Client Resources

At Haddad Law Firm, our goal is to provide clients with all the necessary information and resources to resolve their legal issues. If you have a legal issue and can’t find the information you are looking for in our Client Resources, give us a call and we would be happy to point you in the right direction.

Court Forms

Do you need a particular form for one of your case requirements? If you can’t find what you are looking for, let us know!

Attorney Consultation Forms

Have a consultation scheduled to meet with an attorney about your case? Depending on your type of case, we have put together some useful guides to make sure you are prepared for your consultation.

Open Records Requests / FOIA Requests

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find The Right Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Whether you’re facing a traffic ticket, misdemeanor or felony charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner. Unfortunately, Dallas criminal defense lawyers are a dime a dozen. As a result, choosing the right attorney for you can be overwhelming. Generally speaking, most people aren’t prepared for an arrest or criminal charges. However, finding the right criminal lawyer to handle your case is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make.

Don’t Wait Until The Day Before Court To Find An Attorney

Generally, you will receive a court date for your case when you are released from jail. Sometimes your first court date can be several weeks or even months away. However, it’s usually best to talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being arrested. For example, you can’t count on the police or prosecutors to collect all the relevant evidence for your case. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your attorney can properly investigate your case before evidence becomes unavailable. Also, finding the best criminal lawyer for your case can take time. It’s important to take the time to research your options when hiring a lawyer.

1. Make A List of YOUR Priorities

A majority of potential clients call law firms with one primary goal: finding the cheapest legal representation possible. Fortunately, you don’t need to look very far to find an attorney out to make a quick buck at your expense. Sometimes you don’t have to look at all, attorneys have been known to come looking for you. Unfortunately, the consequences of a criminal conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. More importantly, you cannot undo a conviction. Therefore, while it is perfectly understandable that the cost of hiring an attorney is a legitimate issue, be careful when making it your MOST important concern. After all, there are just as many attorneys that will try to overcharge for legal representation as there are that will undercharge clients. Just because something is more expensive, doesn’t mean it’s better.
On the other hand, knowing what your goals are for the outcome of your case makes the next step in the process much easier! For example, is it more important to keep your record clean or to resolve your case as soon as possible? Alternatively, do you want to fight your case or are you not interested in a long drawn out legal battle? In the end, there is a long list of possibilities that can end up on your list of priorities. Being prepared before you meet with any lawyers will help you avoid ending up with an attorney that doesn’t share the same goals for your case.

2. Make A List of Attorneys You Want To Speak With

Armed with your first list, its time to make your second one. Make a list of attorneys you would like to meet for a consultation. Most lawyers offer free consultations. Overall, the relationship between an attorney and a client is based on mutual trust. Your attorney is someone you need to be comfortable around. After all, the circumstances surrounding the need for a lawyer are stressful enough on their own. In the end, speaking with multiple attorneys is the best way to build confidence that the attorney you decide to hire is the one you will be comfortable with for the entirety of your case. Remember, if you don’t feel like you can trust your lawyer, how can you expect judges and prosecutors to? So how do you come up with your list of defense attorneys? Do your homework!

In my opinion, the best place to start your search for a criminal defense attorney is by asking the people that you know. Nothing is more valuable than a real life referral from someone that you already trust. If you don’t know anyone that has been in a similar situation before, start looking online. Similarly, pay close attention to actual client reviews when looking for a lawyer online. However, searching for an attorney online can be tricky. But that’s why you are making a list and not making your choice based only on what the internet tells you! Much like everything else in life, companies, including law firms, pay millions of dollars to make sure they are the first link that pops up for every keyword search possible on the internet. So when you type “best criminal defense attorney” into Google, your search results are based on which firm paid the most money to top the list for that search and not which firm is actually the most qualified to handle your case.

You can verify if an attorney actually achieved the case results in their advertisements!

Case information is public record and can be found online or through record requests.

Now is not the time to take shortcuts, that may be how you got in trouble in the first place. Scroll past the top 3 or 4 search results that are paid advertisements. Go through some of the websites and see what you can find out about the law firm and the attorney(s). Look for ones that provide helpful information about your type of case. A good criminal defense attorney will make sure that you are fully informed about the charges you are facing and the process for handling your case. Additionally, be wary of all the attorneys claiming to be the “best” or “top” Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney. In my experience when shopping for something, anyone that has to tell you they are the best probably isn’t. Generally, an attorney’s reputation speaks for itself. Our suggestion is to make a list of 3 to 5 attorneys you would like to meet with before moving on to the next step.

