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Legal-Guru
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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My son was given some video games. He collected from his friends

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My son was given some video games. He collected from his friends apartment when the friend was absent. The friend later claimed the games were stolen and claimed $3, 000 from insurers. My son and his friend sold the games to a pawn shop for $150. Naturally they were traced to my son by the police, he was arrested, bailed for $750. We engaged a criminal lawyer and went to Circuit court in Rockville, Md which cost $3, 500. Nothing seemed to happen. Now we are going agin to Circuit or District court where apparently a deal has been worked out with the state where he will plead guilty to conspiracy to steal....cost $3, 500!!! We presume our judgement will be minimal. Are our costs to date reasonable, considering the value of the goods was under $500. We have been on this for 2 months now.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 11 months ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer. The $3,500 is what your son's attorney has charged you, correct?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

No...so far we have paid $4, 300 out of $7, 000.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 11 months ago.
Ok, then what was the $3,500 for and how much did the insurance company pay your son's friend?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I don, t think the insurance company is going to pay anything as I think they found out the claim was false. By the way, the friend with which he sold the games is not the same one who claimed the loss.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 11 months ago.
Alright, thank you for that information. However, I still do not understand what the $3,500 was for.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

It was probably for the appearance of the lawyer at the first hearing and maybe to study the case.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 11 months ago.
Ok, so you are asking about whether the lawyer's fees are reasonable, correct? In your original question you asked whether $3,500 was reasonable but did not specify what that money was for. When I asked if that was what your son's attorney has charged you, you replied "no" and gave a figure of $7,000. Please clarify.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

He is going back to court in around a week. For that, we were charged the second $3, 500.

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 11 months ago.
Alright, if I understand correctly the attorney's total fee is $7,000 broken up into two parts. Two more questions:

(1) Is your son's charge a misdemeanor or felony?

(2) What are basing your valuation of the video games at under $500? Is that what the state alleges their value to be? There seems to be quite a variance between the $3,000 insurance claim and the $150 your son sold them for. (Of course, pawn shops typically only pay a fraction of the value of an item.)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I think the charge is a misdemeanor. I presume the claiming Friend may be pursued by the insurers on that sometime soono. Again, the totals value of the games was around $500 new.They were old...out ofdate.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

DID you get my last comments? ?

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 11 months ago.
Yes, I did. Thank you for answering my questions so that I can get a better idea what is going on and answer your question.

$7,000 attorney fee for a misdemeanor is certainly not cheap, but I cannot say that is unreasonable. The amount of time that the attorney works on a case is not directly related to the value of the property that your son was accused of stealing. It is likely that you could have found a cheaper attorney, but you could also have found more expensive attorneys.

This may not be what you want to hear, but the time to price shop was before you paid someone over half their fee. At this point hiring another attorney, even a cheaper one, would probably cost you more money overall.
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1347
Experience: Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
Legal-Guru and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you.

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