Every person deserves to be represented by a dependable and aggressive attorney — no matter your financial status
“How much will this cost?”
This is one of the first things people want to know when they require representation for a criminal charge.
Many people mistakenly believe that hiring a criminal defense attorney is something they simply can’t afford. The truth is, the cost of hiring a lawyer to represent you can be negligible when the charges you face are relatively minor. In other cases where the charges are serious and the legal battle is more complex, consider hiring an attorney who accepts a payment plan and offers a free initial consultation. When the cost of failure can be life in jail, this is the one time you don’t want to skimp on the costs.
Free Case Evaluation
At The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp, we believe every defendant deserves to be represented by a committed and dependable criminal defense lawyer, regardless of their socioeconomic or income status. This belief is why we offer low-cost legal services, flexible payment plans and free initial consultations to all of our clients.
I require an in person consultation before I will discuss fees with a client. The consultation is free. I like to take the time to get to know people, and understand how difficult their case will be before I talk about money.
Finding a dependable and affordable attorney can be challenging.
The fight is just beginning.
My results-driven approach means I can bring invaluable insights from past victories to help in your case.
State of Texas v. TP
Driving While Intoxicated
Harris County Court
State of Texas v. JM
Harris County Court
State of Texas v. BYK
Driving While Intoxicated
Harris County Court
I believe clients should be #1. Read my testimonials to see what past clients have said.
I brought Matt an almost no-win case and he was able to help me change a negative to a positive. His advice is solid and staight forward. I highly recommend The Law Office of Matthew Sharp.
Amber W Houston, TX
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Private Criminal Lawyer?
As with any other service, the cost of hiring a defense attorney depends on your unique case and the lawyer you choose. While every case is different, some common factors that might affect how much your defense will cost include:
- The type of charge you’re facing (misdemeanor vs. felony)
- The complexity of your case (state vs. federal court)
- The time required to research, prepare and mount a strong defense
- The court deadlines set in your case
- Your prior criminal history
- Whether expert witnesses and investigators are needed
- Whether or not your case goes to trial
- The fee structure the attorney uses (hourly billing vs. a flat fee)
Do I Really Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
It’s never a good idea to try to take on the criminal justice system on your own. Unfortunately, many defendants make the mistake of representing themselves because they think they can’t afford to hire a good attorney. Others seek to get legal help from a public defender who has an unmanageably high caseload and isn’t able to give their case the time and attention it deserves.
When deciding whether or not to hire an experienced criminal lawyer, you must also consider the fact that a criminal charge could permanently ruin your reputation, career and future if you’re convicted — resulting in a mountain of fines, court fees and the loss of your job and career. Ultimately, teaming up with an affordable criminal defense attorney makes the most sense when you factor in the long-term financial burdens and loss of freedom that goes hand-in-hand with being convicted of a crime.
Considerations When Hiring a Cost-Competitive Criminal Lawyer
While Matt Sharp and many other Houston defense attorneys are truly passionate about what they do and have empathy for their clients, it’s an unfortunate reality that there are unethical lawyers out there who are just trying to make a quick buck off of someone’s unfortunate circumstances. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you should be sure to avoid these dishonest people.
There’s a difference between a “cheap” criminal lawyer and an attorney who is affordable or economical. Just because a lawyer is cheap, doesn’t mean he or she will aggressively defend your case. As with other facets of life, sometimes you get what you pay for. What you need is a cost-conscious attorney who will provide you with the same high-quality representation without the high price tag.
Here are three factors to consider when searching for an affordable defense attorney who will have your best interests in mind:
Free Initial Consultation
Your first consultation with a potential criminal defense lawyer should be free of charge. During your initial meeting, you will be able to weigh your different options and determine which course of action is most beneficial and appropriate for you.
Here at The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp, during your visit we want you to feel free to discuss your circumstances with our knowledgeable lawyers to determine what your legal options are and see if we can help you. If you decide that we are a good fit for you, then we’ll work with you to create an effective defense plan that stays in line with your budget.
We don’t quote fees over the phone. However, following our initial meeting together, we will work with you on a flexible payment plan based on your salary and other living expenses in order to make your defense as affordable as possible.
Establishing an Attorney-Client Relationship
Payment of the retainer fee is normally what establishes the attorney-client relationship. At The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp we understand that you might not be able to pay this fee right away.
If that’s the case, we’ll ask you to sign a representation agreement instead. This document authorizes us to work on your behalf, while also ensuring the terms of your payment agreement are clearly spelled out.
Asking the Right Questions
Although there are no standard legal fees because of the unique factors that affect each case, you can (and should) prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney during the initial consultation.
This will help you better understand the full cost of retaining their legal services and determine if it’s affordable for you.
Some sample questions to ask are:
- What is your fee structure? Do you bill hourly or at a flat fee rate?
- Do you offer a payment plan?
- How complex do you think my case is?
- By your estimate, how much time will it take to resolve my case? Days? Months?
- Have you handled similar cases before?
8 Ways a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Your Case
Are you unsure of where to go for help after getting arrested?
Learn more about how hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will help your chances at freedom.
An Affordable Attorney Who Works With Low-Income Defendants
Quality legal representation is priceless. Regardless of your financial resources, having an experienced and aggressive attorney on your side is essential. You need an attorney who understands this. Matthew Sharp wants to make defending you in a court of law as easy and affordable as possible.
Matt Sharp has dedicated his career to representing underserved and low-income individuals throughout Texas. In addition to volunteering his legal skills to the local community in Houston, he’s a proud member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association.
We have successfully resolved a wide variety of cases, including DWI charges, theft and property crimes, drug-related charges, weapons, white collar crimes, assault/battery, prostitution crimes, sex crimes defense, federal defense and other criminal cases.