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Fixed Fees

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Fixed fees for criminal law and traffic law cases provide financial peace of mind for those who are going to court.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers recognises the importance of transparency and certainty when it comes to legal fees, which is why we were the first law firm in Australia to publish fixed fees for criminal and traffic law cases back in 2004 – something which a number of other law firms have followed only in recent years.

Importantly, our fixed fees apply to all of our lawyers including our vastly experienced Accredited Criminal Law Specialists and Senior Associate Lawyers, some of whom have decades of experience in criminal law, so you can rest assured of being represented by a defence team comprising some of the most sought-after criminal lawyers in the nation, for a fixed and affordable price.

Click on a link below to find out how much your case will cost:

1. 'Fixed Fees for Guilty Pleas'™ - If you wish to plead 'guilty' in the Local Court

All work up to and including a full day in court*, from:

  • Courts in Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $2000 + GST
  • Courts in Other NSW Cities (Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong etc): $2200 + GST
  • Courts in NSW Country Areas: $2500 + GST and travel disbursements if required

2. Fixed Fees for Defended Local Court Hearings - If you wish to plead 'not guilty' and defend the case

Fixed fees are offered for local court defended hearings in less-serious cases. The fees are from:

  • Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $5000 + GST
  • Courts in Other NSW Cities (Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong etc): $5,500 + GST
  • Court in NSW Country Areas: $6000 + GST and travel disbursements if required

The fixed fee is for a full day of hearing, including preparations and conferences, where a hearing date has been set.

Your lawyer will be able to advise you during your free first conference of the fixed fee that applies to your particular case.

3. 'Severity Appeals' - Appeals to the District Court because the Local Court penalty was too harsh

Drafting and filing appeal (where necessary), and all work up to and including full day of the appeal hearing*, from:

  • Courts in Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $2000 + GST
  • Courts in Other NSW Cities (Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong etc): $2500 + GST
  • Courts in NSW Country Areas: $3000 + GST and travel disbursements if required

IF the Local Court Sentence was Full Time Imprisonment, from:

  • Courts in Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $3000 + GST
  • Courts in Other NSW Cities (Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong etc): $3500 + GST
  • Courts in NSW Country Areas: $4000 + GST and travel disbursements if required

4. Driver Licence Appeals - Appeals against Penalty or Suspension Notices

All work up to and including a full day in court*, from:

  • Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $2000 + GST & Local Court Filing Fee (currently $97)

5. Bail Applications in the Local or District Court

All work up to and including a full day in court, from:

  • Courts in Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $3,000 + GST
  • Courts in Other NSW Cities (Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong etc): $3,300 + GST
  • Courts in NSW Country Areas: $4,400 + GST and travel disbursements if required

6. Bail Applications in the Supreme Court

All preparations and attending the Supreme Court of New South Wales for hearing of bail application, from:

  • $5000 + GST

7. Mental Health Applications - to have your case dismissed due to mental health (section 32 and section 14 applications)

We may be able to have your charges dismissed on the basis that you suffer from a ‘mental condition’ such as depression, anxiety etc.

The applications used to be called ‘section 32 applications’ and are now known as ‘section 14 applications’.

All work including briefing psychiatrist/psychologist, initial court date, all preparations and court hearing date, from:

  • Sydney City and All Suburbs: $4000 + GST
  • Outside Sydney: $5000 + GST and travel disbursements if required

Note that some applications are more complex and your lawyer will be able to quote you a fixed fee for your particular case.

8. Prison Conferences - In person or by arranged audio / visual link

Arranging and attending to a conference with a person who is in custody to take initial instructions and advise, including obtaining materials from the police before conference and updating person who retained after conference:

  • Audio/visual link: $900 + GST,
  • In person – Sydney Metropolitan Area (eg Silverwater MRRC, Parklea, Long Bay, Mulawa etc): $1,000 + GST
  • Within 300km of Sydney (eg Goulburn, Lithgow, John Maroney, Junee etc): $1,500 + GST
  • Other NSW Prisons: $1,800 + GST and travel disbursements if required

9. Attending Police Stations

It is important to be aware that since 2014, the New South Wales government passed laws which essentially mean that a person loses their right to silence if a lawyer attends a police station with them in  circumstances that they are suspected of a serious criminal offence.

That said, there are situations where it is beneficial for a lawyer to attend a police station and ensure your interests are protected.

