Want to know the cost of court transcripts? Get the answer and discover how SpeakWrite's reliable transcription services can help you save time & money.
If you’re involved in a legal proceeding, chances are you’ll need to get your hands on reliable court transcripts. But how much do court transcripts cost? And is it possible to obtain transcripts without paying expensive fees? (Hint, hint—the answer is yes).
You may have heard court transcripts are expensive, but the truth is getting a transcript doesn’t have to break the bank. In this blog post, we’ll explore all your options for obtaining a transcript so you can make an informed decision.
What Is Court Transcription?
Court transcription is an official written record of every word spoken in a courtroom, from the judge to the witnesses to the attorneys. It’s a verbatim account of the events that can be used for reference and evidence in future legal proceedings.
Court transcripts cover important legal events like:
- Sworn Statements
- Court Proceedings
- More legal transcription examples here
Court transcripts serve an important purpose, as they are often used as accurate, reliable reference documents for subsequent court proceedings. But there’s just one problem—getting your hands on a copy of these finished transcriptions can be costly if you go the traditional route.
Official court transcripts are often created by a professional court reporter or stenographer, who may use a stenograph machine and/or an audio-visual recording of the proceedings to create the transcript. These professionals are handy but charge surprisingly large fees for their court reporting services. For that reason, many people turn to legal transcription companies outside of the courtroom.
What is the Average Cost of Court Transcripts?
Generally speaking, an accurate court transcript can cost anywhere from $1.00 to $7.00 per page, plus an additional fee for delivery time and method. The cost of court transcripts varies depending on the length and complexity of the transcript, how quickly you need it, how much editing is required, and if you’re working with a professional court reporter or transcriber. Court reporters can even charge extra if you’re the first one to order the transcript after its creation.
Court Transcript Cost Factors
When you’re trying to determine how much a court transcript will cost, several factors can affect the bottom line. These include:
- Number of transcripts ordered: Court reporters charge a premium for the first copy of a transcript ordered to ensure they’re adequately reimbursed for their court reporting services. Copies cost less, as they take less time to prepare and deliver.
- Length: The length of the transcript is one of the most significant factors regarding how much it will cost, and most court reporters charge by the page. Alternatively, transcription services often charge by the minute or by the word.
- Delivery Time: How quickly do you need to receive your court transcript? Rush orders can cost substantially more than regular orders, so it’s important to factor in how quickly you need your transcript. Court reporters charge a premium for rushing, while transcription services can deliver in minutes or hours without extra fees.
- Type of Transcriber: The type of transcriber you work with can play a role in how much your transcript costs. If you use a professional court reporter or transcriber, their services will likely cost significantly more than if you were to hire your own transcription service.
- Court and Location: The court and/or location of your proceedings can also impact how much your transcript costs. Different courts have different rates, so it’s important to research the cost of transcripts in the specific court where you are filing. On the other hand, transcription services are fully digital with fixed costs.
- Number of Speakers: If you’re using a transcription service to transcribe the proceedings, you’ll generally pay less for single-speaker audio and slightly more for multiple-speakers.
- Audio Quality: The clarity and quality of your audio recordings will also affect how much the transcript costs as well. Do everything you can to ensure the audio is high-quality if you hope for an accurate transcript.
Why Do Court Reporters Charge So Much?
Court reporters charge fees for their services because of the amount of time, effort, and expertise required to produce a reliable transcript. As such, their fees help ensure they’re adequately compensated for their time and expertise.
The process includes taking precise notes on every word spoken during court proceedings, which requires an extensive knowledge of legal terminology as well as how to correctly use stenography machines or audio-visual recording equipment.
In addition, court reporters must spend time formatting their shorthand notes into a readable transcript, which can be very time-consuming. This is why many people turn to transcription services for their court transcripts, as they provide accurate and speedy results at a fraction of the cost.
How To Reduce Court Transcript Costs
In most states, you don’t have to use the contracted court reporter to obtain high-quality transcripts of legal proceedings. Saving money on court transcripts is easy when you use an online service or convenient app like SpeakWrite (check out this nifty savings calculator and see for yourself!)
These services are usually faster and more economical than working with a professional court reporter or transcriber. Be sure to select a service that uses 100% human transcription rather than A.I. transcription or voice-to-text software, especially if you’re relying on the transcripts to be accurate.
Here’s how to get your hands on a court transcript without paying huge court fees:
- Obtain a copy of the audio or video recording of the court proceedings. You can contact the court clerk with the case number, date, time, and names of the parties involved. Expect to pay between $10 – $25 for a DVD of the court hearing, but the price can differ from one municipality to another.
- Find an online legal transcription service that offers human-powered transcripts at a fair price. Doing a bit of research can help you find the best service for your budget. Avoid A.I. transcription or voice-to-text services, as you’ll sacrifice accuracy and reliability. Services like SpeakWrite offer human legal transcription at just 1.5 cents per word.
- Upload the audio or video recording to the transcription provider’s secure platform and wait for the transcript to be delivered. With SpeakWrite, you can also upload desired templates or instructions along with your recording for a finished product ready for use immediately.
- Download your finished court transcript and use it however you need. SpeakWrite delivers beautifully formatted, professional court transcripts in as little as three hours. You can pay as you go with no contract required.
Court Transcripts FAQs
How long does it take to get a court transcript?
The length of time it takes to get a court transcript depends on how much audio or video needs to be transcribed and how quickly you need the results. Professional court reporters can typically provide transcripts within two weeks, although online transcription services like SpeakWrite can deliver them in as little as three hours.
How much do court transcripts cost?
The total cost of a court transcript depends on how long the audio or video recording is and how quickly you need it transcribed. Professional court reporters typically charge by the page, but online transcription services like SpeakWrite can provide transcripts for as low as 1.5 cents per word without any contracts or minimums.
How can I obtain court transcripts?
Generally speaking, you should contact the court clerk for local court, district court, circuit court, and state courts. However, if the case is in federal court, you can use this federal court downloadable form for your transcript request. Depending on the court’s rules and regulations, there may be large, small, or no fees associated with obtaining a court transcript or copy of the audio-visual recording of the court proceedings.
Where can I get a court transcript?
You can obtain court transcripts in several ways. For example, you can hire a professional court reporter or transcriber, work with an online transcription service, or even use a software program to create your own transcript.
Are court transcripts public record?
Yes, court transcripts are generally public record. In most states, you can submit a public records request to obtain a copy. However, they may be sealed or redacted in some instances according to the court’s rules and regulations.
How accurate are trial transcripts?
The accuracy of a court transcript depends on the skills and experience of the official court reporter or transcriber, but they’re generally very reliable. Reputable online transcription services like SpeakWrite guarantee 99% accuracy in their transcripts, so if you need reliable results, it’s best to go with an established service provider.
Do I have to order my court transcript from the official court reporter?
No, you don’t have to order your transcript from an official court reporter. Instead, you can use an online transcription service like SpeakWrite to get the same results at a lower cost and with faster turnaround times.
Get Started With Affordable Court Transcripts Today FREE
If you’re looking for affordable court transcripts, SpeakWrite has you covered. With our easy-to-use app, you can get reliable human-created transcripts quickly and affordably—without sacrificing quality. Ordering transcripts from court reporters are expensive and costs 40-60% more than using SpeakWrite’s easy app. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love SpeakWrite that we’re giving away a free trial for new customers. Get started with your free trial now.