The Job of a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Each criminal case is unique; there is no single solution that works for everyone accused of a crime. An effective and experienced criminal defense lawyer knows this, and helps you figure out the best solution in your case.
Remember this: The criminal justice system is incredibly complex. The United States Congress and the Texas legislature are constantly inventing new ways to allow police officers to charge people with crimes. Police officers may be less than honest in their reports and their testimony. Additionally, over the last couple of decades, appellate courts have chipped away at individual liberties, giving police officers tremendous power and discretion in deciding whether to arrest or not. You should not try to navigate the criminal justice system by yourself. Be wary of inexperienced lawyers. Although no honest lawyer will ever guarantee results, it is true you can improve your chances of a favorable resolution if you are represented by a criminal defense lawyer experienced in all aspects of criminal law.
Most people charged with a crime would rather not go to trial, if they have a choice. Occasionally, a well-prepared and experienced lawyer may be able convince the prosecutor or judge that a case should be dismissed without the need for trial. Sometimes plea agreements or plea bargains can be entered into resulting in less serious charges or lighter sentences. Plea bargains avoid the need of trial.
No matter how experienced or prepared a defense lawyer is, trial may be the only way to properly resolve your case. Good criminal lawyers work to resolve cases without a trial. But when the need arises, a good criminal defense lawyer knows how to battle in court when the prosecutors will not agree to a favorable plea bargain.
Juries can usually be trusted to reach the correct result in a case. But there are times that juries make mistakes. Over the last few years the news has reported about numerous people in Texas who have been freed from jail because juries made mistakes, or because police officers lied to get their way. These wrongful convictions sometimes occurred because the judge, the prosecutor, or the jury made a mistake. Some of these wrongful convictions also happened because the criminal defense lawyer at trial did an inadequate job. When these types of mistakes occur, an appeal to a higher court may be required. Experienced and effective criminal defense lawyers handle cases not only at the trial level, but also write briefs and argue in the appellate courts. By working in the appellate courts as well as trial courts, a good criminal defense lawyer is able to properly protect his client's rights.
If your case is resolved in your favor, there may be ways to help clean your record. Cleaning your record allows you to more effectively move on with your life. For juveniles, records can sometimes sealed, making them unavailable for the public to see. When adults have their cases dismissed, or if they are found not guilty at trial, they may be able to have their arrest records expunged. Having their records expunged means a person can legally say they have never been arrested. It wipes their record clean. There is also the possibility of "nondisclosure." Nondislosure may be available if you receive deferred adjudication probation in your case. It is important for a person to have a clean record to avoid the burden of a criminal charge their whole life. And if you are not a U.S. citizen, it is important to possibly avoid facing deportation. If you have any questions about your immigration status, it is important to check with a qualified immigration attorney immediately. Immigration laws are Draconian, and are only getting worse.
When consulting with me about your criminal case, I will honestly assess and evaluate your situation as best I can. If you hire me to defend you against criminal charges, I will do everything the law allows to try and resolve your case favorably for you. Keep in mind, there are some people in this world who will walk into court and do anything to get their way, including lying and cheating. It is my job as a criminal defense lawyer to protect my client from those people. Call me if you think I can help.