Some attorneys work for a contingency-fee agreement, while most work for an hourly-rate.  Criminal defense attorneys generally prefer flat-fee agreements.  A flat-fee agreement is an estimation of the work needed to achieve an agreed goal.  This estimate takes into consideration the client’s criminal history, alleged crime and location of the court.  It may also take into consideration whether the defendant is in custody at the time.  My flat-fees generally include the work needed to resolve an open case.  They do not include the cost of trial.  Very few cases actually go to trial.  Clients should not pay for trial before it is determined that a trial cannot be avoided.  All agreements are made in writing and a copy is given to the client.