3. Schedule Consultations With Your List of Criminal Defense Attorneys

After you’ve completed your research and narrowed down your list of criminal defense lawyers to meet with, it’s time to start scheduling consultations. I can’t emphasize enough the fact that you should take the time to meet with several attorneys before choosing one to hire. Moreover, don’t settle for just a phone consultation. If an attorney doesn’t have the time to sit down and meet with you to discuss your case, can you be confident they will have the time to work on your case? Once you’ve scheduled your consultations, it’s time to finish preparing for the meetings. If you followed our advice in section one, the next step would be to put together all the important information about your case to discuss with the attorney at your consultation.

4 Red Flags When Meeting With Potential Criminal Lawyers

Of course, we don’t expect you to know every single detail about the arrest or charges. However, the more information you can provide from the beginning, the better. The outcome of a criminal case can vary widely from one courtroom to the next and from county to county. As a result, simply telling an attorney that you were arrested for a drug charge will not be very helpful in learning more about what could possibly happen with your case. You don’t need to meet with an attorney just to find out what level offense you are facing or what the punishment range is for a specific type of case. Now that you have met with your list of Dallas criminal defense lawyers, you’re in the home stretch.

4. Choose The Right Criminal Defense Lawyer To Represent You

Although this process may sound time consuming, choosing the right attorney to hire is crucial. Typically, lawyers require you to make a down payment upon signing a retainer agreement. However, once an attorney starts to work on your case, most attorney’s fees become non-refundable. As a result, switching attorneys halfway through your case can be very expensive.
At Haddad Law Firm, we understand that money isn’t easy to come by. That’s why our goal is to make sure your money is spent wisely, even if that means charging you less in legal fees. The State Bar of Texas has established a Texas Lawyer’s Creed that all attorney’s practicing in Texas are required to abide by. We take our job of representing our clients very seriously. If we can’t help you, we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction of an attorney who can.

How can I get someone out of jail?

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense, a judge or magistrate will review the case and set a bond amount within 24 to 48 hours of the arrest. Once bail has been set, the jail will release a person in custody as soon as the bond is posted. Generally, there are two types on bonds available to have someone released from jail, a cash bond or a surety bond.

Overall, Judges base the amount of bail on the type of charge, the alleged facts of the offense and a person’s criminal history. While bond amounts can vary based on the individual circumstances of a case, some counties, like Dallas County, have recommended bond schedules. Click Here for the Dallas County recommended bond schedule. However, it is important to note that these are merely recommended amounts and judges are not required to follow these numbers when setting bail.

What is the difference between a cash bond and a surety bond?

Generally speaking, you will always have the choice to post a cash bond in person or to hire a bail bond company to post a bond on your behalf. Of course, there are pros and cons with each type of bond.

  1. Cash Bonds

A cash bond requires payment of the full bond amount, in cash, to the county or city. First, to post a cash bond, take the required bond amount to the jail and make the necessary payment. Make sure to get a receipt! The advantage of posting a cash bond is that the county or city must return the full amount of the bond once the case is fully resolved, regardless of the outcome. However, cash bonds can be expensive and it is often difficult to come up with the full cash bond amount.

  1. Surety Bonds

If you are unable to post a cash bond, you can hire a bail bond company to post a surety bond on your behalf. Generally, bail bond companies will charge you 10% of the total bond amount to post a surety bond. Often, this amount is non-refundable and will not be returned to you when the case is resolved. Additionally, it is also very common for bonding companies to charge various extra fees for payment plans, the ability to check-in over the phone instead of in person and even just to stay on your bond. As a result, a surety bond can be very difficult and burdensome.

In either case, if you have any questions or concerns about posting a bond for you or a loved one, contact Haddad Law Firm today to discuss your options! Or give us a call at (469) 844-0008 to speak with an attorney regarding your case.

What do I do if I can’t afford to post a bond?

If you cannot afford the bail amount set on your case, you can hire a defense attorney to try and get the bond amount reduced or even waived. Technically, the purpose of bail is not to punish the person arrested, but to ensure that they return to court to resolve their pending charges. Accordingly, the law requires that judges take into consideration whether or not a person can afford the bail amount. However, most of the time a Judge will set bail according to a fixed schedule, regardless of an individual’s financial circumstances.

If you are trying to post a bond for someone in jail and cannot afford the current bond amount, contact Haddad Law Firm today for help getting the bond amount reduced or waived. You can also call our office at (469) 844-0008 to speak to an attorney about your case.

How do I get my cash bond money back?

If you, or someone on your behalf, posted a cash bond to secure your release from jail you are entitled to receive a refund from the county for the amount of the cash bond. Generally, the county will refund the amount of a cash bond once the pending case is completely resolved. In order to get a refund for a cash bond, the person who posted the bond must take their receipt for the cash bond to the County Clerk’s Office Criminal Division. Once the County Clerk’s Office processes the refund, you will receive a check in the mail in approximately 4 to 8 weeks. For more information on where the County Clerk’s Office is located or how to contact the office, click the link below:

However, if you do not have your receipt for the cash bond, you can get a new copy from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office located in the Frank Crowley Court Building. For the Sheriff’s Office location and contact information, click the link below:

Will I have to go back to jail?

