Austin, TX

What to tell an attorney at a criminal defense consultation?

What information should I bring to a Criminal consultation?

Finding a criminal defense lawyer can be stressful.  You might be in a situation where you are calling for a friend or relative who is in custody so you want to act as quickly as possible.  When you call an attorney, you will want to have some information available so that he or she can help you best.  Here is a list of things to have ready before speaking with an attorney.

  1. Proper spelling of full name

OK, I admit that this seems basic, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been unable to find a person in custody because the spelling of the name is incorrect.  Sometimes it’s a nickname, or they haven’t told me that there is a second, hyphenated name.  Be sure to have the proper spelling when you call.

  1. Date of Birth

Another basic one.  But this is important to do a search for potential open warrants.  And speaking of warrants….

  1. Open warrants from previous cases.

Is there an old Driving with License Invalid that hasn’t been taken care of?  A DWI or Assault charge in another state that you haven’t thought of in years?  Be sure to tell the attorney.   Sometimes these old cases won’t affect anything.  Other times, they can delay release for months.  Be sure to be up front.

  1. Criminal History

If there are previous convictions, this can affect the ability to get a PR bond.  Don’t hide these at an initial consultation.

  1. Citizenship status

This is a big one.  If a person is not a US citizen, this can be a huge deal when it comes to release.  If the attorney does not ask about citizenship status, be sure to volunteer the information.

  1. Jurisdiction

Do you know where the arrest occurred?  If not, then narrow it down as much as possible.  Better yet, if you have a case number, relay that to the attorney.  If the arrest happened at the home, this should be easy.  If it was on the road, you may not know what county where the arrest happened.  If that’s the case, give as many clues as possible.

  1. What happened?

Whether you are the person charged, or you are a friend who was on scene, or anything in between, don’t be coy about sharing details of the incident.  Small details can mean the difference between being released and not

  1. Available funds

In addition to attorney fees, you may need to post bond as well.  If funds are available for this purpose, you should let the attorney know.  If the funds aren’t available immediately, but can be raised, that’s important too.

  1. Other contacts

Family members or friends who can help with either funds or information can be extremely helpful.  Sometimes a person in custody will need to show proof that they have an address to go to once released.  Friends and family can often provide a temporary spot to crash so that we can secure release.


Coming in with this information can help the consultation go smoothly.  The attorney will be ready to explain the most likely outcomes.  If the client is in custody, he can give reasonable odds as to whether he will be released on PR Bond, granted a reasonable bond amount, or if bond is likely to be out of reach.


If you need to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal attorney, visit www.atx.legal/contact or if urgent, you can call 512-677-5003.


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