If you have been arrested and charged with a serious criminal offense in Delaware, you want to hire the best criminal defense lawyer or DUI defense lawyer that you can afford. Hiring the best attorney will help you make sure you have the best chance of winning your case, staying out of jail, avoiding large fines, and keeping your license, your job, and your life.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the attorney’s fees charged by the top criminal defense or DUI defense lawyers. Attorney’s fees are typically in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. For the average working man or woman, coming up with a huge amount of money on short notice is very difficult or may even be impossible. To make matters worse, very few people in Delaware have the ability to use a home equity line of credit or a personal loan from their bank to come up with quick cash to pay legal fees. That’s unfortunate because being short on money should never come in the way of obtaining justice!
Accordingly, here are ten ways that you can raise funds on short notice to help pay for the best criminal defense or DUI defense trial lawyer when your financial condition and credit rating aren’t, well, the best…
- Use a credit card or multiple credit cards to pay your criminal defense or DUI lawyer. Many criminal and DUI law firms these days accept credit cards. Credit cards allow you to pay the attorney’s fee and then pay the credit card lender back over time. Although you pay interest on the “loan” that the credit card company is providing you, you get the benefit of using the credit card company’s cash now. If you have multiple cards, you can ask the law firm to run a series of smaller transactions, so that you spread the fee out over several cards.
- Ask family members for help paying your criminal defense lawyer’s retainer. There’s a saying that “Many Hands Make Light Work”. If you have to raise a large amount of money, it may be impossible if you ask one person to loan you the entire amount. But if you ask ten people each to loan you a smaller sum, you may find that it’s easy to raise the funds. Furthermore, oftentimes the best source of low-cost or no-cost loans would be family members who are not going to charge you interest (and who may even forgive the loan if you find you cannot pay it back).
- Use your car to get a title loan to pay toward the DUI or Criminal Lawyer’s fees. A title loan is a type of loan where you provide the lender with the title to your car, truck, or motorcycle while you are holding their money. Once you pay back the money to the title lender, you get your title back. During the period of time, while the loan is out, you still get to drive your vehicle. It’s just that the title has been pledged as collateral to secure the repayment of the loan.
- Visit your local pawn shop to help raise the criminal lawyer’s retainer funds. Use other assets – jewelry, construction equipment, electronics, sports equipment – to get a secured loan. Everyone is familiar with the idea of pawning their belongings. You take your valuable items to the pawnshop. In return for a loan, you leave the items with the pawnbroker. When you pay back the loan, you redeem or get your items back. This is another form of secured lending that folks can find especially helpful when low credit scores or tough times prevent them from raising cash in other ways.
- Get a Payday Loan to assist with your criminal defense attorney’s fees. There are lenders in Delaware who will provide you with funds to hire a criminal defense lawyer. The loan will need to be repaid with your next paycheck. In return for obtaining a cash loan now, the lender has you sign an ACH form allowing them to take the money back out of your bank account with interest when you get your next paycheck.
- Ask your employer for an advance against your next paycheck to use for legal expenses. Many folks have a good relationship with their employer. Ask the employer for an advance to be repaid out of your next paycheck.
- Push back payments to free up cash for attorney’s fees in your DUI or criminal case. Call the lender who financed your car. Tell them you’re afraid you won’t be able to afford to pay your next car payment and ask them if they will take the next car payment and move it to the back of the loan repayment schedule. If they will, then that frees up cash that would otherwise have gone to your auto finance company. You can do the same with your rent payment or mortgage payment. What’s the worst that could happen? They could say no. So you might as well ask!
- Set up an online fundraiser to help get justice in your criminal case. Many people think of GoFundMe when they think of online crowd-sourcing websites where people can donate money towards a cause. You might not want to use GoFundMe, because they have limitations on what causes they will allow you to support. It’s probably better to use a site like GoGetFunding. PLEASE NOTE: If you have been arrested, or if you expect to be arrested, you should not be on the internet saying anything about your case. So, have a friend or family member do it and be in charge of collecting the funds and paying your defense expenses.
- Ask your criminal defense lawyer to accept a payment plan. Some law firms and lawyers will offer payment plans to clients who cannot afford to pay their attorney’s fees all in advance. The benefit of having a lawyer take the case on a payment plan is that you only have to raise part of the attorney’s fee in advance – usually about half. The problem with payment plans is that if you miss a payment, the attorney may withdraw from representation and you may not get any of your money back.
- Apply for a loan with a legal finance company. We are in the process of establishing a relationship with a legal finance company that we can refer prospective clients to for personal loans to help with attorney’s fees. The company we have chosen to deal with will be able to take a credit application online and shop the loan request to seventeen different lenders to get the best loan at the best rate for our clients. Hopefully, by the time you read this blog and contact us about a criminal or DUI case, we will be in a position to connect you with a lender who can help you to pay several hundred dollars a month instead of thousands up front!
Hopefully, you found this blog post helpful! If you need to hire a criminal defense attorney or DUI lawyer and you find yourself short on cash, you are not alone. The main reason people are deprived of quality private criminal representation is – not surprisingly – lack of funds. Hopefully, this blog post will help you with some creative ideas that will assist in hiring the best lawyer for you or your family member.