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Tag Archives: Per Appearance Fee

Flat Fee vs. Per Appearance

I am a strong believer that no one should ever hire a Criminal Lawyer in Houston who charges per appearance.  What I mean is a lawyer who charges you every time you go to court.  If you are a defendant, and you are reading this, I mean the lawyers who tell you…”Just give me $200 every time we go to court”.

This is just wrong on many levels and in my opinion creates a huge conflict of interest.  No competent Houston Criminal Defense Attorney would do this.  These are the top 3 reasons I think you should never hire someone with this sort of pricing structure.

  1. Unnecessary resets – Sometimes cases can be won quickly.  Many times I have shown up to court only to have a prosecutor tell me that they are leaning towards dismissing the case.  It only takes a tiny bit of convincing and we get it done.  An unethical lawyer who is getting paid per court date might not have any incentive to get a case thrown out fast.  They could simply reset, and reset, and reset to make more money.
  2. Lawyer feel rushed – Now let’s assume it is a good lawyer trying to do their job. Sometimes cases take MONTHS to evaluate, gather evidence, etc.  If you are a good lawyer in this situation then you want to finish your case as quickly as possible (since the client is paying per appearance and you don’t want them to think you are stalling), but it simply might not be possible.  Again, you could end up paying more in the long run than you would have if you had only hired someone who charges you a flat fee.
  3. Results in more pleas – Lets face it, most clients who hire these types of lawyers don’t have that much money in the first place.  So they might be sitting there in court with a very defendable case, but they plead guilty.  Why, you ask?  Because they don’t want to have to pay that lawyer to come back in 3-4 weeks….complete BS.

So save yourself the trouble and hire a Criminal Lawyer in Houston who charges a flat fee.  Lawyers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and with all different kind of prices.  I ALWAYS charge a flat fee that I feel is fair.  The most important thing should be the case, not trying to make (or save) money.