Criminal Lawyer Stafford TX | Sugar Land Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges or accusations, are under investigation for a crime, or have been arrested for a crime, you may be anxious and confused as to ‘what’s next’. Because you generally only get one chance to defend yourself in court, the decisions you choose to make about your defense will likely affect the rest of your life.
Any criminal charge, no matter how minor, should be taken extremely seriously. I seriously encourage you to seek the help of a seasoned criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Avoid any attempt to be appointed a public defender and make sure that you choose a Stafford TX criminal defense lawyer whom you feel comfortable with.
The following is a brief outline of the criminal process in Texas, including Houston, Sugar Land, and its surrounding counties.
Criminal Offenses in the State of Texas
Typically criminal offenses fall into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Occasionally and depending on the circumstances of the case, a crime can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. This situation is referred to as a “wobbler.”
A Felony in Texas is a crime that is serious enough for you to spend one or more years in jail, depending on the degree of the felony.
A Misdemeanor in Texas is a crime less serious than a felony, punishable by no more than one year in jail. Within each misdemeanor classification vary degrees of severity and consequences. For example, a class C misdemeanor is punishable by fine only.
Before arresting any suspect, police officers generally must have a warrant. However, if there is probable cause that a suspect committed an offense, or an offense is committed in the presence of the officer, the officer does not need a warrant to make an arrest.
If you have been detained and the police officer clearly indicates that you are not free to leave, you could be under arrest. Even if the officer does not say ‘you are under arrest’ or restrain you with handcuffs, you can still be under arrest. Nevertheless, if you are questioned about your involvement in or knowledge of a crime, and the answers are going to be used against you in a court of law, those questions must be preceded by the Miranda warnings (‘You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney, etc.). If you state that you do not wish to answer the questions, the questioning must stop.
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