What Are The Common Types Of Criminal Cases That Your Firm Handles?
The cases we see the most are DWI cases, assault, family violence cases, and drug possession or drug distribution cases. We handle misdemeanor and felony case in all State and Federal Courts. We have experience handling everything from traffic offenses to death penalty defense in Federal court.
What Generally Happens After Someone Has Been Arrested In Texas?
At the time of the arrest the officer informs the accused of certain important rights – the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and the right to have an attorney present during any questioning. You must assert these rights at the time of the arrest.
Within 48 hours of arrest, the accused will be seen by a judge who will inform the accused of the charges he or she faces, if there is an affidavit supporting the charges and the judge or magistrate will ensure that the accused understand his or her rights.
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The judge will make sure that the accused understands his rights, including the right to have an attorney represent the accused and the right to have an attorney appointed to represent the accused if he or she cannot afford an attorney, the right to remain silent, and the right to an Examining Trial. (An examining trial is a hearing at which the court determined if there is sufficient probable cause to detain the accused.) If the court determines sufficient probable cause exists, then the court will set a bond sufficient to ensure the accused will appear for subsequent court appearances. In most cases, a person charged with a crime has the right to be released on reasonable bail.
If the accused cannot post the bail because it is too high he can file a motion with the court asking that the bail amount be reduced. In determining the bail, the court will consider the circumstances and the seriousness of the crime and the accused connections to the local community.
The prosecutor may then file charges. Charges are formally filed through an indictment, in the case of felonies, and through a complaint and information in the case of a misdemeanor.
Indictments are passed down by a grand jury if they determine that probable cause that a crime has been committed by the defendant, after evidence has been presented by the prosecuting attorney. If, at least, nine members of the grand jury do not believe probable cause exists then the grand jury “no bills” the case. The prosecuting attorney may present the case again later.
Once formal charges have been filed the court schedules an arraignment hearing. Much like the initial arraignment the court will give the defendant the charging instrument, either an indictment or information and complaint, will read the charges in open court and will ask for a plea from the defendant, either guilty or not guilty. Usually a plea of not guilty is entered and the case is set for a later date to allow the parties to prepare for trial.
After a sufficient time for the defendant to conduct his own investigation, which includes discovery of important documents and evidence in the possession of the prosecution, the defendant elects to enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution or take the case to trial.
How And When Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play In An Encounter With The Police?
You have the right to be advised of certain rights, otherwise known of as “Miranda” rights, named after the case which established the rights of the citizen to be informed of these rights. Miranda v. Arizona, 1969 U.S. LEXIS 1137, 396 U.S. 868, 90 S. Ct. 140, 24 L. Ed. 2d 122. The “Miranda” warning is generally as follows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
“Miranda” rights kick in once a person is no longer free to leave the encounter. A police officer can come up to you and just ask you questions. If he is not detaining you, then he doesn’t have to give you those warnings. However, there is enough uncertainty in criminal law that you shouldn’t depend on or wait for the officer to give you “Miranda” warnings. You have the right to remain silent even before he gives you the warnings and you should assert that right. Provide the officer with your identification and then you can assert your right not to say anything else and ask for an attorney.
What Happens Once I Am Released From Jail? How Often Do I Go To Court?
Once you’ve been arrested and released from jail, you will receive written communication from the court. In some cases, you will have already received this notice before you leave the jail. This notice tells you when you’re supposed to be back for your first court appearance. Depending on the jurisdiction, you usually will have to come back for an arraignment and for several settings to allow you or your attorney complete an investigation and time to obtain discovery from the prosecution or to work out a plea agreement with the prosecution. In some courts your attorney may appear on your behalf.
For more information on Common Types Of Criminal Cases In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (940) 440-5250 today.