The law firm of D. Miller & Associates, PLLC is prepared to assist you with criminal law matters. Our Texas criminal attorney will provide you with effective legal representation involving criminal law matters. See important information regarding important criminal law issues below.
An arrest occurs when the police take custody of a person upon suspicion of having committed a crime. A person can be arrested before or after a grand jury indictment. At the time of arrest, a person has to be informed of certain basic rights. Having a Texas criminal attorney at your side will help you in this process
Your Right to Remain Silent
Before the police ask any questions regarding the alleged crime, they must tell the suspect that he or she has the right to remain silent, that anything said can be used against the person in a court of criminal law, and that the person has a right to an attorney and that one will be provided if the person cannot afford one.
Usually within 48 hours after an arrest a person must be brought before a judge. Usually, this appearance is called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the person is informed of the proposed charges and the judge determines whether there is an adequate reason to formally charge the person with having committed a crime.
The judge will also usually set bail. Bail is the amount of money that a person must give to the court to be released before trial. The basic purpose of bail is to give the criminal defendant a strong incentive to show up for trial. If the criminal defendant flees or does not appear at the trial, the bail is forfeited.
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail. The amount of bail depends on the nature of the offense, the defendant’s prior criminal record, and the court’s assessment of the likelihood that the criminal defendant will flee or pose a continuing threat to the community.
In cases of excessive bail, our criminal law defense lawyers can assist you in efforts to reduce the bail amount. Hearings can be held in a local court or appealed to a higher court.
At the arraignment, or at a subsequent hearing, the criminal defendant is asked for an initial plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” If a criminal defendant pleads guilty, there is no criminal law trial and the criminal defendant will have a sentencing hearing where the judge will determine the appropriate punishment. In most criminal law cases, trials are avoided through a process called plea bargaining. The prosecutor offers the criminal defendant a compromise where the criminal defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a reduction of the charges or for a lessened sentence. Over 90% of all criminal law cases are resolved through guilty pleas. Plea bargaining can occur anytime before the trial begins and occasionally even during the trial itself. Someone that is accused of a crime should never accept a plea before contacting a licensed criminal law defense lawyer to review all of the ramifications the plea agreement entails.
At both the federal and state levels, prosecutors must disclose to your criminal attorney any evidence that would help the criminal defendant to establish his or her innocence. For example, if a prosecutor learns of a witness who can verify a criminal defendant’s alibi, the prosecutor must disclose this to the defense.
Criminal law cases rarely reach the trial stage but if a criminal case does, the criminal law defense lawyers at D. Miller and Associates, PLLC have the skill and ability to aggressively represent you. Our law firm knows that people who are accused of a crime are very worried about possible outcomes. In criminal law cases, the most valued right of all, freedom, is at stake. We know that when someone is accused of a crime, he or she requires quick and clear answers to legal questions. We also routinely arrange for a bail bond to be posted, or fight for a bail reduction so your loved one may be released while our criminal law defense lawyers defend the case.
If you are facing criminal charges or if you are under investigation, your legal situation is totally different from any other legal problem. With criminal law charges, the GOVERNMENT IS PROSECUTING YOU PERSONALLY! In other areas of law, the end result may involve payment of an amount of money. The amount determines “victory” or “defeat.” However, criminal law defense lawyers deal with legal matters involving a client’s personal future, whether it involves loss of freedom (i.e., jail or prison) or loss of a professional license (i.e. accountant, lawyer, or doctor).
Juvenile court is very different from adult court. Juvenile courts handle cases involving children under the age of 18. However, in cases involving a serious felony or violence, the court may decide to send the juvenile to adult court and try him as an adult. The decision to try the juvenile as an adult is left up to the prosecutor. The intent of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation as opposed to punishment in an effort to make the juvenile a well-adjusted and productive member of society. When a juvenile is accused of a crime it is considered an act of “delinquency” and juvenile court intervention is required to deal with this delinquency. Juvenile courts have their own special rules and procedures. For example, there are no jury trials in juvenile court and juveniles may not be released on bail.
What are the Consequences for Juvenile Crimes?
The consequences for juvenile crimes will depend on the seriousness of the crime and the background of the offender. The consequences include fines, treatment programs, detention, home arrest (electronic monitoring), formal/informal probation, community service, camp, and incarceration. A juvenile charged with a crime may hire a criminal law defense lawyer at any stage of his or her criminal case. Juveniles have a right to represent themselves but it is often a bad idea to do so. You should speak to a criminal defense lawyer to fully understand the criminal charges.
Do I Need a Texas Criminal Attorney?
If you are being charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense you should consult with a Texas criminal attorney. If you are facing an infraction, it may be safe to represent yourself because these are the least serious violations. Infractions, like those involving traffic laws, subject a person to nothing more than a monetary fine. However, be aware that some infractions, like traffic violations, could affect your driver’s license.
Misdemeanors and felonies could result in jail time and probation. Misdemeanors are generally regarded as less serious crimes, but nevertheless require an aggressive criminal law defense lawyer as they involve a potential jail sentence of up to 1 year in county jail. Felonies are the most serious category of crimes, carrying a potential state prison sentence. It is essential that you understand the seriousness of the charges, the consequences, and the possible defenses to the charges.
It is unlikely that the average person could represent himself or herself effectively in court against an experienced prosecutor. The prosecutor knows the law and is experienced in these matters. If you choose to represent yourself, you are on an uneven playing field and at a severe disadvantage. That is why you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer on these matters.
I Have Not Been Arrested, Accused or Charged During an Investigation. Do I Need an Attorney?
Be careful! Even though you are not accused or charged with a crime, you may be a suspect while law enforcement carries out their investigation. Yes, you should consult with a criminal law defense lawyer before making any statement to law enforcement. What you say, no matter how well intentioned, can be misinterpreted and may be used as evidence against you later.
Contact Our Criminal Attorneys Today
We are aggressive Texas criminal law defense lawyers who are prepared to challenge the police or prosecutors on tough cases. If you or someone you know is charged with a serious criminal offense, we will discuss the matter at no charge. Please use the contact form or call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Texas criminal law defense attorney. We will respond promptly to provide you with the criminal law defense you require.
It would be helpful if you could provide the following information (if known) about the person accused or arrested: full name, date of birth, day and evening telephone numbers, reason for arrest and charge, jail booking number, court case number, next court date, amount of bail, and whether bail has been posted.
If you have any questions or would like to speak directly to an experienced criminal law defense attorney regarding your criminal law matter call us toll-free at 1-855-PRO-LAWYERS. The Texas criminal law defense lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC will evaluate your criminal case to determine all of your legal options. Get a Texas criminal attorney to help your defense and D. Miller & Associates, PLLC will make your case the most important one we have.