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    If you’ve been charged with a crime of some kind in Houston, Texas, your next best step is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney near you to protect your rights and learn about your legal options.

    But what is involved in the consultation process?

    Here at the Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp, we get asked this question all of the time. And while we cannot speak to what other law firms and lawyers do, we can describe how we approach the consultation process and what to expect.

    Let’s walk through an example scenario of what our initial consultation process is like.

    The call

    When you call attorney Matt Sharp after being charged with a crime, he will ask you a few basic questions over the phone about your situation. If he believes he can help, he will ask if you can come in for a free face-to-face consultation. While many other law firms initially screen callers through paralegals and other staff, Matt prefers to handle these important calls personally.

    Before you agree to meet in-person, you may be wondering about fees and costs. Matt will answer this question like he does for all of his clients:

    “I’d like to learn a bit more about your case before we talk about money. I’ll explain the amount of work your case is going to take, and we can discuss what reasonable fees should be. Some people are just price shopping and they don’t care if the lawyer is any good or not. I have a policy about not quoting anything over the phone. I’m only interested in meeting with someone who wants effective legal representation and who isn’t just price shopping.”

    At this point, if you agree to schedule a face-to-face meeting, Matt schedules a date and time that works for you.

    The consultation

    When you come in for your free consultation, Matt pulls all of the documents he can find off of the District Clerk’s website using the special clearance and access he has to information about your charge that isn’t necessarily public. He will then sit down to talk about your case, starting by giving you a copy of the complaint or probable cause affidavit associated with your charge.

    During the consultation, Matt will listen to your story, ask questions, and take notes on a legal pad. He will also talk about your case, share previous cases that he’s handled that are similar to yours, and display the depth of knowledge he has about criminal defense law — including potential defense strategies that might apply to your case.

    In order to start coming up with a game plan for how best to defend you, Matt will also discuss potential pieces of evidence that may either help or hurt your case, such as surveillance footage that must be gathered quickly before it is destroyed or erased. Since many places don’t preserve their video indefinitely, acting quickly is key. If necessary, Matt will subpoena this evidence as soon as possible.

    At the end of the consultation, Matt will talk about the fees and may ask if you wish to sign a contract.

    The defense

    On average, criminal cases in Houston can drag on for a year or more. The exact length of time your case will take depends on many factors — including where you were charged. There’s a lot of variation in Harris County and Fort Worth County. It can take weeks or months to finally have your case wrapped up and behind you. Understandably, you might get frustrated. Rest assured that, when possible, Matt will wave your need to appear in court.

    “If you want something done quickly in criminal court, then I can plead you guilty. If you want a different outcome – such as a case dismissal or a trial – it’s essential that we are given the time needed to get the job done. That can mean having to visit court over many months.”

    The more time we have, the better the odds of a positive outcome in your case. Police officers and prosecutors come and go; if you’re patient, things can work out in your favor. Defense is often a war of attrition.

    Our promise to you

    Whatever crime you’ve been charged with, rest assured that Matt Sharp has the knowledge, experience and skill to ensure you get the best possible defense.

    “I’ll take the time to listen to you, and ask detailed questions about what happened. I can’t promise you a particular outcome, but I can promise I’ll work very hard for you. I can’t give you a percentage chance of your outcome because that’s unethical and criminal defense attorneys aren’t legally allowed to do so. But I’ll do a good job for you. I’m confident I can help in some way.”

    The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp strives to provide effective and efficient solutions using the most timely and rigorous professional standards. Matt has the experience to handle complex legal issues. He will work to earn and keep your trust. He has successfully won not-guilty verdicts and dismissals in 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.

    Contact the Law Offices of Matthew D. Sharp to receive your free case evaluation.

    Contact Matthew Sharp