Houston Criminal Charges: FAQs
Answers to Common Questions About Criminal Charges in Houston
What should I do if I am called in for questioning in a criminal case?
Most people respect law enforcement and are willing to help in a criminal case. When asked to answer questions about an ongoing investigation, it may not be immediately clear that the police or other investigator is actually fishing for information about you and your own involvement in the case. It is never a wise decision to answer questions about a criminal case without your attorney present.
You have the right to refuse to answer these questions - you are not under arrest. There are various tactics used to try to get you to engage in answering questions, including threats, lies, or a very friendly approach. In any case, get a Houston criminal lawyer representing you immediately if you are being asked to answer questions about a criminal investigation.
How do I choose the best criminal defense lawyer?
Attorneys have varying levels of skill, as do all professionals. Some lawyers are fairly inexperienced in criminal trials, and tend to seek a plea bargain rather than the engage in the intensive work necessary to craft a compelling defense case. It is vital that your attorney is a trial lawyer with extensive trial experience, and the ability to present a well-crafted, cohesive defense case, fully supported by evidence and witness testimony, that is arranged in a manner that has the best chance of success when presented to a jury.
The ability to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney is equally critical - certain issues could allow for a reduced charge or sentence. All of these matters require experience and skill and a high level of negotiating ability. Look for an experienced trial lawyer that will give you straight answers about your case, will not make false promises, and is willing to dedicate the time and effort to your case. Call our firm.
Will the Houston criminal defense lawyer I choose really make a difference to my case?
All of those who work within the criminal justice system in Texas know that the quality of the attorney representing the accused is the most critical factor in the outcome of a criminal trial. Whether you are guilty, innocent, there were mitigating circumstances or any other factor, the attorney you choose can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Innocent people serve time.
Why? Either the person had a lawyer that failed to present a case that planted reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors, or could have even advised the defendant to take a plea - even when the person had not involvement and had not committed the crime. It is possible to get railroaded. Don't take chances in the Houston criminal courts. Get a true legal professional on your side. Call our firm, Guy L. Womack & Associates, P.C. for assistance immediately if you are under investigation or have been arrested and charged.
I have been arrested and charged. What happens next?
Every criminal case goes through specific procedures. The first step after an arrest is booking. You will be fingerprinted and your personal items taken from you and logged. Usually the accused is then placed in a holding cell awaiting transfer to another facility. You have not yet been formally charged. This takes place in front of a judge, and is called the arraignment. You then have the opportunity to seek release from custody on your own recognizance or through a bail bond.
The amount of the bail is an important matter, as if you or your family cannot come up with enough for bail, you will remain in custody until your trial. Your attorney negotiates this matter, and it is advised that you never appear in court for any reason without an attorney - a good one. There is then a preliminary hearing, then trial. If you are convicted, then the process moves forward to sentencing, including jail or prison time, probation and fines. You also have the right to appeal, but a short period of time in which to do so.
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