The Wrong First Question to Ask an Attorney: How Much do You Charge?

I can’t even begin to tell you how many people contact my office about their case with this initial question: How much do you charge?

Frankly, that’s simply the wrong first question to ask.

Think about buying a car. Have you ever gone to a car salesman and asked, “What do you charge for your cars?” Not usually. You go to the car salesman tell them what you’re looking for.

In a few specific cases, you might have the exact car in mind that you want and you’re just there to buy for sure. But in most cases, you’re going there to figure out what car you want, what car’s going to be best for your needs.

The budget is certainly one important factor in buying a car. You do have financial constraints in most situations that are going to determine what cars you can afford. However, that’s typically a secondary consideration. Most people begin a car search with a list of things they need and want in a car. You decide if you want a performance vehicle, a cargo hauler, something with lots of passenger room, etc. And THEN you look at the options to find what’s in your price range. But the first question is rarely about price.

The same principles apply to hiring an attorney. The wrong first question to ask when you call an attorney is: How much do you charge? Instead of shopping based solely on price, it makes much more sense to shop based on the attorney that you think is going to best handle your needs. The budget is certainly an important criteria for hiring an attorney and you can’t hire someone that you can’t afford. However, asking right off the bat how much the attorney charge doesn’t really answer that question. You don’t know, even if an attorney is charging little or a lot, if they’re going to even begin to meet their needs.

Instead of shopping solely based on price, it makes much more sense to start with other more important questions and work your way into price once you’ve determined whether or not an attorney can even meet your needs.

Photo by: charles chan *

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz