Fees and Payment Plans for Michigan Criminal, DUI and License Restoration Cases

Let me begin this “article” by pointing out that it is a departure from my usual information-style discussion of some aspect or other of the kinds of Criminal, Drunk Driving and License Restoration cases that I handle. I have found that, after reading some of my articles, some people will call my office and ask “How much do you charge?” or “Do you have a payment plan?”

On this Blog, there is a “button” entitled “Fees” which takes the reader directly to my Fee schedule. Ditto for my website. For whatever reason, that button seems to get missed a lot. This “article” will discuss money; how much I charge for certain legal services and how payment is made.

cash-register.jpgFor Driver’s License Restorations, I charge $3900. The usual payment plan begins with 1/3 ($1300) down at the first face-to-face meeting, another $1300 paid as the case is prepared, and the final $1300 paid about a week before the actual Hearing.

Most Misdemeanor cases are paid with an initial Retainer or ½ down, with the second ½ due prior to the Court date. Therefore, a typical Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County District Court case with a fee of $3600 would require a $1800 payment at the first face-to-face meeting, and the other $1800 paid just before the actual Court date.

In Misdemeanor cases which require more than 1 Court appearance (DUI cases always require 2 Court dates), the Retainer is still ½, with the second ½ due prior to the SECOND Court date.

For Felony cases, I usually require ½ down as a Retainer, and break the remaining ½ into 2 separate payments. Thus, if the Fee is $6900, I usually require ½ ($3450) as a Retainer at the first face-to-face meeting. The next payment is $1750, which is paid when (and if) the case goes to the Circuit Court. The final payment of $1750 is due just prior to the last Court date, which is usually the Sentencing.

Sometimes, by special arrangement, I will break the payments into 3 equal installments. Often, I will work out a deal where no further fees will be charged beyond the initial first ½ if the case is finished up in the District Court, rather than being bound over (or “sent up”) to the County’s Circuit Court.

Traffic Tickets are always handled on a ½ down, the other ½ due before Court basis.

There are no payment plans based on monthly or weekly installments, and the 1/3 to ½ down required as an initial Retainer is pretty much set in stone. Throughout my Blogs it has been my goal to be honest and direct. To that end, when someone calls about a Misdemeanor or Felony case and offers to put down a few hundred dollars, with promises of future payments, I must decline. Those arrangements have never worked out satisfactorily. A retired Judge once said, when imposing fines and costs and allowing no time to pay them, that although he believed most people had good and honorable intentions to pay, it was better that they got credit from someone who knew them better than he did, and that’s how it works in my Office.

My office accepts Cash, Check, Money Orders, and Visa, MasterCard and Discover.