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Crenshaw & Purvis FAQs

Answered By Our Attorneys in Brazoria County

This section is for general information only. It is not intended to substitute for professional legal advice. Always contact a licensed attorney for advice regarding your specific legal problems.

  • Who are Crenshaw & Purvis?
    Steve Crenshaw and Jeff Purvis are lawyers licensed by the State Bar of Texas to practice in all courts in the state of Texas and who live and maintain offices in Brazoria County, Texas.
  • What is Crenshaw & Purvis?
    We are a partnership of lawyers that has been in business since March of 2004. We are dedicated to representing those citizens accused of crimes, who have been injured through the negligence of others, and to protecting the rights of parents and divorced couples.
  • Where is Crenshaw & Purvis located?
    We have maintained an office in Angleton, Texas (the seat of government for Brazoria County) for over a decade. Our address and a map to our location can be found here.
  • Is it better to hire a local lawyer or one from out of town?
    We always recommend you hire a lawyer who knows the lay of the land. Every county has their own way of doing things, and every judge has his or her own preferences. It’s better to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the peculiarities of the particular court where your case is pending.
  • What counties do you handle cases in?
    We practice almost entirely in Brazoria County, although we will go to other counties for repeat clients, clients with multiple cases, or in other rare instances.
  • Will you refer the case out? Will you be in court with me?
    If you hire Crenshaw & Purvis, you get Crenshaw & Purvis. We will be your lawyers and we will be there for you. By focusing our practice on Brazoria County, we rarely have to ask other lawyers to stand in. There are many out-of-town lawyers who spread themselves too thin and constantly ask other lawyers to “cover” their cases. It can be very disconcerting to a client to never know who will show up. We won’t do this to you.
  • What do you charge for a …?
    This is by far the most common question we are asked. It can be frustrating to hear that we need to know more about your case first. But, lawyers who set their fees before meeting you and hearing the details of your case can either predict the future or don’t really plan on providing the personal service you deserve. Also, we have never met a lawyer who can predict the future. Do you really want a one-size-fits-all fee? Call us for a consultation, and we will discuss what it will cost to handle your case the way it deserves to be handled.
  • Do you charge a consultation fee?

    We never charge a consultation fee for personal injury cases.

    We always charge a $200.00 consultation fee for a one-hour family law consultation. That fee will be credited to your attorney’s fees if you decide to hire us.

    We do not charge a consultation fee on criminal cases unless you need an appointment after hours or at the jail. We do charge $200.00 to meet with you outside of business hours or at the jail, which will be credited to your attorney’s fees if you decide to hire us.

  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    Cash, checks, and most major credit cards.
  • How do your fees work?

    On personal injury cases, we never charge a fee unless we recover for you. Our fees and expenses will only be taken out of the money we get for you from the responsible party.

    On criminal defense cases, we charge a flat fee. (See the criminal defense FAQ section for additional information about fees on criminal cases)

    On family law cases, we bill by the hour. (See the family law FAQ section for additional information about family law fees)

  • Do you offer a money back guarantee?
    No. Because the State Bar forbids lawyers from guaranteeing a result, we cannot promise a particular outcome.
  • Why do you charge so much more/less than other attorneys?
    We have over 60 years combined experience. We believe we charge a reasonable rate given the high quality of work we will perform for you. We do not offer “discount” rates nor do we take cases expecting to do a minimum amount of work. We intend to do everything we can to get you the best result for your case, and we expect to be paid for that work just like any other service professional. On the other hand, some lawyers charge exorbitant fees by making unrealistic promises that they cannot deliver. Be careful of lawyers who charge very high rates and guarantee success. These lawyers are often just telling you what you want to hear in order to get your hard-earned money.
  • How do I make an appointment?
    Crenshaw & Purvis is a fully-staffed, professional law office. You can call anytime during business hours and ask for an appointment. Depending on your particular situation, the staff may make you an appointment or may have one of our attorneys return your call for a brief phone consultation before making the appointment.
  • Do you make weekend or after-hours appointments?
    Yes, but we ask that you pay a $200.00 consultation fee in advance.
  • Can I just meet you in court?
    We really don’t like to do business that way. We would prefer to meet with you ahead of time so we can both be prepared for court.
  • How long will my appointment last?
    Most appointments take a half hour or less, but we will gladly visit with you for up to one hour at the time of your initial consultation.
  • I have a warrant out for my arrest, what should I do?
    Come see us immediately. We can often arrange a time for you to surrender yourself so that you are not arrested at work or in the middle of the night.
  • But I’m innocent, can’t the warrant be recalled? Do I have to be arrested?

    Once a warrant is issued, it cannot be recalled unless there is an obvious mistake (like mistaken identity).

    You will have to arrange to turn yourself in before we can begin to negotiate your case.

