Every criminal case, regardless of the state where the crime occurred, starts out with a thorough investigation conducted by law officers. The findings of this investigation will be collected, put into a file, and sent to the D.A.’s (District Attorney) office for review.
What Happens Next?
Depending on the criminal charge and particular circumstances of the case, a defendant may be arrested right away or not. For a misdemeanor case in Texas — an offense with up to a year of jail time — the D.A.’s office will decide whether to go with a criminal charge and file a complaint or not. On the other hand, with a felony case in Texas — an offense with more than a year of incarceration — a Grand Jury, made up of individuals will decide whether there’s sufficient evidence to proceed with a case.
Once you’re charged with a crime, there is a high probability that your case will go on for an extremely long time, but may be shortened by making the appropriate agreement or plea bargain. Often, this is a great deal for the defense, or the defense simply admits to the criminal charge. However, be sure to consult a criminal defense attorney in Houston before rejecting or taking a plea bargain.
Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Texas is extremely serious and can come with lasting consequences. You must have help from a reputable criminal defense lawyer with the proper experience on the criminal charge you’re facing.
While there are plenty of factors you need to take into account when choosing your criminal defense attorney, one of the main factors should be whether your attorney was a former prosecutor. Know this — accused lawyers almost always choose former prosecutors to defend their case. Likewise, know that not all attorneys actually go to trial frequently so ensure that you pick one that has experience with trying cases.
In addition, because you’ll be working very closely with your attorney, make sure that you trust and feel really comfortable with the one you choose to work with since after all, you’re putting your life in your attorney’s hands.