I Caught a Charge...what’s Next?
What will happen in my case?
Most Felony or Misdemeanor cases where charges have been filed take a similar path. After you are arrested, Article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states, you shall without unnecessary delay, but not later than 48 hours after the person is arrested, take the person arrested or have him taken before some magistrate of the county where the accused was arrested. The magistrate shall inform in clear language the person arrested, either in person or through a videoconference, of the accusation against him and of any affidavit filed therewith, of his right to retain counsel, of his right to remain silent, of his right to have an attorney present during any interview with peace officers or attorneys representing the state, of his right to terminate the interview at any time, and of his right to have an examining trial. The magistrate shall also inform the person arrested of the person's right to request the appointment of counsel if the person cannot afford counsel.
After appearing before the magistrate, a bond will be set in most cases. Once bond is made, you will have a court date in the court that will hear your case anywhere from a day to a couple weeks after you are released on bond. It is best to take this time to contact a lawyer you trust to handle your case, like Leo & Oginni Trial Lawyers at www.HelpIsHere.law. An attorney from Leo & Oginni will go to court with our clients and will speak on their behalf because we understand that everyone is not comfortable speaking to a judge or the prosecutor who is trying to put them in jail.
Next, we will speak with the prosecutors and find out what Misdemeanor or Felony was charged and what evidence they say they have against you. Our main goal at this point is to try and get your case dismissed. A Criminal Defense attorney from Leo & Oginni Trial Lawyers will find out if there is blood evidence in DWI cases, laboratory analysis in drug possession cases, video surveillance in theft or robbery cases, or multiple witnesses. The evidence gathering process can take a few months. An aggressive Criminal Defense attorney from a trusted law firm like Leo & Oginni Trial Lawyers will look at all the evidence in your felony or misdemeanor case and work hard to get faulty or illegally acquired evidence against you thrown out.
Will I have to go back to jail for DWI/DUI or Possession of Controlled Substance?
After the evidence is in, the State will usually make a plea bargain offer. Many times, the offer is not the maximum sentence possible, but it is rarely the minimum either. We will negotiate for you and present the facts in the best possible light to get the best deal we can for you. Each person who is accused, each set of facts, and each prosecutor are different, so there is no magic recipe for a plea deal or dismissal. It is always YOUR CHOICE whether to accept the State’s plea bargain offer or not. Every plea deal is different and many times there are options like deferred adjudication or probation to keep you out of jail.
How long does it take to get a trial date?
If the State will not give a reasonable offer that you will accept, we will be happy to set your case for trial. A trial date will generally be many months in the future. While we wait for your day in court, you will stay on bond just like you have been up to this point. At trial we will involve you in the jury selection process and listen to any concerns you might have about potential jurors. We will make the State call witnesses and present their evidence. Then we get our turn to cross examine the State’s witnesses and talk about the evidence. You do not have to take the witness stand at trial and we generally encourage you not to
The jury will begin their deliberation after both sides rest. If you are found Not-Guilty, then you will be free to go home with no conviction on your record. In the case the jury finds you Guilty, the sentencing phase will begin and we will argue to get the lowest sentence we can with no jail time if possible.
A date for trial may be set from a couple months to many months in the future, depending on the court and they specific type of criminal case.
If you are arrested or accused of a crime, Help Is Here! Leo & Oginni Trial Lawyers handles both misdemeanor and felony criminal defense cases involving drugs (Possession of Controlled Substance), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Assault, Theft, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV), Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (gang related), and more. Help Is Here!
Remember, the less you say to police the better chance you have of beating your case. Any statement you make will certainly be used against you. You cannot talk your way out of being arrested and the police are not your friend when you are suspected of a crime.
Can a police officer search my car or force me to talk to them?
Anything you give the police consent to do, like the search of your car or field sobriety tests, will certainly be used against you. You always have the right to tell the police, “I want to talk to my lawyer before I make any statements.” Know your rights, but more importantly, use your rights!
If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, visit Leo & Oginni Trial Lawyers online at www.helpishere.law or just give us a call at (713) 280-3204 and we will let you know how our Criminal Defense Attorneys can help!