If you have been arrested in Harris County, you have no doubt started to receive letters and post cards from "lawyers" announcing they know you have been arrested for a crime and that you can hire them for a small fee.
Let me explain to you who they are, and how they got your information.
First, all of the records for Harris County arrests are public record. For that matter every county in Texas has open and public arrest records. There are companies that send people down to the district clerk's office everyday to mine all the arrest data for the previous 24 hours. If you go to the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, you can see these people sitting in the clerk's office on the 3rd floor with their laptops out, copying all of this information into spreadsheets.
These companies then sell this data to "lawyers," for a fee. Some of the companies will actually send out the cards or letters for the lawyer, so that the lawyer never even sees what he is sending out and to whom. These so called "lawyers" will advertise that they will represent you for $100*, but if you read the fine print, you will see that is for the first appearance only. At the first appearance they appear as your lawyer, and then demand a full fee from you to continue as your lawyer, or else they will withdraw from your case.
Some of these so called "lawyers" may offer you a payment plan where you pay a flat fee every time you have a court date. They will then just collect that payment at court and reset your court date with little work or investigation being done in between the court dates. This practice wastes your critical time when your defense should be getting developed. Under this payment plan scenario, these "lawyers" will then demand a huge trial fee to be paid all at once or they will withdraw from your case. These "lawyers" that have been allowing you a payment plan all along know you cannot afford this fee, so it allows them to withdraw from your case and leave you with no time or money to hire a real lawyer this late in your case. These mailbox "lawyers" never intend to investigate your defense or take your case to trial; they are in it for the court setting fees. Their business model is set up around having a lot of clients just like you paying them these small fees over and over again, and these "lawyers" not doing any work other than showing up at your court setting and getting you a reset.
I use the term "lawyer" for these people very loosely, because they are part of our profession that generally gives non-lawyers a bad opinion about those of us that really do work hard for our clients.
If you have been charged with a crime, do not hire a mailbox "lawyer," do your research and hire a qualified, experienced criminal defense lawyer.
If you want to set up a consultation with me call 281.476.9447 or email me at this website.