Every legal activity incurs costs. Good criminal defense costs money.
However, an effective and trustworthy defense must not depend on the wallet. That is why the criminal law firm Arinstein offers three options for cost accounting:
1.) The statutory remuneration according to the Lawyers’ Fees Act (RVG), as part of the mandatory defense or via advisory assistance
The Lawyers’ Compensation Act (RVG) provides the legal basis for the settlement of legal work. The fees incurred are determined by Appendix 1 of the RVG, especially part 4 and part 7. Part 4 begins with the number 4100. A fee with a fee number is provided for each specific activity. This differs depending on whether a certain lawyer is selected by the client or whether this is selected by the court or assigned to the client according to the law.
When the client selects a lawyer, the RVG defines so-called framework fees for the respective legal activity (initial consultation, representation in court, etc.), i.e. the possibility of demanding a minimum to a maximum amount.
Within this framework, whether the lawyer sets a fee at the top or bottom depends on the scope of the case, the importance of the matter to the client and the legal and factual complexity of the case. For a “normal” case with an average scope and severity, more than EUR 600 and also EUR 1000 can come together, which is only a rough guide and can be significantly higher or lower in individual cases.
Under certain conditions, it is also possible to appoint a public defender. In this case, the lawyer is assigned to the client by the court, as in the case of particularly serious criminal offences, in pre-trial detention or in juvenile criminal law. The costs are borne or advanced by the state treasury or the state. I would be happy to check for you whether this is the case.
Only in the event of a legally binding acquittal will the state treasury reimburse you for the legal fees in the amount of the statutory fees. Any additional agreed fee will not be reimbursed.
If the public prosecutor’s office discontinues preliminary proceedings before the main proceedings are opened, the state treasury will not reimburse your legal fees. This also applies if the court discontinues the proceedings based on a discretionary rule in the main proceedings.
In addition, the state also grants the so-called advisory aid at the expense of the state treasury, which represents state aid for people based on their financial situation. You can apply for a counseling aid certificate at the district court responsible for your place of residence. In criminal law, however, there is a special feature. Here, the advisory aid is to be understood literally, because the lawyer can and may only advise. Out-of-court or even judicial representation is not possible on the basis of a counseling aid certificate, because the further legal activity is bound to the requirements of the mandatory defense, which should not be circumvented by the counseling aid. The lawyer receives an amount of EUR 35.00 from the state treasury for the advice and can demand a further amount of EUR 15.00 from the person seeking advice.
Your own freedom is worth more than it costs. Therefore, you should definitely seek advice and representation from a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney. As a criminal law attorney, I have the necessary knowledge and experience.
I rarely agree with our clients that my activities will be billed according to the Lawyers’ Fees Act: For the client, the composition of the total costs to be paid by him is then hardly transparent and unpredictable. For the defense attorney, the fee framework usually does not give enough leeway to react financially to the specifics of the respective case. I therefore prefer the agreement of a so-called flat fee or a remuneration agreement.
2.) Compensation Agreement
The preferred remuneration model at the criminal law firm Arinstein is the written remuneration agreement. Lawyer and client have the opportunity here to negotiate the costs and to take the respective special situation into account in order to agree on an adequate fee tailored to the individual client. It is also possible to agree on a lump sum or billing on an hourly basis, etc. The lawyer can then only bill what has been previously agreed in writing between him and the client.
Such an agreement is useful if the client wants to be certain from the outset of how much the defense will ultimately cost him. In the case of settlement under the Lawyers’ Compensation Act, he does not always have this security, since when a criminal defense lawyer is commissioned it is usually unclear what costs will be incurred in the course of the processing (completion of proceedings with or without main hearing, court hearing before a local or regional court, number of main hearing days ). With the remuneration agreement, he avoids such uncertainties, since he agrees on a certain total fee amount with the defense attorney from the outset and he has cost certainty in this respect. For me, this is the best type of fee agreement in the interest of both parties. Since the scope and difficulty of the case can only be assessed after inspecting the investigation file, I usually set such a flat fee in two stages: a flat fee for inspecting the file and advising the client on the basis of the inspected investigation file (so-called advice on the basis of the file) and a further flat fee for the Representation in further proceedings. Here, under certain circumstances, a differentiation can be made according to the number of main hearing days or other criteria that are transparent for the client.
If you would like a detailed and individual initial consultation, tailored to your specific concerns, I will be happy to take the time for you and your case. Such an initial consultation costs EUR 150.00 (including VAT) and usually lasts one hour. You will receive an invoice that must be paid before the appointment. Of course, you can also bring the amount in cash to the appointment. As a rule, the initial consultation takes place in my office. If you do not have the time or opportunity to make an appointment in my office, I would be happy to give you detailed advice on your case over the phone.
At this appointment for reimbursement, I will also be happy to inform you about the further costs of the criminal defense.
3.) Settlement via the legal protection insurance
The activity of a lawyer can also be settled via an existing legal protection insurance.
In this case, the insured person does not incur any costs unless a deductible has been agreed in the insurance conditions. This is usually between EUR 150.00 and EUR 300.00; i.e. the insured person must pay this amount (in the amount of the agreed deductible) himself, while the rest is covered by the legal protection insurance. It should be noted, however, that legal protection insurance only reimburses the statutory fees under the RVG.
However, a special feature applies to criminal law, because according to Section 15 of the Criminal Code, only intentional acts are punishable. Negligent behavior is only punishable in a few cases, which are expressly specified by law. However, a so-called insured event does not exist in the case of intentional behavior, because those who act on purpose cannot later refer to their insurance. In criminal law, therefore, there is usually only insurance cover for negligent behavior. I will be happy to check for you whether your case is covered by insurance and will submit a cost coverage request to your insurance company.
Please note that most legal protection insurances unfortunately do not cover the costs of criminal defense and the entire criminal proceedings. You should therefore first check whether your insurance also applies to criminal charges. This is usually the case if you have agreed on what is known as extended criminal legal protection in your policy.
Most insurance policies either completely exclude criminal law (exception: criminal traffic law) or contain an exclusion of coverage for intentional offences, i.e. for offenses that can only be committed intentionally (e.g. insult, theft, robbery, breach of trust, narcotics offences). In some cases, coverage is only provided in the event that the proceedings are ultimately discontinued.
In administrative offense proceedings, for example a fine for driving too fast, the legal protection insurance usually covers the legal costs.
In any case, however, a written confirmation of cover from the insurance company is required.