What are my rights following an arrest in Texas?
Once you are arrested by a Texas law enforcement officer, you have three important rights. You have the right under the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution to remain silent so as to avoid self-incrimination. You also have the right to a phone call and the right to a Texas criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer, the court will appoint you a public defender.
What can I expect following a conviction for a felony or misdemeanor crime?
The outcomes of a conviction for a criminal charge vary depending on the nature of the crime, but generally include some combination of prison time and extensive fines. A felony conviction can compromise your ability to be gainfully employed following your release from jail. You can also expect to be prohibited from owning a firearm as well as voting. Other consequences of a criminal conviction may include parole, fines, electronic monitoring, or required attendance at counseling programs, especially if drunk driving, drugs, or violent crimes are involved.
Since the State of Texas has to provide me with a public defender, why should I bother hiring a criminal defense attorney?
An overworked public defender is no match for a dedicated Texas criminal defense attorney when it comes to protecting your rights in court. Public defenders often suggest that alleged offenders choose to get their charges reduced by pleading guilty to a lesser crime instead of fighting in court so as to avoid a time-consuming and expensive trial, even when their clients are completely innocent or when their arrest was illegal.
What is a plea bargain?
At your arraignment you have the opportunity to plead guilty to reduced charges. Even conviction of reduced criminal charges is accompanied by long jail sentences and heavy fines. It’s not always a bad idea to plead guilty to a lesser charge, but let your experienced criminal defense attorney tell you if it is for sure in your case.
What do I do if I believe that law enforcement officers violated my civil rights at the time of my arrest?
Tell a dedicated Texas criminal defense attorney about the circumstances of your arrest. If they police violated your rights, we can help you get your charges thrown out of court.
Do I need to have an attorney at all?
You may choose not to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney or other lawyer to represent you in court; however, the State of Texas will have an experienced prosecutor representing it against you. Hiring an aggressive criminal defense attorney is the best way to protect your rights, your freedom, and your wallet when facing criminal charges. It’s not sufficient to state in court that you are innocent, though you may well be. You are required to demonstrate your innocence to a jury at a trial, and can this can be a baffling experience for even the most eloquent of defendants. The prosecution depends on your ignorance of Texas criminal law to convict you.
How much does it cost to hire a criminal defense attorney in Texas?
It’s probably less expensive than you think, especially when compared to the extensive fines and fees associated with a conviction for a crime. Our initial consultation is free. We know what you are going through and we can help keep you out of jail. Call us today.