Overview of the Criminal Process in Texas
Being accused of a crime is stressful, frightening, and confusing. Even if you haven’t been arrested just yet, it is imperative you take immediate action. You do not want to fall behind law enforcement or the prosecution in defending your case. The sooner you get started building a defense against your criminal charge alongside an experienced attorney, the easier it will be to protect yourself and your rights. Here, our Galveston, TX defense attorney provides an overview of how criminal cases start in Texas.
Understanding the Early Stages of the Criminal Defense Process in Texas
- Investigation (Probable Cause)
Before you can be arrested and charged with a crime, there must be probable cause. So, what does “probable cause” actually mean? Well, it’s a legal term that basically means something happened more probably than not. In some cases, there will be an extensive investigation before an arrest. If you or your loved one is being investigated for a potential crime, it’s incredibly important to be proactive and call a criminal defense lawyer. In other cases — such as most DWI cases — the arrest happens immediately after the allegation. Once you are arrested, you definitely need a lawyer.
- Arrest & Bail (Initial Appearance)
After the investigation, if probable cause exists, then an arrest follows. Most of the time, a bail amount is set on the case allowing the accused to post bond while he or she awaits trial or a resolution on the case. In certain cases, bail can be denied by the judge but with an attorney, this could be changed and a bond amount set. Talk to one of our Galveston, TX defense lawyers for more information on this.
- Pretrial Hearings & Plea Bargaining
There are many stages between arrest and a criminal trial. There may be multiple pre-trial conferences. Several issues will be addressed during these conferences. A lawyer will help you build a defense suitable for your specific case. If the charges are illegitimate or unsupported, an aggressive defense is needed. Unjust charges could be dismissed.
Why You Should Call a Defense Attorney Immediately
If you or your loved one has been arrested or accused, you need to consult with an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Police and prosecutors waste little time in building their case. With a top-rated Galveston criminal defense attorney on your side, you can be sure that:
- Any exonerating evidence will be collected and preserved;
- You will have a full understanding of your rights and options; and
- Your attorney will build a customized defense strategy — focused on getting you the best possible results.
If evidence proving your innocence is lost, you may never be able to find it. If you make an ill-advised or misworded statement to the police, you cannot take it back. If you do not act quickly, you may lose out on a plea deal, keeping you out of jail. Keep your options available. Consult with a lawyer right away.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Galveston, TX Defense Attorney
Mark A. Diaz is an aggressive, results-focused criminal defense lawyer. Our mission is to get the best possible outcome for our clients. If you have any questions about starting your criminal case, we can help. For a free, strictly confidential initial consultation, please contact our legal team right away. We represent defendants throughout Southeastern Texas, including in Galveston, Houston, Texas City, Sugar Land, Pasadena, Pearland and League City.