Criminal Lawyers Fees Singapore [4 Critical Things To Note]

Our Criminal Pricing & Packages - Tembusu LawWhen you need to engage a criminal lawyer for criminal matters or a criminal offence, the last thing you want to worry about is the cost of criminal lawyer fees in Singapore.

You may not know where to start when looking for an experienced lawyer, and that’s why so many people put off getting the legal help they need. The fear of high fees can be paralyzing, and since your freedom and future are at stake, it’s essential to make sure you get the best legal representation and legal advice possible.

Don’t worry. At Tembusu Law, we always try to work within a comfortable and fair budget for everyone. Our criminal lawyer fees and cost depend on the scope and amount of work involved – this is something that we always discuss and agree on with you before we start work.

To ensure that you’re only paying for work that you need, we’ll make adjustments to our rates later depending on any increase or decrease in the actual scope and complexity of work.

If you are interested in finding out more about criminal lawyer fees in Singapore, contact us for a free initial consultation with our criminal defence lawyers today.


You might anticipate the need for a modest to substantial investment for your initial engagement with a qualified criminal defence lawyer or visiting judge. In certain scenarios, for instance, when there’s a need for specialised expertise, your legal expenditure can escalate significantly even for a straightforward criminal case involving minor infractions.

As a leading law firm dealing with many types of criminal offences and criminal charges, we understand that everyone has their unique situation and needs. We’re always willing to help out by providing free consultations for legal advice, discounted or subsidised rates for when there’s a worthy cause, and any other means necessary to ensure that everyone gets the justice they deserve.

In the majority of situations, a criminal defence lawyer will give you a rough estimate of your potential legal costs, which can range considerably in some criminal cases.

If you’d like to have an idea of how we aim to make our legal services accessible and affordable, here’s an example of our suggested pricing for criminal defence and a sample legal services package for a typical case:

Example: A “Plead Guilty” Case

Item & Scope of WorkFixed Fees
Fact-finding: we collect, compile, organise and review background information, facts, evidence and materials relating to your case.Contact our criminal defence lawyers for more information
1st Court hearing (get adjournment): we attend on your behalf to get an adjournment (postponement) of the Court hearing to give us more time to get full and detailed instructions from you and to prepare any letters of appeal or representation.
Advice on strategy and sentence: we assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, compare risks vs rewards and conduct cost-benefit analyses to help you make a better more well-informed decision.
Letter of Representation: we craft and put together a suitable letter of appeal or representation to explain, clarify and negotiate with the Prosecution and authorities to try to obtain a favourable and desired outcome in your case.
2nd Court hearing (update Court): we attend Court on your behalf to get an update of the status of our letters of appeal or representation.
Further Letter of Representation: we issue a second letter of appeal or representation to make further clarifications or new arguments on your behalf.
Plea-negotiation & plea-bargaining: we follow up with our letters of appeal or representation and conduct a discussion or meeting with the Prosecution and authorities, on your behalf, on a confidential and without prejudice basis to obtain a favourable and desired outcome in your case.
Advice on Prosecution’s proposal: we give you our honest and objective views on whether you should accept or reject the Prosecution’s proposal and reply to our letters of appeal or representation.
3rd Court hearing (confirm position): we attend Court on your behalf to give an update on the status of your case i.e. whether you will accept or reject the Prosecution’s proposal.
Mitigation plea: we prepare a written Mitigation Plea in Court to argue for the most favourable or lowest sentence that is feasible and appropriate based on the unique facts of your case.
4th Court hearing (Plead Guilty Mention): we attend Court and present the written Mitigation Plea in Court to argue for the most favourable or lowest sentence that is feasible and appropriate based on the unique facts of your case.

*Note: actual costs will depend on the agreed scope and amount of work involved (e.g. how many terms are already agreed upon between the couple); further adjustments will be made to rates depending on any increase or decrease in the actual scope and complexity of work.

To help you better manage your finances and keep track of your legal expenses, we can work out instalment payments of our transparent and fixed fees if you need extra help with your cashflow – this helps you afford the legal support you need, it also allows us to be involved in your case and help you!


Regarding when you will be expected to pay your criminal lawyer fees in Singapore, it is usually customary for your attorney to require a deposit before they will accept your case. Afterwards, fees are generally paid in nominal amounts that correspond with the stages in your case. (Refer to the table above for reference). The last payment is to be made before the date of your court appearance.

Lawyers can, and sometimes do, discharge themselves from representing clients, even on the date of trial or guilty plea, if they have not been paid. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your lawyer has been paid before the due date.

However, at Tembusu Law, we want to offer competitive rates without sacrificing quality or service. We are a team of lawyers with extensive experience. We are passionate about helping our clients get the best possible outcome and legal representation for their criminal cases, no matter the cash-flow constraints. Hence, we will be more than willing to work on a feasible payment plan with the client. 


A criminal lawyer’s fees in Singapore can include: attending hearings; writing letters and submissions on matters such as sentence mitigation or a reduced charge; investigating witnesses, applying for legal aid, and preparing for an appeal against any conviction made by the lower courts.