Not surprisingly, this is the most common question clients ask. Although certain offenses do have mandatory jail time requirements, generally you will not have to go back to jail unless you choose to sit out your case. If you have been arrested for a criminal offense and are out on bond, you must comply with your conditions of bond to avoid going back to jail. In general, bond conditions commonly include:

  • Checking in with your bonding company or pre-trial release;
  • Going to your court dates;
  • No new arrests or offenses;
  • Not using drugs or alcohol;
  • Staying away from certain parties related to your case; or
  • Having an alcohol breath-testing machine installed in your vehicle

It is important to note, this is not an all-inclusive list of bond conditions and conditions may vary from case to case. However, if you do not know what your bond conditions are, contact Haddad Law Firm today to discuss your case before it’s too late!

How long can some be held in jail on an unfiled case?

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 17.151 addresses the issue of release from jail because of delay. Article 17.151 states: A defendant who is detained in jail pending trial of an accusation against him must be released either on personal bond or by reducing the amount of bail required, if the state is not ready for trial of the criminal action for which he is being detained within:

  1. 90 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a felony;
  2. 30 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment in jail for more than 180 days;
  3. 15 days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for 180 days or less; or
  4. five days from the commencement of his detention if he is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine only.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, the rule does not apply if you are serving a sentence for another offense, being detained for another pending charge, or are incompetent to stand trial. If you need help with someone being held in custody on an unfiled charge, contact Haddad Law Firm today to discuss your case before it’s too late!

Do I have outstanding tickets?

To find out if you have any outstanding tickets, you can check online at:

However, this website will only provide a list of any outstanding tickets. Otherwise, to find out more information about an individual citation, you will need to contact the specific municipal court directly.

Are there warrants for my tickets?

To find out if you have any outstanding tickets, you can check online at:

However, this website will only provide a list of any outstanding tickets. Otherwise, to find out more information about an individual citation you will need to contact the specific municipal court directly.

Is My Driver’s License Valid?

Being pulled over by the police is not the time you want to find out that your driver’s license is suspended or invalid. To check if your Texas driver’s license is valid, follow the link below:

Generally, the most common reasons for an invalid driver’s license are:

How do I pay my overdue surcharges?

If you owe surcharges, you can pay them online here:

Keep in mind that you must stay current on your surcharge payments if you do not pay them in full. In other words, making the minimum payment will only restore your license to valid status until the next surcharge payment is due.

Driver’s license surcharges add up fast and can become very overwhelming. If your license is invalid because of unpaid surcharges, you can apply to have those surcharges reduced or even waived. For more information, click the link below:

How can I update my Texas driver’s license?

It is important that you update your driver’s license if you have recently moved. Failure to update your license information within 30 days can result in an officer giving you a citation. Update or renew your driver’s license here:

Which class do I need to take for my case?

Generally, the class you need to complete depends on the type of charge you have pending. Here is a list of the most common classes required by the court:

  1. Drug Charges
  1. Drug Offender Education Program
  2. Substance Abuse Evaluation
  1. DWI / DUI – Driving While Intoxicated
  1. DWI Education Program
  2. Victim Impact Panel
  3. DWI Intervention for Repeat Offenders
  4. Alcohol Education for Minors
  1. Theft
  1. Anti-Theft Class / Theft Prevention Education Program
  1. Assault / Family Violence
  1. Anger Management
  2. BIPP – Batterer’s Intervention Protection Program
  3. Parenting Classes
Where can I do my community service hours?

Most courts allow you to do your community service hours at any non-profit / non-religious organization. You can download a time card to keep track of your community service hours here:

However, upon finishing your community service hours, it is best to get a letter of completion on company letterhead from the organization you volunteered with to provide to your attorney, probation officer or the court.

Will I have to take a drug test?

Drug tests, commonly referred to as UAs, may be required at any point in time while your case is pending. However, being able to provide a clean UA can help with getting your case dismissed or working out a better plea deal with prosecutors. It is always best to be prepared to provide a clean urine sample for a drug test while your case is pending.

What will happen if I don’t complete my requirements?

There are strict consequences for failing to complete classes, community service or any other conditions required by the court. If the conditions are a requirement for a plea agreement, failure to complete them may result in losing the plea deal offered to you. If you are on probation and do not complete the conditions of your probation, your probation may be revoked resulting in a warrant being issued for your arrest, jail time and a permanent conviction on your record.