Generally speaking, we do not use a lot of paralegal time on criminal matters. The staff that has lower billing rates largely goes away. However, we can leverage our lower-billing-rate staff, to help offset the cost in terms of organizing documents and preparing them for submissions and things like that. But, when it comes to a criminal matter, you want the best and the brightest in the firm handling the matter.
That is usually me in some combination with my senior team. Our billing rates for senior attorneys are anywhere between $350-$525 an hour. I want you to take that into perspective. A lot of it is driven by documents, by the conduct of the agent and by the facts, and so it is very hard to give an estimate.
When we take a criminal matter on, $25,000 is the usual retainer, although it can vary. If it is a witness investigation, we are not going to need anywhere near that much of a retainer to get the work done in the case. If it is a larger and more complex criminal matter, we have taken retainers that are $100,000 or more.
When we quote a retainer, we look at the volume of work that is involved and try to distribute that as efficiently as possible. As you can imagine, there are a lot of moving parts that go into this kind of case work.
With a criminal investigation particularly on the tax side, we will bring in a bookkeeper and a CPA under what we call a Covell agreement. This protects them under the envelope of our attorney-client privilege and we use that to offset costs.
There is a lot of care that is taken at my level and among our senior attorneys to really mitigate resources. We carefully protect things because we want to make sure our client has the best representation possible. We take our job as counsel very seriously.
We do not want to be a financial burden on anybody, but we want to make sure that the work gets done to the nth degree. It is in our client's best interest that we take every step firmly and carefully when defending a criminal tax case.
For most criminal tax cases, finding a lawyer to defend you will take a significant investment in time and money. In fact, it can take many, many months to resolve certain types of cases. That is the best definitive I can give you for how much a criminal tax matter generally costs.
When I know more facts about your case, I can definitely give you a better guideline of where you stand, and how much your case is going to cost. I can also help you create a plan to make sure that you are utilizing resources most effectively. This is ultimately best for any criminal tax matter and it is best for you, the client.