The Texas Criminal Process must not be taken lightly. If you have recently been charged with a crime in Fort Worth, you need a find a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. It is absolutely crucial for individuals to find legal representation quickly. You cannot risk hiring an attorney “later”, as this will put you in jeopardy of going through a crucial aspect of your case without any sort of legal expert on your side.
Texas Criminal Process Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX
- Bond Hearing
- Defenses To Criminal Charges
- Failure To Issue Miranda Rights
- First Appearance
- Intoxication Defense
- Preliminary Hearing
- Police Investigations
- Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement
The Texas criminal process can absolutely break you if you have no idea what you’re up against. Statutes, penal codes, and legal defense can all be complex topics to those who are not experienced in law. To hire the best Fort Worth criminal defense attorney, call the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (817) 422-5350 today. Our team of in-house legal experts is familiar with the Texas and Fort Worth criminal process, and we are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients.
An arrest warrant is a court order that is signed by a judge, giving law enforcement and police officers the legal right to arrest someone for allegedly committing a crime. To sign and issue an arrest warrant, the judge must be provided an affidavit that shows there is probable cause to believe the person listed on the arrest warrant is guilty of committing a crime. If you were arrested without probable cause, or you have a warrant out for your arrest currently, you must contact a Tarrant County criminal defense lawyer.
Once an individual is arrested for allegedly committing a crime, they are held in custody while they await their trial. However, in most circumstances, the judge will allow the individual to be released on bond as long as they agree to come back to court at a later date. If the judge does not grant the bond, the individual will be held in jail until the conclusion of the case.
Different types of bonds include:
- Personal Recognizance Bond – a bond granted to individuals that does not involve payment. Typically reserved for less serious offenses, this bond allows the defendant to be released, contingent on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
- Cash Bond – a bond that requires alleged to pay the full amount of bail before they are released. The money is held by the court and returned to the defendant once they complete their scheduled court date.
- Ten Percent Bond – A bond that grants an individual release after paying 10% of the bail. Like Personal Recognizance, this bond requires the individual to promise to appear in court at a later date, or, pay the remaining 90% of the bail.
- Surety Bond – This bond allows third parties to take control and responsibility for the bail amount, promising to pay if the defendant does not show up. Commonly offered by bondsman companies, this type of bond can also be used by friends and family.
Defenses To Criminal Charges
As a defendant, you have the right to defend yourself in a court of law. If you feel as though your charge is mishandled and you’re ready to fight against it, there are many possible defenses you may use.
Possible defenses to criminal responsibility include:
- Mistake of fact
- Mistake of law
- Age affecting criminal responsibility
- A child with mental illness, disability, or lack of capacity
The criminal process can feel like a nightmare if you simply do not have the right experts around you. If you’re recently been charged or arrested, you may be wondering what is going to come next. While no guarantees can be made, you may be able to defend yourself in court by calling our law firm. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is here to help you with legal troubles, and we’re ready to learn more about your circumstance. Call us today to learn more about our law firm and our experience with cases similar to yours.
Also known as coercion, duress occurs when an individual commits an action or crime solely due to a direct threat of violence. A person who acts under duress is unable to act under their free will, which means
Duress can be used to free oneself from criminal responsibility if it includes the following elements:
- The threat must be of death or serious bodily injury;
- The threatened harm must be greater than the harm caused by the crime;
- The threat must be immediate and inescapable; and
- The defendant must have become involved in the situation through no fault of their own.
Entrapment occurs when a law enforcement member persuades, coerces, or threatens a citizen into committing a crime. This is much like duress, but unlike its counterpart, entrapment only applies to law enforcement officials. To use entrapment as a defense, you must be able to prove that a law enforcement officer took drastic measures to coerce you into engaging in illegal activities.
Failure To Issue Miranda Rights
Miranda Rights are in place to protect citizens who are under arrest.
A law enforcement officer must issue Miranda Warnings and read rights to individuals upon making the arrest. Miranda Rights include the following points:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot hire an attorney, you have the right to have an attorney appointed.
Police officers do not have to recite these rights the very moment they approach you, but after arresting you (and before questioning you) they must let you know what your rights are. If they fail to do that, any evidence gathered afterward may be deemed inadmissible once your trial begins.
Individuals must see a judge after being arrested. While this usually only takes 24-48 hours, it can take longer if said individual is arrested on a weekend or holiday.
This is a hugely critical aspect of the criminal process. During your first appearance, the judge will make a note of who your defense attorney is, and will appoint one for you if you cannot afford to hire one yourself.
You will not have the right to choose your attorney. As a result, you do not have the opportunity to interview potential lawyers and ask them about their track records in dealing with cases similar to yours. This is why it is always best to hire your own criminal defense attorney.
Involuntary intoxication (or involuntary consumption) is a viable defense for defendants who have been arrested for a crime such as public intoxication. For an involuntary intoxication defense to succeed, it must meet the following criteria:
- The defendant was not voluntarily intoxicated.
- The defendant experienced temporary insanity as a result of involuntary intoxication.
If the involuntary intoxication defense is successful in court, the individual who caused the intoxication to take place may face future criminal charges.
Voluntary intoxication applies to individuals who purposely consume drugs and/or alcohol to the point of intoxication. Can you get drunk, commit a crime, and still escape culpability? Section 8.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code provides a clear answer: no. In the state of Texas, it is simply not possible to defend against criminal charges using a voluntary intoxication defense.
Preliminary Hearing in Texas
Following the first appearance in court, the arrested individual will then move on to a preliminary hearing, typically within two weeks of their initial court appearance. As another critical step in the criminal process, it is so, so important to have a lawyer on your side during this time.
During preliminary hearings, the prosecution will try to demonstrate that they have enough evidence to prove that a crime has taken place and you are the one who committed it. If they are successful, the case will move to trial, and if they are not, the case will be dismissed.
The judge will hear from both sides, which means that you must be ready to defend yourself once your court date arrives. The best way to do that is by hiring a defense attorney and working with them to understand your case. Preliminary hearings are perhaps the most pivotal moment in the Texas criminal process, and as a result, you must make sure your legal team is in place before the hearing takes place.
Find A Tarrant County Texas Criminal Process Defense Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy have the experience and toughness you need during this trying time in your life. If you have recently gone through an arrest and ensuing criminal charges, it’s time to hire a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Richard McConathy and his team of litigation experts have the experience you need to build a strong defense. Before things get any worse, contact our office. Open 5 days a week, we offer new clients free, no-obligation consultations during their initial phone calls. Our law firm is ready to help you retain your freedom. Contact us at (817) 422-5350 today for more information.
No, anything resulting in a finial conviction cannot be expunge.
With higher crimes you may have a cooling off period after being released from probation anywhere from 2-5 years for said release date.
Unless the dismissal is with prejudice, no petition for expungement will be accepted until the statue of limitations has run on your charge. The range of wait time can be anywhere from 2 years to 5 years from the date of arrest depending on the original charge. Unfortunately, certain criminal charges (murder) have no statute of limitation or extremely long periods (Sexual assault of a child).
A petition for expungement or non-disclosure is a claim that must be brought by you. Until you file for a request to expunge or non-disclose and it is granted by a judge the case will stay on your record.