Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salary
Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salary

Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salary

Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salary – Being a lawyer may be extremely lucrative but what about a defense criminal attorney? This type of lawyer focuses more on criminal defense rather than common issues. Through this review we’ll uncover the average criminal defense attorney salary.

Is a private criminal defense attorney worthy enough? To answer such a question, please scroll up the following article. Find out anything that helps you understand more about this career.

Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salary

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Francisco, CA$94,961$7,913$1,826$45.65
Fremont, CA$91,098$7,591$1,752$43.80
San Jose, CA$88,833$7,403$1,708$42.71
Oakland, CA$87,852$7,321$1,689$42.24
Tanaina, AK$87,576$7,298$1,684$42.10
Wasilla, AK$87,575$7,298$1,684$42.10
Sunnyvale, CA$86,160$7,180$1,657$41.42
Hayward, CA$86,012$7,168$1,654$41.35
Jackson, WY$85,650$7,137$1,647$41.18
Norwalk, CT$85,505$7,125$1,644$41.11
Average Criminal Defense Attorney Salary

Criminal Defense Attorney: Preview

This is also known as a criminal lawyer or public defender. Criminal defense attorneys are advocates representing persons and organisations accused with criminal actions. They work to defend clients who have been charged with certain criminal misconduct.

The criminal attorney is usually employed by the government and certain jurisdictions as a public defender. However, there are also many attorneys who work independently and privately retained.

Scope of Work

Unlike common lawyers, criminal defense attorneys rather focus on handling criminal cases. Typical cases may be varied in spectrum ranging from local violence crimes to DUI or Driving under Influence. Some other crimes under the criminal lawyers contro include:

  • sexual crimes
  • violent
  • drug
  • theft
  • driving under the influence
  • embezzlement
  • fraud.

Job Descriptions

The primary goal of criminal defense attorneys is to defend clients who are charged with crimes.

To attain the goal, they perform several actions. These include conducting research, analysing cases, negotiating and presenting the findings in courts as the effort of getting freedom for the clients. For the daily work basis, they typically execute some of the following:

  • Investigating the case, interviewing and discussing with witnesses.
  • Researching law cases, crime codes and statutes and other law procedures.
  • Put up a defense, expand and implement a case strategy.
  • Negotiating with prosecutions for plea bargains, punishments and reimbursements and helping to lessen the charges.
  • Preparing legal documents, drafting, filing and presenting arguing motions and appeals in criminal courts.
  • Conveying motions to discharge and suppress to prosecutions.
  • Advocating for defendants at piloting.
  • Interpreting law information and regulation for clients and assisting them to learn legal options.


Like all lawyers, a criminal defense attorney should complete the minimum requirements including:

  1. A bachelor’ degree in a related field.
  2. 3 years of law college which specialised in criminal defense.
  3. Attend and pass state exams.

1. Education

It needs a total of seven years to complete a lawyer education for applying this profession. Four years will be spent in the level of undergraduates. Three years for completing criminal defense education specialist which titled J.D.

2. Licensure

To be licensed as criminal attorneys you must take and pass the state bar exams. The location of bar examinations is based on where you intend to practice working.

3. Skills Required

A good candidate of criminal attorney should possess some of the qualifications.

  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent research and critical thinking abilities.
  • Exceptional problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Autonomous but can comfortably work with teams.
  • Excellent investigation and analytical abilities.
  • In-depth understanding of legal knowledge.
  • Be creative.

A criminal lawyer often has prolonged periods of working with irregular hours. Therefore, you should also have good physical endurance if passionate in this field.

The article from averageSalary.Co has detailed the average salary of criminal defense attorneys. So, are you still interested in this career? You can choose between opening a private practice or being hired as a public defender.