A Criminal Defense Lawyer earns an average salary of $81,217 per year. Pay for this job rises steadily for more experienced workers, but goes down significantly for employees with more than 20 years' experience.

$47,512 - $181,207
(Median)
$48K
$81K
$180K
MEDIAN: $81,216
10%
50%
90%

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$8.12 - $496.65
(Median)
$8
$60
$500
MEDIAN: $60
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$47,512 - $181,207  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,426  
Profit Sharing
$34.46 - $82,337  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,913 - $204,415  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 92
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$170$340$510
Hourly Rate
$8.12 - $496.65  
   
Overtime
$32.50  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$500K$1M$1.5M
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,426  
   
Profit Sharing
$34.46 - $82,337  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,913 - $204,415  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 10
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Job Description for Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense lawyers are responsible for representing clients who are charged with crimes in courts. They may represent clients who are charged with misdemeanor or felony offenses, such as drug-related crimes, murder, domestic violence, DUI, etc., and applicants must be a member of the Bar in their state of employment. Employers also require that their lawyers graduate from a school which is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

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Criminal Defense Lawyer Tasks

  • Question witnesses, victims or others involved in the case.
  • Review reports, evidence, and conduct research.
  • Present cases in court representing the local, state or federal government.

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Pay by Experience Level for Criminal Defense Lawyer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

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Experience Affects Criminal Defense Lawyer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 36%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$88,000

Late-Career
up arrow 7%

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.

Gender

Female
46 %
Male
54 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 66%
dental benefits
Dental: 48%
medical benefits
Vision: 41%
dental benefits
None: 34%
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