Our fees for attending police stations are as follows:

Police Stations in the Sydney Metropolitan Area: $600 + GST

  • Outside Sydney: $1,100 + GST and travel disbursements if required

10. Applications to Quash Habitual Offender Declarations

All work up to and including a full day in court*, from:

  • Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $2000 + GST & Local Court Filing Fee (currently $87)

11. Dangerous Dog Cases

. Conference to Advise

  • Providing expert legal advice at offices or by telephone: $400 + GST

2. Letter of Introduction to Council

  • Drafting / sending letter of introduction to Council and follow-up: $200 + GST

3. Written Objection to Proposed Dangerous Dog Declaration

  • Drafting / submitting formal ‘letter of objection’ to Council: $1000 + GST

4. Appeal Against Dangerous Dog Declaration

All work up to and including Full Day in Court; including:

  • Drafting & Filing Appeal Document in Court; then
  • Drafting ‘Control Orders’; then
  • Negotiating Control Orders with the relevant Council, and
  • All other work including one Court Date:

$3000 + GST & Local Court Filing Fee, plus travel disbursements for regional areas

5. ‘Guilty Plea’ for Dog Attack Prosecution (eg s16 Companion Animals Act)*

All work up to and including one day in Court, from:

  • Courts in Sydney City and Metropolitan Area: $2000 + GST
  • Courts in Other NSW Cities (Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong etc): $2200 + GST
  • Courts in NSW Country Areas: $2500 + GST and travel disbursements if required

* Most guilty pleas, severity appeals, driver licence appeals and applications to quash habitual offender declarations can be completed on the first court date.

However, if the matter goes beyond the first court date, there is an additional fee equivalent to 50% of the initial court date fee for all work up to and including any further court date/s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are fixed fees offered for criminal and traffic law cases?

Yes. Fixed fees are offered for a range of criminal and traffic law cases and services, including:

  1. Guilty pleas – where you wish to plead guilty in the Local Court to charges brought against you,
  2. Mental health applications – where you wish to apply for your Local Court criminal or traffic law case to be dismissed because you suffer from a mental health condition,
  3. Bail applications – where you or a loved-one wish to apply to get out of custody until your case is finalised,
  4. Prison visits – which are conferences at the correctional centre in person or by audio-visual link,
  5. Police station visits – where is it appropriate to attend a police station with you,
  6. Severity appeals – where you wish to appeal to the District Court because the penalty imposed in the local court was too harsh,
  7. Defended hearings – where you wish to plead not guilty and have your cases defended in the Local Court, and
  8. Dangerous dog cases – where your beloved pet is said to have engaged in an attack and the Council or police are applying to have him or her declared dangerous.

Can I see the prices of fixed fees for criminal and traffic law cases?

Yes. Fixed fees are published on our website for a range of cases and services, including guilty pleas, mental health applications, bail applications in the Local, District and Supreme Court, prison visits, police station visits, severity appeals, defended hearings and dangerous dog cases.

This provides you with transparency and certainty in terms of costs.

Are there criminal or traffic law cases where fixed fees are not offered?

Yes, there are. Many complex and serious cases are charged on a ‘time-costed’ basis, which means charges are applied to work undertaken.

These are typically ‘indictable cases’, which are cases that may be referred from the Local Court to a higher court such as the District or Supreme Court. Such cases can have many variables, which is why it may not be possible to offered fixed fees at your first conference.

In these types of cases, your lawyer will provide you with an estimate of the costs at your first conference and we will always provide you with itemised invoices on a regular basis, which list every item of work undertaken and the associated cost.

This means you will be kept informed about the cost throughout the process.

Can I get a free first conference for more information about fixed fees?

Yes. If you are going to court for a criminal or traffic law case, we offer a free first conference where a specialist defence lawyer will provide you with advice about your case, your options, the best way forward and the associated costs.

Why are fixed fees offered for criminal and traffic law services?

Fixed fees are offered to provide you with transparency and certainly in relation to costs, so you can focus on looking after yourself through the legal process rather than worrying about what your legal bill is going to be.

They also allow your legal team to focus on what’s important – getting you the best possible result in a timely manner, rather than on matters to do with billing.

How much does a criminal lawyer cost?

If your case is undertaken on a fixed fee basis, it means there is no additional ‘hourly rate’ charged by you lawyer – the fee is a lump sum.

If your criminal lawyer charges on a ‘time-costed’ basis, also known as an hourly basis, fees can vary from firm to firm defending on specialisation (including whether your firm is one which has Accredited Criminal Law Specialists) as well as experience.

Typical hourly fees for lawyers who specialise in criminal and traffic law services – as opposed to general practitioners which may work on a range of different areas of law – typically range from $350 to $800 per hour, again depending on specialisation and experience.

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