In a criminal case, the judge will not order the state to pay your attorney fees if you are found not guilty. This is different than a civil case, where it’s not uncommon for a judge to order the losing party to pay the other party’s attorney fees. Often in a civil case, the attorney fees are paid from the judgment at the end of the case, which means that a party doesn’t have to pay attorney fees up front.
In a criminal case, attorneys do not make money when they “win” a case. They earn their money by zealously representing their clients and using their experience and skills throughout the entire legal process. A private criminal defense attorney will typically request that payment – or at least a portion of the payment – be paid at the time the representation begins. If you cannot afford a private criminal defense attorney, the state will provide you with a public defender.