The Locke Law Group

Do You Bill By The Hour Or Charge A Flat Fee?

We charge a flat fee for our legal services. Criminal defense attorneys that work by the hour cannot do a good job. They are more concerned with their hourly rates, how much they’ve billed and how much they’ve put into the case instead of whether they’ve achieved their client’s goal.

For instance, sometimes we see a “pocket” and I call it a pocket because the prosecutor is suddenly willing to make an offer that he wouldn’t otherwise make. If that offer achieves the goal of the client, the client needs to be 100% sure and the attorney needs to be 100% dedicated to accepting that offer. If the attorney hesitates to think about whether he or she can bill more time, then that’s a conflict. We try to operate 100% of the time without conflicts and we do that by charging flat rates.

What Additional Legal Costs Should I Prepare For During The Course Of My Case?

We always advise people if there are any additional legal fees we will let them know in advance, so they can prepare for the legal costs. In DWIs, there are some additional fees that need to be paid and these are almost unavoidable. For instance, when you have an ALR hearing, you have to subpoena the witness and pay $50 for the travel expenses of that person if they are coming from out of town and $10 if they live in town. You have to pay for an occupational license filing fee if the license is suspended, which is $250. These are expenses that you must pay. However, we explain this all to you upfront and if you choose to pay it then we go ahead and provide the service.

Another additional cost that frequently comes up are investigators or expert witnesses. They are 100% of the time outside of the criminal defense contract. Again, however, it will be explained to you why an investigator or an expert witness is necessary. If you approve that expense, you will be responsible for the fee. If you don’t approve that expense then it’s not charged to you. The important thing is that nobody will ever get a bill for expenses they didn’t approve at the end of the representation.

How Do You and The Attorneys At Your Firm Keep Up To Date On Criminal Law In Texas?

One of the ways that we keep up to date with criminal law is we attend continuing legal education. I am a Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney which requires more continuing legal education than non-board-certified attorneys. Additionally, one of the things that we do that most other lawyers don’t, is we have handled appeals in the 5th Circuit and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. What this means is that these are cases that have already been tried and sentenced. The defendants are looking for a new sentence or a new trial and we file an appeal and become very familiar with the current law. It really sharpens your ability to make arguments during a trial after you’ve already seen how someone else has done it and the mistakes they’ve made as well.

How Often Do You Appear At The Courthouse Where My Case May Be Heard?

Depending on where your case is heard, I either appear every day, or at least once or twice a month in the courthouse where your case may be heard. For example, I’m in Bexar County every day and in Comal County once a month. In addition, I’m in Guadalupe County once or twice a month, and in Hays County once or twice a month.

Are You Familiar With The Judges And Prosecutors Who May Be Handling My Case?

We are very proud that we have been able to develop good relationship with prosecutors and judges throughout south and central Texas.

What Are Some Mistakes That Clients Make After An Arrest That Are Detrimental To Their Case?

The most common mistake that I see is when people decide to talk to the police after an arrest. What people don’t understand is that the State or the government is required to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. When you answer questions, every question that you answer, you close off a means by which we could defend you. For instance, if you are accused of aggravated sexual assault and you confess to knowing the person and having sex, but you say that it was consensual, then we only have one issue left. If you remain silent then we could challenge your identity or we could show that they have not shown beyond a reasonable doubt the identity of the attacker. We could make arguments like that to help your case. Talking to the police is probably the most common mistake.

Another mistake people make is consenting to a search. It becomes more difficult to get the products of that search overturned. It is important never to fight with the police and never to resist. However, if they ask to search you, you should say you do not give consent. If they tell you that they are going to get a warrant, then let them. What happens is when they want to get a warrant they are required to go to a judge and give them an affidavit that explains why they think they should be able to search you. Once a warrant is issued we can look at that affidavit and use that as a means of attack to get it dismissed. It’s very important not to consent to a search and not to resist but to require them to follow due process so that your rights are protected.

For more information on Billable Hours & Flat Fee Arrangements, A Free Strategy Session is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (210) 229-8300 today.

The Locke Law Group

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(210) 202-4233

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