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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
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I was pulled over for a DWI in March 2008 in the dallas texas

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I was pulled over for a DWI in March 2008 in the dallas texas area.
Over 2 years later , my case is still going on.
I had one attorney at the start but she didnt do anything . i fired her and went with another attorney - i couldnt really afford him but tried to pay for it . now months later, after sitting in the courthouse for 4 hrs recently ,, all the lawyer did was file for a motion to withdrawal for nonpayment. i didnt know it had reached its limit and while i do work, im a contract worker and could be out of work again .. im supposing that in a month when they file for that, then i will need a court appointed attorney since i cant really afford to shell out 2000 or more dollars just to pay for at least a plea bargain. im scared about it too.



thank you for that information - now what is the question, please.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

since the 2nd lawyer is basically doing nothng more than postponing court dates and

being all smoke and mirrors . having me sit in the couthouse for 4 hrs lat friday only to put me at an ultimatum of pay at least the fee for him to plea bargain in a month or he'll drop me. basically the associate went in , filed for motion of withdrawl in 30 days unless payment is made , i mean for something they could have called me about and said ,well we are pushing for this and you need to have this paid by, not make me sit in the courthouse for 4 hrs just to have them file that motion and not do anything else.


i may not even have a job in july as i work contract and am struggling , i felt like it been given a raw deal as he has his retainer of 250 plus 700 dollars of mine ,indicating that the retainer fee doesnt come out of the plea or trial fees. so instead of 950 towards it , its 700 and that i owe 1800 more for at least plea bargain.


so my question is ,, im not feeling good about this .

i had a prior arrest 11 yrs ago for DUI but it was dismissed so this would be considered a first offense .. what are my options ,, since i feel this lawyer is screwing with me .. do i simply go to court on that date and they file for withdrawal and ask for a court appointed attorney.. and the money ive alrwady paid for this attorney seems wasted as he's done basically nothing but show up for court dates to postpone them and look at the video .. do i lose that money as well. i just am confused ans dont know what to do . its been going on for over 2 years ,,one good thing is , i did have the alr hearing and won that , so my license was not suspended .



at this point, it is too late to get a free court-appointed attorney. you have already shown that you have an ability to pay and unless you have no assets then you are not indigent.


you are going to have to decide if you want to continue toward a dismissal or take the penalties for a first offense. it appears if you have been in court on this matter for 4 years, then you must be hoping for a dismissal - otherwise, i can't understand why there was not already a plea agreement negoiated.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

the offense occurred in march 2008 so just over 2 years ago .

i was out of work last year for a long time and when the first attorney kept

postponing court dates and such .. either because the courts were backed up or the judge was out , she didnt seem to be doign anything . so i tried a second attorney as i didnt want to be without legal aid . i knew i might not be able to afford it but was trying to pay for it . what will happen now ? if i cant or dont pay and they drop me as a client ,

then most liklely they will not appoint an attorney and i will be at the courts mercy ?


i mean , after all this time , do i simply end up pleading no contest on my own behalf .. i just am so confused



it is pretty rare occurrence that a court will allow an attorney to withdraw for non -payment once an appearance has been filed. but do you really want to continue with an attorney who is basically being forced to work for nothing. so if the court says no to the withdraw you are with an attorney who is angry with you anyway. therefore, the attorney is going to negotiate the best plea agreement they can and then sue you for the balance of the money


i cannot tell you what to do. i cannot represent you in this matter and therefore, can only suggest that you consider discussing a plea agreement with your attorney and see what is the best you can get from it.


of course, if you are not satisfied with your attorney(s) then you can file a fee dispute with the local Bar Association. but that is something you should consider only after this matter has been disposed of.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

so paying the fee before the next court date seems to be the best option.

since as you put it , court appointed is most likley not an option and

accepting your fate without counsel at this point is not good.


of course i could also be without a job too .. its a hard decision.

the lawyer seemed to be almost trying to get postponements to allow me to pay

which id been trying to do even though i was not working and then when i did start to work and get some decent money it was still hard. the lawyer has set an ultimatum to pay or he drops . so are my only choices to fire him or pay him ?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: id just like to hear another opinion.  would be nice if an attorney familiar with texas courts was available



if you feel the attorney was not acting in your best interests and only postponing so he could get paid - an ultimatum as you state, then file that dispute with the Bar Association.


yes, they are your options as i have explained. these situations are not really germane to a particular state. this is the way it is in every state.


i can opt out and allow another JA expert to agree with me or to provide you with a different answer than what i have provided. but i have to tell you my answers are true and correct.


please let me know if that is what you want me to do.


thank you


Edited by Samuel-II on 6/1/2010 at 7:15 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
if you dont mind ,id appreciate getting another opinion as well .
im just at a very stressed out point



no problem. i have opted out.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you ,,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: just want another opinion.
just want another opinion
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

I have reviewed Samuel's answer. He's correct, once a criminal attorney makes an apperance, its difficult (for them) to get the court to allow withdraw from the case.

If the attorney is not doing their job, I would not hesitate to go to the state bar and complain...though that may be a tough option since this is the person your trusting to your defense. Still, if you can not find another way to "motivate" them, it can be a soloution to get their attention and show the importance of paying attention to your case.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
do lawyers ever try to prolong a case to allow the client to pay fees .
like saying ,we can postpone and give you time to pay but eventually we can only go so long before you must plea or take it to trial and then the fee must be paid to us before we can proceed?



i am sure there are some attorneys who operate in that manner.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
my question then is ,

if a lawyer says pay or well file a motion to withdrawal ,
in my contract it says the fee is to paid paid 30 days prior to case finality / so
doesnt that mean the lawyer has to indicate when that finality is and give you the notice not just spring it on you



yes, it would indicate that.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
so then the lawyer saying you have till june 25th means that july would be the finality ?
thats how im seeing it ..
and was also wondering if you pay the plea fee - the case is over 2 years old ..can the lawyer try and get it dismissed without taking it to trial ?



yes, if that is what the terms of your agreement state as to when final payment must be made -


yes, the attorney can still try for a dismissal

Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience: Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
Samuel II and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thanks , you've been most just hoping for something good to happen ,,, im going to click accept for you .... thanks again