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How much money do criminal lawyers make? Crime rates have increased in three-folds in recent years. This has resulted in the upsurge of the profession of law, primarily criminal law. A person who is qualified to advise and guide people, a group or a firm in legal matters and can represent them in the jurisdiction for the same is a lawyer. A criminal lawyer can be described as a sub category under the broader term lawyer. They work in a broad spectrum and cover almost all types of crimes whether it be violent ,brutal crimes or treacherous crimes like fraud and theft. Criminal lawyers are those dealing with criminal laws and are hence specialized in that very field. 

Since it is an evolving practice niche, it can be a lucrative profession. So, how much money do criminal lawyers make? But before that one must know the qualifications required to be a criminal lawyer.



Like any other lawyers criminal lawyers have to complete a bachelor’s degree first and then they have to pursue a law degree as well. People often opt for an integrated program that includes both a graduate degree and law degree. LLB, BA+LLB, Juris Doctor, LLM are some of the degrees in the domain of law. There are different types of lawyers depending upon the subject in which they have specialization. For instance, insurance lawyers have specialized in insurance related subjects, tax lawyers have deep knowledge about the tax regime and different types of taxes, similarly a criminal lawyer is specialized in criminal law and jurisdiction. It is also necessary to pass the bar examination and get license for practicing as a  lawyer. Various certification courses are also available that add merit to the qualifications and skills of a criminal lawyer or any other type of lawyer.



Criminal lawyers work on a wide range of crime, this includes – crimes involving violence like murder, domestic violence, sexual abuse, kidnapping; crimes involving treachery like fraud and theft and crimes involving non violence and offense to morality like drug abuse, eve teasing and so on. To handle various types of crime, a multitude in skills and knowledge is a must.

Writing, Write, Person, Paperwork, Paper

The job of a criminal lawyer demands for a variegated pattern. It includes examining of the case, investigating the witnesses, negotiating with the prosecutors to plea bargain and lessen the charges, building a strong case strategy and constructing a powerful defense, traversing case laws, criminal codes, procedural laws of jurisdiction, advocating and arguing appeals for the defendant, drafting files and argue motions to suppress the charges and dismiss the case.


In order to do such arduous tasks, profusion of skills is required. Excellent writing and speaking skills, creative and analytical thinking, interpersonal skills, knowledge and experience in terms of law and jurisdiction and skills for investigation and research are to name some of them. A criminal lawyer has to travel a lot in order to facilitate the meeting with the clients. 


A criminal lawyer can work as a criminal defense lawyer as well as a prosecutor. A criminal defense lawyer or defense attorney is someone who is specialized in defending an individual or a company charged against criminal offense whereas a prosecutor is the legal representative of the prosecution who is responsible for presenting the case against some accused of a crime in a criminal trial. The lawyers are hired by either the private parties, or work with the government or legal authorities and are paid accordingly. How much money criminal lawyers make largely depends upon the scope and size of practice, socio-economic condition of the clients and number of cases won. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the annual salary of the lawyers including the criminal lawyers is more than $120,000 per annum. Among all the other types of lawyers criminal lawyers get the highest pay. Generally those working with law firms earn the highest salaries. Whereas the salary of public defenders is quite modest and that of those working for the non profit organisation is prone to uncertainty. Even though $30,000 to $50,000 annually can be considered as a common range.

Criminal attorneys earning well, probably in six figures are the experienced ones. The criminal lawyers that represent high profile and wealthy defendants are the paid the highest but again these clients only search for highly skilled and experienced lawyers.


Criminal lawyers go through a lot of hard work and have a hectic and exhausting work schedule. However with hike in crime rates and the dynamic nature of law and jurisdiction lawyers is going to a remunerative career option, although it has already been liked by the elite classes from the past. Criminal lawyers have a varying salary largely affected by the clients, firms and the standards of the case. How much money do criminal lawyers make can not be put in abstract numbers but it can be said that the criminal lawyers of high-profiled, well-heeled offenders in high stakes cases frequently earn the highest. While the rest grab quite modest salaries with some uncertainties as well. 

Shivangi Srivastava

Shivangi Srivastava is an aesthete, a bibliophile, to be more specific and an engineer, living in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has been a co-author of more than 5 anthologies. Her constellation of words driven by her inquisitive nature, are her pride possessions. Aiming to be an author, presently she is polishing her writing skills and learning something new everyday as a freelance content writer.

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