Can a lawyer guarantee a result during a criminal consultation?
The short answer is NO, we cannot. We cannot guarantee an outcome. We cannot guarantee a dismissal, or a reduction, or probation, or a not guilty. But we get this question multiple times a week during consultations. We hear all the time, “Well, I talked to this lawyer and they told me they could guarantee to get my case dismissed.”
The Model Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1 states “A lawyer shall not make false or misleading communication about the lawyer or lawyer’s services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.”
Similarly, the Texas Code of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2 states, “A lawyer shall not make or sponsor a false or misleading communication about the qualifications or the services of any lawyer of firm. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.”
Let’s walk through this briefly – how can a lawyer, in good faith, tell you that they can guarantee to get your case dismissed (or any other result for that matter) during a consultation when they haven’t done the following:
- Have not reviewed any of the State’s documents, including any police reports, witness statements, or videos;
- Have not communicated with any of the witnesses on the case;
- Have not reviewed or confirmed your criminal history to verify a lack of criminal history;
- Have not confirmed or verified all the things you have communicated to them during the consultation;
- Have not communicated with the prosecutor or the judge handling your case (BOTH OF WHOM HAS TO SIGN THE DISMISSAL).
So if you hear that from a lawyer during a consultation, be skeptical. Ask more questions because having trust in your lawyer is priority #1.
Our Goal is a Dismissal!
We tell all of our clients the same thing – we cannot guarantee a particular result, but we talk to them about their goals and we set out a strategy to achieve the best outcome. We have helped lots of clients achieve great results – dismissals, reductions, probation, not guilty verdicts, etc. and it all started with the same approach and thought process.
Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC is a criminal defense law firm with offices in Fort Worth and Colleyville, Texas. We primarily represent clients with criminal cases in Tarrant County and surrounding counties. Our criminal defense attorneys and DWI lawyers are all former Tarrant County prosecutors with over 200 combined jury trials, from DWI to Capital Murder. Call 817-334-7900 if you need help on your criminal or DWI charge.