Big Trouble Only

A few rules for those looking to hire a criminal-defense lawyer to represent them in Houston:

If you’ve been arrested for a felony, and you don’t think you’re in at least $10,000 worth of trouble, please call someone else.

Some cases are going to cost a lot more than $10,000 to
defend. No felony charge should be treated as less than $10,000 worth of trouble.

If you recognize that you’re in at least $10,000 worth of felony trouble but you can’t scrape together that much money, I may take your case anyway. But I won’t represent someone who thinks that his freedom and his future are worth less than $10,000.

There are plenty of lawyers who will agree with your valuation of
your good name; there are lawyers who think your future is worth $200
per court appearance. But I won’t refer you to them because I don’t want to
the guy referring you to the lawyer who doesn’t think your freedom and
your future are worth less than $10,000.

If you recognize that you are in more than $10,000 worth of felony trouble and have the money to pay for a proper defense, but think you should get a discount because you’re innocent, please call someone else. I don’t do any less of a job for a client who maintains his innocence, and I’m not going to accept less money for the job.

If you are in more than $10,000 worth of trouble, have the money to pay for a proper defense, and don’t want an “innocence discount”, but think your case is an easy one, call someone else. You may be right, in which case you’d be equally well-served by another lawyer. Or you might be wrong, in which case you will not appreciate whatever I am able to do for you (“yeah, you got me acquitted, but you should have gotten the case dismissed at the first appearance”).

The same rules apply to misdemeanors, except the threshold is $5,000. If you’ve been arrested for a misdemeanor, and don’t consider yourself in at least $5,000 worth of trouble, or expect an innocent discount, or think your case is an easy one, please call someone else.

Thank you for your kind attention.


0 responses to “Big Trouble Only”

  1. Hmm. Really good points. Here’s another one.

    pro bo·no (pr bn) KEY


    Done without compensation for the public good: a lawyer’s pro bono work.

    Latin pr bon (public), for the (public) good : pr, for + bon, ablative of bonum, the good

  2. Why, Steve, would I take a case pro bono for someone who doesn’t think he’s in less than $10,000 worth of trouble? That’s a great way to have an unappreciative client.

  3. Apparently, you would not. Although, $10,000 is a nice round figure and I’m sure you earn every penny. I’m just happy to note that it is the current rate for a proper defense in the Houston area. Appreciation included, of course. Thanks for the report.

  4. And does that round figure of $10,000 come with EXPUNGEMENT of the felony
    charges so 5, 10, 15, 30 years later it doesn’t come back to haunt the innocent
    in new charges? Please consider the ‘targeted’ citizen by State Governments
    i.e., whistleblowers, etc. who are ‘snagged’ into the criminal justice system
    over and over aginst for political reasons.

    • People, please.

      $10,000 is not a fee, it’s an attitude. I often charge less (for people who know how much trouble they’re in, but can’t afford full fare) and often charge lots more (for people who are in bigger trouble). All I’m saying is, if your attitude is that your felony trouble is not worth $10,000 (less than the cost of virtually any new car), then your felony trouble is not worth my time.

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