  • Why do I need a lawyer if I’m innocent?
    I tell people all the time that it’s easy to represent guilty people; it’s the innocent ones that I really have to fight for.
  • Why do I need a lawyer if the other side dropped charges?
    “Prosecuting” attorneys for the state are called that for a reason. They are not called “dismissing” attorneys. They believe that everyone who comes into court is guilty. You will need a lawyer to force them to do the right thing.
  • Can’t I just go tell my side of the story to the police or prosecutor?
    This is the biggest mistake you will ever make. You will NOT be able to convince the DA or police to drop charges no matter what kind of story you tell or evidence you have. Think of it as a poker game. Do you really want to lay your cards on the table before you know what the other side is holding? Come in and hire Crenshaw & Purvis so we can investigate your case and defend it the right way.
  • Do you handle traffic tickets?
    Only in rare circumstances. Please feel free to call and inquire about your particular situation.
  • Do you take payment plans on criminal cases?
    Yes. But your entire fee must be paid before the case is resolved. The sooner you come in, the longer we have to work with you. If you wait until the last minute to come see us, there will be no time for a payment plan.
  • Will you charge me more every time we go to court?
    No. We charge one flat fee. Lawyers who charge “per appearance” are worried about not having to come back, not about getting your case done right no matter how many trips to the courthouse it takes.
  • Does my fee include trial?
    Most of the time. We want you to know up front that we are there for you all the way to the end. By including the cost of trial in our fee, you are never put in the position of being forced to “plead out” just because you can’t afford to call the DA’s bluff and go to trial. However, for very serious cases like sexual assault, murder, or white collar crime, we often cannot estimate a trial fee until after we are involved in the case. Your contract will clearly state that the fee we agree on either does or does not include the trial fee.
  • If I pay enough money, can you make the case “go away”?
    No. People accused of a crime often want to believe that justice can be bought. Thus, some unscrupulous lawyers will try to get you to pay very high fees by promising just that. However, that is simply not how things work.
  • Several of us were arrested for the same thing, can you represent all of us?
    Although the State Bar will allow lawyers to represent multiple co-defendants, we never have. It is very difficult for one lawyer to look out for the best interests of everyone involved. We highly recommend each defendant hire his or her own lawyer.
  • What is your win-loss record/dismissal rate/verdict rate, etc?

    If you really want the truth about any lawyer practicing in Brazoria County, you can search his or her cases here:

    http://publicbrazoriacounty.com/PublicAccess/Search.aspxID=100&NodeID=100,110,200,210,120,130,140,220,230,240,250&NodeDesc=All%20Courts

    But the better answer is that a lawyer’s “record” rarely has anything to do with his or her competence.

    You may have seen advertisements from lawyers where they give a representative list of dismissals or reductions. But, what if they only achieved that favorable result because they sold their client down the river on a more serious charge? If a defendant is caught with marijuana AND methamphetamine, and their lawyer gets a dismissal on the marijuana charge only because their client took five years in the pen on the meth charge, does it really seem fair to brag about the dismissal?

    In addition, the best lawyers often get the worst cases. Prior to his death, Stan Magee was one of the finest defense lawyers in Brazoria County, probably in all of Texas. But, his name was often in the paper because his clients were always getting lots of time in prison. Truthfully though, the judges often assigned Stan to work on the most serious, complicated, and hopeless cases because justice demands competent counsel. Nobody wants to try a horrific case twice, so by assigning a good lawyer, the judges know it will be defended the right way the first time. Unfortunately, that meant that Stan was often assigned to “losing” cases.

    In short, we are confident enough in our “record” to provide you a link where you can search all of our results and see for yourself. But more importantly, we know that no lawyer will provide you with a more personalized defense than the one we provide.

  • Are court appointed lawyers any good? What is the “lawyer of the day”?

    The biggest drawback to a court-appointed lawyer is that you do not get to choose your lawyer. The person selected for you may be dozens of miles away, or simply not someone you are comfortable with.

    You cannot fire your court-appointed lawyer and get a new one. You are stuck with whomever the court chooses for you. The “lawyer for the day” is something else entirely. This person is NOT your lawyer.

    Instead, it is often an inexperienced lawyer who stands in the hallway and offers advice based on a quick look at your file and a few minutes to hear your story. They are hired by your judge to try to move cases off the docket. Because these lawyers do NOT represent you and seek to help the judge by pleading out cases, there is often a conflict between what is best for you and their desire to keep the judges happy by getting you to plead out. We NEVER recommend using the “lawyer for the day”.

