How to Know When You Need a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer - Many people feel that if the criminal offense they are charged with is relatively minor, they can skip calling a Houston criminal defense attorney. Others feel that even a felony charge may not necessarily dictate that a Houston criminal lawyer be contacted, as the negotiations will be fairly straightforward. In fact, it is imperative that you understand just how serious the consequences of your criminal offense charges can be. By consulting an experienced criminal lawyer in Houston, Texas as quickly as possible, you will be able to have your charges thoroughly assessed, and a “game plan” worked out as far as the best way to proceed. You may also be able to avoid Harris County criminal court records and time in a Harris County jail. Many Houston criminal attorneys specialize in certain offenses which can be a great benefit to you and your future.
What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do? A Houston criminal defense attorney will represent you if you are charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense or a felony criminal offense. A misdemeanor offense is less serious than a felony, but still serious, as you could face Harris County jail, significant fines and fees, and you could have the offense on your Harris County criminal records for all to see. A felony criminal offense is more serious—you could end up in prison for more than a year, for life, or you could even face the death penalty, depending on the offense.
A knowledgeable Houston criminal lawyer knows the criminal laws in the state of Texas, as well as the federal criminal laws pertaining to your criminal offense. Some common misdemeanor charges include: petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, reckless driving, trespass, vandalism and first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana and certain other drugs. Felony offenses can include: murder, attempted murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, treason, other sex crimes, aggravated battery, arson, certain types of fraud, possession of certain types of illegal drugs, grand larceny, grand theft and intent to distribute certain types of and quantities of illegal drugs.
How Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help? There are many different ways a Houston criminal defense lawyer will work on your behalf to lessen the potential negative consequences of your charges. Your Houston criminal defense lawyer is both a skilled negotiator and an aggressive, hard-hitting litigator when the situation warrants. A Houston criminal defense lawyer is the one person you can count on to defend your rights and your future. If he or she is unable to prove your innocence, then the strategy will likely be to reduce the charges or lessen the sentence. Your criminal lawyer in Houston, Texas can deal with the Harris County District Attorney on your behalf, likely with much better results.
Negotiating a felony charge down to a misdemeanor can make a huge difference in your sentence, or could, at a minimum, ensure you are placed at a better facility, or one closer to your family members. If the charges are a misdemeanor, your attorney will advocate for fines or community service over jail time. While there is never a guarantee that the outcome of your criminal charges will be favorable, it is essential that you have an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney by your side who has a thorough understanding of how the courts work.
According to the FBI, across the nation it was estimated that law enforcement made nearly 11 million arrests in 2016. About 515,000 of these arrests were for violent crimes, while nearly 1.4 million of the arrests were for property crimes. The highest number of criminal offense arrests were for drug violations (nearly 1.6 million). Overall, the arrest rate for the U.S. in 2016 was 3,298.5 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants, with the arrest rate for violent crimes (murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) at about 160 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2016, nearly 70 percent of all those arrested were white, about 26 percent were black, and the remainder were other races. No one ever thinks the day will come when they are forced to call a criminal defense lawyer, however that day does come for many adults living in the United States as well as for those in the Houston area. In fact, the state of Texas reports over a million crimes annually.
Don’t Navigate the Texas Criminal Justice System Alone - When you look at these statistics you can see that you could easily be one of the unfortunate people who have criminal charges leveled against them and desperately need the services of a Houston criminal law attorney. Maybe you committed the crime, maybe you are completely innocent or maybe there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the crime. Whatever your situation, the Texas criminal justice system can be a very frightening place to be on your own. Further, criminal law is a highly specialized area of the law. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense you certainly want a knowledgeable Houston criminal defense lawyer from Sullo & Sullo by your side from start to finish.
Why You Are at a Disadvantage in the Court Systems - Literally thousands of people are convicted ever single year of crimes they did not commit. Our current justice system puts any person accused of a crime at a distinct disadvantage as they face a state prosecutor with nearly unlimited resources and a jury which is quick to presume guilt. Few defendants walk into a courtroom with a level playing field and the only way you can increase the odds that your future will not be forever altered is by ensuring you have a Harris County law firm with a solid reputation firmly in your corner. Whatever the crime you are charged with, your Houston criminal defense attorney must have the aggressiveness and skill-set necessary to determine the best defense and minimize the damage to your life and your future. Some of the criminal offenses a person can be charged with include:
- Murder and attempted murder
- Assault and battery
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Robbery, burglary, or theft
- Sex crimes
- White collar crimes
- Other violent crimes
Why You Must Act Quickly When Charges are Filed - There will come a point when you will have a bail hearing and a judge will decide whether you will be allowed to post a bond and be released until your trial or, bail could be refused and you could end up in jail for a very long time until your trial begins. Having a Houston criminal defense attorney who is highly experienced in criminal law by your side at your bail hearing could very well make the difference in whether you are released at this time. For the best criminal defense attorney who will work hard to help you avoid Texas criminal records and Harris County Jail, contact a Houston criminal lawyer today.