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How Much Does a Drug Lawyer Cost?

7 min read
Unbundled Legal Help

by Unbundled Legal Help

If you’re facing charges for a drug-related crime, the mounting stress and anxiety can be debilitating. With so many “what ifs,” it can feel as though you have little to no control over your future. This is where a drug lawyer can step in and help take back some of your power.

Drug lawyers provide necessary and beneficial guidance throughout the process, but unfortunately, they come with a high price tag. Drug lawyers usually start with an expensive retainer fee, then work on an hourly fee.

Getting the help you need for your drug case can feel nearly impossible without spending thousands of dollars in legal fees. This is where an unbundled lawyer comes in. If you’re looking for high quality legal assistance without costly fees, an unbundled lawyer may be your best option. Unbundled Legal Help will connect you with a local drug lawyer for your case.

Continue reading to better understand drug charges and how a drug lawyer can help you. 

What Makes a Substance Illegal?

Drug charges always revolve around illegal substances. But what exactly makes a substance illegal?

Since 1970, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) has been helping regulate substances. Under this act, substances fall under certain categories, or “schedules.” These schedules help law enforcement better understand drugs.

These drug schedules, numbered I-V, are as follows:

  • Schedule I: These drugs have a high likelihood for abuse. They include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. 
  • Schedule II: These drugs have a high potential for abuse, and can lead to severe dependence. They include cocaine, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. 
  • Schedule III: These drugs have moderate to low potential for dependence. They include codeine, ketamine, and testosterone.
  • Schedule IV: These drugs have a low potential for abuse and dependence. They include Xanax, Valium, and Tramadol. 
  • Schedule V: These drugs have the lowest potential for abuse, and usually include those used as antidiarrheals and analgesics. 

While many drugs are considered controlled substances, that does not automatically mean they are illegal. Not all controlled substances are illegal, but most illegal substances do fall under controlled substances. 

Common Types of Drug Charges

There are several types of drugs crimes. Every state handles drug-related charges differently, but some of the most common charges are below.

Drug Possession

It is illegal to possess controlled substances, including heroin and cocaine. Depending on the laws of your state and the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you may be charged with simple possession or possession with intent to distribute. Charges will depend on certain factors, including the quantity of drugs you had in your possession. 

Drug Paraphernalia

A charge for drug paraphernalia arises when you possess equipment used to prepare, inject, or conceal drugs. Here are some examples of drug paraphernalia:

  • Bongs or pipes
  • Rolling papers
  • Syringes
  • Baggies

Besides possessing drug paraphernalia, it is illegal to sell it.

Drug Manufacturing

Anyone that engages in the production of illegal substances faces criminal charges. Typically, for a drug manufacturing charge, the prosecution must prove the defendant had possession and the intent to manufacture.

Drug Dealing

Drug dealing generally refers to small-scale sales of illegal drugs. Because dealing usually involves a smaller quantity of drugs, repercussions are less severe.

Drug Trafficking

On the contrary, drug trafficking involves larger scale drug selling. This type of crime usually involves importing, transporting, and selling illegal substances. Consequences for drug trafficking are much more severe than drug dealing.

Possible Defenses for Drug Charges

Depending on the details of your case, you may have the chance to raise a defense. Available defenses vary by case. Here are some examples:

  • Unlawful search and seizure: The Constitution of the United States provides many protections for citizens, including protection against unreasonable search and seizure. If law enforcement were to search you and seize drugs illegally, this would create a grand issue for your case. Usually, whatever law enforcement recovers from an illegal search and seizure is excluded at trial.
  • Faulty analysis results: Whenever drugs are seized, those drugs are frequently sent to a crime lab for confirmation that they are, indeed, illegal substances. Crime lab results are not always accurate. Your attorney may be able to argue that the results from the lab analysis are incorrect. 
  • Drugs belonged to someone else: To get charged with a drug crime, the drugs do not need to be on your person at the time they are discovered. Your lawyer may use this defense if, for example, drugs were found in the vehicle you were driving, but you did not own the vehicle. In a scenario like this, it is likely you did not know about the drugs. 
  • Chain of custody issues: In some cases, drugs are misplaced for some time or go missing altogether. This can create a significant problem because this may raise questions regarding tampering. If the drugs seized go missing or are improperly handled, your attorney can argue there was a chain of custody issue. 

A drug lawyer can thoroughly review the details of your case to create the best possible defense for your case. Having a defense can help get charges dropped or a reduced sentence. 

How Can a Drug Lawyer Help Me?

A drug defense lawyer will be your best ally if you face drug charges. They have the required knowledge and skills to represent you and pursue the best possible outcome for your case.

A drug lawyer can handle any task involved with your case:

  • Addressing your questions and concerns
  • Helping you understand the charges against you and possible penalties
  • Reviewing all evidence against you
  • Creating a legal defense strategy
  • Representing you in court

Handling your own drug case can be challenging and overwhelming. Most individuals do not have the special understanding and capability to take on their own defense. A drug lawyer can give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.

What To Look For in a Drug Lawyer

Not every drug lawyer is the same. Because you will be working with your attorney during such a critical time in your life, it is important to look for certain qualities. It is best to work with a drug lawyer that has these skills:

  • Practices criminal defense law
  • Has experience with similar cases
  • Has extensive knowledge of your state’s laws
  • Communicates effectively
  • Makes themselves accessible to you
  • Has a successful track record 
  • Can aggressively represent you

When you’re in the midst of dealing with a drug charge, you only have one opportunity to handle your case. Be sure you feel confident working alongside your drug lawyer as they help you reach a good result.

How Much Does a Drug Lawyer Usually Cost?

Criminal defense lawyers charge differently than attorneys practicing civil law. Civil law attorneys often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs to you, and the lawyer only recovers if they win your case. In criminal law, contingency fee arrangements are not allowed.

Hiring a drug lawyer can prove to be costly. A drug lawyer will start by requiring a hefty retainer fee, ranging from $2,000 to $15,000. After the attorney has used up the retainer, they will charge hourly, with fees often costing $150-$750 per hour.

While not as common, some drug lawyers will also work on a flat fee, depending on your charges and how much work the attorney feels your case will require. 

Certain factors dictate how much you can expect to pay a drug lawyer, including your city/state, the type of crime you were charged with, and the lawyer's education and experience. 

Many individuals choose to forgo their own legal representation and instead elect to have a public defender for fear of steep legal expenses. Unfortunately, this option frequently backfires.

An Unbundled Lawyer Can Help Defend against Drug Charges

Facing drug charges can be overwhelming, and you may feel unsure of where to turn and what next steps to take. Having a drug lawyer on your side is your best option, but the potential cost may cause you to think twice. An unbundled lawyer may be the answer.

An unbundled drug lawyer is like a traditional drug lawyer with the same training and experience. However, an unbundled lawyer only renders services you choose. Unlike a regular attorney that handles your case from start to finish, you hire an unbundled lawyer to assist you with the most critical parts of your case.

Whether you need help building a defense strategy or need a lawyer to represent you in court, an unbundled lawyer is ready to help you. Unbundled legal services start at $500-$1,500.

Unbundled Legal Help believes everyone should have access to quality legal representation. We’ve built an impressive network of unbundled lawyers ready to help you handle your case.

From minimal guidance to extensive representation, we have the ideal unbundled drug lawyer for you. Contact Unbundled Legal Help today and we’ll connect you with a local drug lawyer.

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