Fee Information & Payment Plans

Payment Options, Payment Plans, and Discounts

The following information is intended for Current and Prospective Clients of Keates Law Office.

Fees for legal representation and services are set on a case-by-case basis, tailored to the specifics of the issue at hand. We do not have a set fee schedule that is wholly dependent on the charges. For a fee quote, contact us to talk about your case -- Initial Phone Consultations are free.

About Legal Fees

Legal Fees are the payment to the Lawyer for their work on the case, including legal research, legal writing and court documents, court appearances, jail visits or phone conversations, and speaking with witnesses and the district attorney.

At the Law Office of Robert L Keates, most payments for legal services are Flat Fees; meaning one fee is paid for a certain legal service. Typically a case is broken into two areas for purposes of a flat fee. The first area contains all the legal work, research, court appearances, pre-trial work, office or phone consults, writing and arguing of legal motions, and if applicable, a plea. The second area contains the trial.

In most cases, a Flat Fee for the first area of representation described above is settled upon when a client signs the Fee Agreement for Legal Services, thereby hiring the lawyer for representation. If the case progresses to trial, a second fee is then charged, and often that fee amount is discussed and agreed upon ahead of time; it is not paid until the trial is not only approaching but decided upon by the client. Aside from a flat fee arrangement, in rare cases, a client and attorney may enter into a retainer agreement, where the attorney will work and charge at an hourly rate. As described below, we use a retainer type structure to provide for legal costs, rather than month-to-month billing.

About Legal Costs

Legal costs differ from legal fees in that the costs are for expenses the attorney must pay for in order to move forward with the defense of your case, such as discovery and materials from the district attorney, copies, case law printouts, video tapes, audio tapes, and parking. These expenses are not included in the legal fee, and the client is responsible for the payment of legal costs in addition to the legal fee. Legal costs are charged to the client "at cost" -- no surcharge is added for handling or other tasks. In other words, the client pays for the actual cost of the item, and no more.

In order to accommodate clients in the most cost effective manner, legal costs are most commonly paid by the client directly to the third party (investogator, expert, etc...). However, some situations may arise where the Attorney transfers funds from a IOLTA Trust Fund, when a retainer type agreement is utilized. In this scenario, the client gives the lawyer a set amount of money to pay for legal costs, as they are due. The legal cost retainer payment remains in a separate account from the legal fee, and is deducted from each time a legal cost is paid, much like a debit card. Any overage is returned to the client.

About Legal Costs for Investigation & Expert Witnesses

Separate from legal fees and legal costs are the expenses for investigators and expert witnesses. These individuals, and their involvement in your case, are considered third parties, and are not employees of our Law Office. Therefore, their costs are due upfront, and are forwarded to the party. It is important to consider the cost, at least of an investigator, when budgeting for the defense of your case.

About Payment Options

We accept the following types of payments:

  • Money Order or Cashier's Check ;
  • Electronic Bank Transfer or Wire;
  • Personal Check;
  • Credit Card. *Handling Fee charge may apply

About Payment Plans

We offer payment plans for some cases in situations of special need, however half of the fee must be paid, along with a valid credit card number on record, which will be charged on a specified date if the remaining balance is unpaid.

Please note that a payment plan does not fall in line with when work is actually done by the attorney. Payment plans are merely a way to seperate payment out. It is possible for an attorney to finish your case and still have payments pending; in this situation, payments are still due. Conversly, in some limited situations, a refund may be due if work cannot be completed or the attorney was either released or withdrew due to conflicts or other reasons. This is rare.

About Online Payments & the Online Payment Handling Fee Charge

For convenience, we offer two ways to pay with credit card online, as listed below. Due to differences and difficulties for online payments with accounting, bookkeeping, and staffing, credit card payments include a Handling Fee charge of 3% of the total for implementing the online payment.

NOTICE: A 3% Handling Fee charge will appear during the payment process for ALL online credit and debit card purchases. As an alternative, to avoid the added fee, personal checks are accepted.

About Discounts

We offer discounted rates for first time offenders, students, and military.

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Pay using Google Wallet

We can accept payments through Google Wallet, however, there are no Pay buttons available.

Payments via Google Checkout or Wallet can be made to: robertkeates@gmail.com

Law Office of Robert Keates

700 Lavaca St #1400
Austin, TX, 78701

Austin Lawyer handling Misdemeanor and Felony Criminal Cases

Business Hours: M-F 9:00am to 5:00pm
Office Visits by Appointment Only

Serving Austin, Travis County Texas

All Rights Reserved 2005-2017 by Lawyer Robert Keates