit cards; checks and payment plans may be available as well. Our preferred payment plan if one is needed is for half of the fee paid upon hiring and the remainder paid in equal payments over the following three months. University studies show that people who owe money longer than three months appreciate the work done on their behalf less, regardless of the quality of the work! I suppose it is human nature to not like someone to whom you owe money. That said, our firm does have some flexibility on the payment terms depending on the specifics of your case.
Please call or email our Tacoma criminal defense attorney to schedule your FREE consultation with the Law Offices of Smith and White, PLLC.