When I became a lawyer cell phones were not used by many people. In fact, I did not get a mobile number until I left the Harris County District District Attorney’s Office. When I became a criminal defense lawyer pagers were the preferred method of contacting your attorney when in a pinch. I remember having to try to decipher messages scrolling on my pager. It did not take long for me to go to the cell phone route despite the price to buy one being exorbitant. The rates for talking on one were equally insane. Thus, I treasured every phone call and would judiciously give out my phone number. I am not talking that far back either. Luckily, they way we communicate has changed swiftly. Unfortunately, the legal has profession has been slow to grasp the clamor that clients have to reach their attorneys. I know several colleagues that are hesitant to give their client’s his/her mobile phone number. I wholeheartedly disagree with this attitude. If I can not trust my client with my cell phone number I should not have them as a client. Therefore, I give every client my mobile with the understanding that I will be unable to talk to them during my court docket that runs from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm every weekday. Additionally, I ask every client to text me once they arrive for their scheduled court date. By doing this both the client and me have the peace of mind that we are both in the courthouse. I look forward to seeing what forms of communication become available in the near future. I hope to be the first one experimenting with it as long as my clients are agreeable.
This is a comment I get from clients all the time who are desperate to resolve the jam they find themselves in when arrested for a criminal charge. My clients are typically willing to do whatever it takes to get their charges dismissed after an arrest. I wish every case was as easy as paying restitution to an alleged victim for the case to go away. Unfortunately, most criminal cases are not resolved in this matter. A proper defense to a criminal accusation involves much more than throwing money at the issue. As a criminal defense lawyer I have to caution my clients that want to spend their money before properly investigating for legal reasons to get the case dismissed.
A person may be a billionaire like John Goodman, who was recently convicted of DWI Manslaughter, but before trial settled the civil suit with the victim’s family. The settlement of the case did not prevent the prosecutors from seeking a convicton in his case. Nevertheless, the fact that he has paid a significant amount may impact the punishment he receives from the court.
Whether it is a sexual assault, indecent exposure, criminal mischief, or even
child pornography it is better to allow a lawyer to handle all aspects of the case, including paying any damages that may be owed.