Landing Yourself in Harris County Criminal Court
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense in Harris County, it is essential that you speak to a knowledgeable Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer as quickly as possible. Criminal convictions have many, many adverse consequences, aside from the more obvious ones like time behind bars and heavy fines and fees. Ending up in a Harris County Jail can be frightening in and of itself. Should you be sentenced to spend more time behind bars, your life would take a definite turn for the worse.
Not only would you be spending time in jail or prison (depending on the crime and the sentence), you would likely lose your job and since you would not be able to work and pay your bills, you could also lose your home. Once you have served your time, you may find that your Harris County Criminal Records make it extremely difficult to obtain employment, rent a home, or, in the case of more serious felony convictions, even vote, own a firearm or secure a professional license.
While there is a presumption of innocence in our criminal justice system, this is not always the case, and in the court of public opinion—as well as to the Harris County District Attorney and possibly even a jury of your peers—you may have already been judged guilty. There are a number of criminal offenses in Harris County which could result in time in a Harris County Criminal Court, and, in the event of a conviction, Harris County Jail.
Having an experienced Houston Criminal Attorney in your corner can make all the difference in the eventual outcome of your criminal charges. Sullo & Sullo has represented more than 250,000 clients since 2000, with more “not guilty” jury verdicts at the Houston Municipal Court than any other law firm in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. With twelve Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys and a twenty-five plus member staff to assist you, we handle most all criminal offenses, whether felonies or misdemeanors, including capital crimes and federal and state criminal appeals.
Your Houston Criminal Charges Begin with an Investigation - Should the police have reason to believe you committed a criminal offense, they will mount an investigation, during which time they will gather information, assess the facts, conduct interviews of any potential witnesses, and work to collect evidence to prove their suspicions. When the police feel they have sufficient evidence against you, they could ask for a warrant for your arrest. If you are arrested, you will be taken before a judge who will either grant or deny bail, depending on your prior criminal history as well as the criminal offense you are charged with. Having an experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston Criminal Defense Attorney by your side from the time you are charged with a criminal offense can truly make a difference in whether or not you will be required to remain in jail until your trial—which could be months or even a year.
What About a Plea Bargain? Your arraignment will be your first appearance in a Harris County Criminal Court. You will enter your plea of guilty or not guilty; if you enter a plea of not guilty (which is likely), you will then be required to appear at a preliminary hearing. At this time, the Harris County District Attorney will attempt to show there is sufficient evidence against you to proceed to trial. Having a Sullo & Sullo Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer by your side is extremely important during this stage of the process. Your attorney may argue there is insufficient evidence against you to merit going to trial and that your charges should be dropped. If probable cause is established, however, your Sullo & Sullo Houston Criminal Attorney may negotiate a plea bargain with the Harris County District Attorney to have some of your charges dropped against you or may advocate for a more moderate sentence for you in exchange for your guilty plea. Your Sullo & Sullo Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer will never make a plea unless you are on board and will never hesitate to take your case to trial, litigating aggressively for the best possible outcome.
What About Expungement? Expungement allows those with a criminal record to clean it up, so to speak, starting over with a clean slate. The criminal case is reopened, the conviction dismissed, and the case closed leaving a relatively clean record. Although the case record itself remains, the label of convicted felon no longer applies. Although every person convicted of a crime would probably love to have their criminal record expunged, only certain cases will qualify. Many times, certain crimes could be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor and the decision is left to the discretion of the prosecutor. Your Sullo & Sullo Houston Criminal Lawyer can help you determine whether your case is eligible for expunction.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost? You may be asking yourself “How much does a lawyer cost?” and that is an understandable worry. Yes, it does cost money to hire a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, however not hiring an attorney can have devastating, long-ranging consequences, so it is almost always a cost that is definitely worth it. Not all Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers are equally capable of mounting a successful criminal defense on your behalf; our attorneys know that the Harris County District Attorney will have a huge influence on the outcome of your case, and we are always mindful of that fact when going through the process.
At Sullo & Sullo, we have a goal of providing you with as much information as possible following your Houston criminal charges to reduce your levels of fear and anxiety. We want you to feel confident in your choice of a Sullo & Sullo Houston Criminal Lawyer and believe that the more you know about your charges and the potential outcomes, the more likely this will occur. At Sullo & Sullo we have many years of individual and combined experience in criminal defense law. This experience allows us to carefully craft the best legal approach for your specific charges and your specific circumstances.