Criminal Defense Attorneys
Our Houston criminal defense attorneys are ready to help, no matter the charged offense. We protect your rights and aggressively fight for you at trial. Whether it be a misdemeanor such as DWI defense, assault defense, or theft defense, or a felony charge such as sex crimes defense, robbery defense, and aggravated assault defense, we are prepared to craft a comprehensive defense plan to fight your case at trial. Our office serves clients throughout Texas, including Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Nueces County, Bexar County, and Hays County.
We work tirelessly to provide you peace of mind, so that you have confidence knowing that your case is in excellent hands. We are prepared to take on your case no matter it's posture, new or old. We will make sure that you understand each phase of your case and properly explain to you the steps we need to take to get you the best end result. Call our office today so we can get to work and fight for you in court.
Process Of A Criminal Case
Every case is unique and requires special attention and a creative defense scheme. How much your case will cost to fight is a determination that can only be made after a full and complete case evaluation. Please review the following considerations and call our office if you have any questions.
Most cases begin with an arrest which is often the most stressful time of an individual's life. There are several ways that an officer may legally arrest you. For example, law enforcement may arrest you if they have a warrant, or if they have probable cause that a crime is being committed. There are, however, ways to fight and show that your arrest was unlawful or that law enforcement lacked probable cause for the charges brought against you.
Once you are arrested, you will be held in the county jail until you have your day in court, or you will have to make bail. Bail will generally be set by the county bail schedule. The amount of your bail will depend on the severity of what you are charged with. For example, the bail amount for the offense of possession of a controlled substance would be significantly less than the bail amount for the offense of murder. If you cannot afford the bail amount set by the judge, you will then have to have what is called a “Writ” hearing to lower your bail. You will present evidence at the Writ hearing to show the judge what a reasonable amount of bail that you can make. If you get a reasonable bail, you will generally have to pay 10% of the bail to get out of jail if you use a bail bondsman.
3. Plea Of Not Guilty
If you are charged with a crime, you have two options: plea guilty or not guilty. A not guilty plea means that you are going to trial to present your case to a jury of 6 people if it is a misdemeanor, or 12 people if it is a felony.
It is the state's burden to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anything less should result in not guilty. If you choose to take your case to trial, you should expect misdemeanor offenses to take around a year, and more serious felonies to take at least a year and a half or more before completion.
Three Phases of Your Case:
During this phase we conduct our own investigation, examine evidence, issue subpoenas, obtain affidavits, visit the crime scene, speak to witnesses, and do everything in our power to put us in the best position to win. We have an in-house investigation team that works tirelessly to fight for you and bring to light the best evidence in your case.Guilt / Innocence
During this phase, we pick a jury and present your case. Again, the state carries the burden of proving every single element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This phase of the trial comprises voir dire, opening statements, directs examination, cross-examination, and closing arguments. Some misdemeanors may last a few days, while other serious offenses may last a week or longer.
The punishment phase is only necessary if you are found guilty. The punishment phase is its own mini trial within a trial. Here, we will present evidence about your punishment attempting to persuade either the judge or the jury to give you the least amount of punishment possible. During this phase, our in-house investigation team will have provided the defense team with the best mitigating evidence for your case.
4. Plea Of Guilty
A straight plea comes with a final conviction and it will follow you forever. You will plead guilty, the judge will find you guilty, and then we will move on to the “punishment” phase of the process. After your guilty plea, the judge or jury will determine the penalty—jail, probation, and/or costs.
Some offenses allow for what is called deferred adjudication. If accepted, you will enter a plea of guilty, but the judge will not find you guilty. The judge will “defer” a finding of guilt and place conditions on you that are similar probation. Common conditions include classes, community service, fines, drug tests, restitution, or any other conditions that the judge feels necessary.
A pre-trial intervention can be extremely beneficial to those who qualify for it. This option is generally only offered to first time offenders and other select individuals. It will all depend on the specific facts and circumstances of what you are charged with. In a pre-trial intervention, you never have to enter a plea of guilty, you only have to admit guilt.
Unlike deferred adjudication, if you mess up while on a pre-trial intervention program you will basically be able to press a reset button. You will start back on square one and may fight your case as if you would have from the beginning. However, because you admitted guilt in order to apply and be approved for the program, that admission can and will likely be used against you in future proceedings.