If You Plead Guilty To Your Case

If you plead guilty, your lawyer’s job is to get you the lowest possible sentence. The scope of work is significantly reduced and usually relatively easy to reproduce from the lawyer’s past cases, with just some minor custom-tailoring to fit your particular factual situation. This means that there’s no need for prosecutors to present evidence against you in a criminal trial for a crime to be charged.

If You Were To Plead Not Guilty

You can contest the charges and claim that you are entitled to a trial. However, the workload required of your lawyer to do the job will be huge. They will need a high level of expertise to do the job properly, and therefore the criminal lawyer fees charged will be higher.

If you decide to go to trial for a crime, your criminal lawyer fees in Singapore will be determined by your lawyer’s actual time working on your case and other factors like how many times your criminal lawyer has to appear in court before your case gets resolved.

You should note that even though criminal lawyers’ fees in Singapore are relatively competitive, criminal legal aid does not consider your wealth or income when determining how much you can afford to pay.

It would help if you were honest with your lawyer from the start about how you intend to defend yourself or if you are open to changing your plea in the event of new evidence being presented that is beneficial for your trial. This way, you and your lawyer can strategise together consistently from the outset and prevent paying any unnecessary costs in the future.


If you can’t afford to pay for a lawyer, there are three main options: engaging a Pro Bono Criminal Lawyer, applying for legal aid or Self Representation. Here are some things you should consider before making a decision.

Engaging A Pro Bono Criminal Lawyer

In a legal context, pro bono means without charge. It refers to lawyers who volunteer their services to those who need them without receiving payment.

In Singapore, giving free criminal assistance or pro-bono legal service is regulated by Section 2(1) of The Legal Profession (Pro Bono Services) Act 2007 (‘The Pro Bono Act’) and criminal defence under Chapter 81 of the Legal Profession Act.

The Pro Bono act allows lawyers who provide free legal services to people accused of crimes to claim their fees from the state (Ministry Of Law) later. 

Applying For Legal Aid

You may choose to apply for criminal legal aid if you cannot pay your criminal lawyer fees in Singapore. The legal assistance is provided by the Law Society of Singapore (or in capital cases, by the Supreme Court).

There’s a rigorous means test if you’re applying for legal aid. It would be best if you showed that you’ve been gainfully employed for at least one year and don’t have any dependents.

But if you meet the qualifications, you usually won’t have to pay any more than a nominal contribution fee plus disbursements for legal services, even if it goes into Court.

Self Representation

Self-representation means defending yourself against the charges without an attorney’s help.

If you’re over 18, you may represent yourself in a criminal case. However, if you’re under 18, someone else must represent you on your behalf. If you take this approach, you will be held accountable for the same standards as lawyers.

You will be expected to:

  • Comply with the relevant rules and procedures.
  • Submitting required documents on time and in the correct format.
  • Attend all court hearings on time, in a professional manner, and without missing any deadlines.
  • Get familiar with the laws and legal princi­ples that are relevant to your case.

It’s generally not advisable for an individual to represent themselves in court, given the complexity of the law and the potentially severe consequences of a poorly handled hearing.

However, we understand circumstances may be different for every individual seeking help on the legal matter regarding their unique criminal case. Our team of qualified lawyers will spend time understanding your needs & addressing your concerns beforehand. 

Please get in contact with us today for a non-obligatory consultation!



How Much Is It To Hire A Criminal Lawyer In Singapore?

The cost involved in hiring a Criminal Lawyer in Singapore generally depends on the scope and amount of work involved.

Should I Hire A Lawyer With A Fixed Criminal Lawyer Fee In Singapore Or An Hourly Fee?

It depends on the severity of the case and your budget. If you wish to consider alternatives besides engaging lawyers at an hourly rate, you can always opt for fixed criminal lawyers’ fees in Singapore. 

Before hiring a criminal lawyer, remember to always ask for their fixed rates upfront. However, the charges and fee structure may differ depending on the criminal defence attorney’s level of experience and expertise.

When Do I Need To Pay The Fees For Engaging A Criminal Lawyer?

Most lawyers generally do not provide exceptions for payment, and immediate and prompt payment for legal fees will be required before they can commence on your case/legal proceedings.

If the criminal lawyer fees in Singapore are out of your budget, it is best to find one who can take your case pro bono, apply for legal aid or represent yourself as a litigant. In rare cases, some lawyers will be willing to represent you first but to be paid from the date of representation instead of upfront. 

Our lawyers at Tembusu Law understand that clients may often face financial difficulties and cash flow constraints during these difficult times and will be willing to work out an affordable instalment payment plan for your criminal lawyer fees in Singapore.

Does The Criminal Lawyer Fee In Singapore Vary Based On The Type Of Criminal Case?

Regarding legal costs, we always try to work within a comfortable and fair budget for everyone. It generally depends on the scope and amount of work involved. Here at Tembusu Law, we’ll always discuss your case to understand the current situation so we can work out and agree on a feasible budget together. 


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