  • How do I get an Occupational Driver’s License? Is there a form somewhere?
    There are no official forms for an ODL. You can find some online or in the library; however, we often see people waste their time and money only to make a mistake or use the wrong form and NOT be granted a license. Would you pull your own tooth or repair your own TV? Then you probably shouldn’t try to get your own ODL.
  • I went to court today and the DA made me an offer. How do I know if it’s any good?
    You don’t, and neither will a lawyer until he or she has looked into your case. One of the most important reasons to hire a lawyer is to make sure that you are getting a fair deal.
  • Can I get my record erased/expunged/cleared/sealed?
    Maybe. The law surrounding expunctions and sealed records is far too complicated to answer here. We will need some information about your particular case. Contact us for a free consultation. One of our lawyers will return your call and let you know if you qualify. In some instances, we will need to go to the courthouse and pull your old records out of archives. If that is the case, we will charge a research fee, which will need to be paid in advance.
  • Can I sue the police/victim for wrongful prosecution?
    Sometimes, but we do not recommend doing so until your criminal case is dismissed. Trying to file a claim now will make it impossible to get your case dismissed. After we have handled your criminal case, we can refer you to a civil lawyer to file a lawsuit if appropriate
  • I was hurt, do I have a lawsuit?
    If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you do have a claim. Make an appointment today for a free consultation to discuss your recovery.
  • The insurance company says they want to settle, why do I need a lawyer?
    Insurance companies are in business to make money. They don’t do that by paying money. Regardless of how friendly the insurance company seems now, they will use every trick in the book to avoid paying you what you have coming.
  • Should I go see a doctor first?

    You do not HAVE to see a doctor before you come see us, but your health is the most important thing.

    Do not wait. If you are sick or hurt, see a doctor right away.

  • My insurance company wants a statement. Is it okay to tell them what happened?
    You will have to cooperate with your insurance company, but you should see a lawyer before making any kind of statement.
  • What other information can you provide regarding personal injury fees and payments?

    Fees

    Defending you is important enough to us that we want you to come in as soon as possible. Like it or not, you need our advice and we’re willing to see you at an initial consultation for free because it’s that important that you get that advice now!

    The total fee to represent you will be determined after we’ve had a chance to meet and learn about your case. Be wary of any lawyer who quotes a small fee without knowing any of the facts. A lawyer who quotes a fee before knowing how much work is involved is a lawyer who doesn’t plan on doing much work. If you’ve received fee quotes in the mail from lawyers you’ve never met, should you really expect that lawyer to take your case seriously?

    Guarantees

    The State Bar of Texas prohibits lawyers from making guarantees. When you meet with us, we give you our best prediction of the outcome of your case based on our decades of experience. If any lawyer has promised you results, then they have already violated their ethical duty to you. No lawyer can predict the future.

    What we can guarantee is that the lawyers and staff at Crenshaw & Purvis really will care about you and your case. We will use every weapon at our disposal to defend you.

  • Do you require a retainer for family law cases?
    Yes. Depending on the complexity of your case, we will ask for a retainer to be paid before we begin work. This retainer is deposited into a trust account for your benefit. As we work on the case, we will bill our hourly rate against the retainer. If our work on the case exceeds the amount you have deposited with us, then you will receive a bill for the balance. If there is money left over, it will be refunded to you.
  • Can you represent me and my spouse or significant other?
    The State Bar of Texas DOES allow lawyers to represent adverse parties if both sides agree; however, we highly recommend each party have his or her own lawyer. We only represent both parties in very rare instances.
  • Why do I need a lawyer if our divorce is “uncontested"?
    There is a reason divorce decrees average over 30 pages in length. There are many pitfalls that you probably haven’t considered. There used to be an old Fram oil filter commercial that said, “you can pay me now or pay a whole lot later”. You should always hire a lawyer to make sure that your decree addresses any future problems, or you will find yourself back in court later paying much more for the mistakes you made the first time around.
  • How much for an “agreed” divorce?
    We very rarely see any divorce that is agreed upon in every respect. We will ask for a retainer just like any other contested divorce. If it truly is agreed, and little work is done, some of your retainer may be returned to you.
  • Can he/she take my kids?
    This is a very common threat made to scare you into settling. Absent abuse or neglect, no parent cannot take the kids from the other.
  • I am afraid to leave my children with their father/mother, can I limit their visitation?
    Yes. If there is good reason to believe that your spouse will expose your children to abuse or neglect, we can petition the court to only allow visitation in a public place or when supervised by someone of your choosing.
  • Can I keep our kids away from my spouse's new bf/gf?
    Yes. We commonly restrict how much contact your children have with your spouse’s significant other.
  • How much child support do I have to pay/will I receive?

    Child support is based on income. Call us for a consultation to discuss the amount of child support you can expect to pay or receive.

  • Can I increase/decrease child support?
    Depending on how much time has passed since your custody order and how much the situation has changed, we can increase or decrease the amount paid.
  • Can I get alimony/spousal support?

    Temporary spousal support is available if you earn less than your spouse. In some cases, permanent alimony can also be awarded as part of your divorce.

  • Can I make him/her pay my attorney’s fees?
    Yes. But we will ask you to pay our fee up front, and we will attempt to get attorney’s fees reimbursed as part of your settlement. However, the State Bar prohibits us from taking a family case on a contingent fee.
  • How can I make sure he supports his/her kids?
    We always make sure that the judge orders your spouse’s employer to deduct child support directly from their check. That way, you are certain to receive your child support first.