What to Do When You Are Charged With a Criminal Defense in Dallas TX
Have you been charged with criminal offense and have no idea what to do? Click here to learn more about criminal defense in Dallas TX.
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Only 2% of federal criminal defendants go to trial. Of those who do, 83% are found guilty. About 90% of defendants who don’t go to trial plead guilty instead.
In 2018, nearly 80,000 people were defendants in federal criminal cases. Do you know what to do to build your criminal defense in Dallas, TX? The actions you take could make a big difference in your verdict.
Keep reading to discover what you need to do if you’re charged with a criminal offense.
With these tips, you can make the most of your case and possibly avoid a guilty charge. Keep reading to learn how to navigate through the process after getting charged with a crime.
Find an Attorney
It’s essential to contact a Dallas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
During your search for a lawyer, make sure to prioritize finding a criminal defense attorney. Choosing a lawyer with the specialty you need will improve the outcome of your case. Otherwise, you might end up with a lawyer who doesn’t know how to navigate the complexities of criminal law.
When searching for a lawyer, ask them how long they’ve practiced law. How long have they specialized under criminal law? How long have they practiced in Dallas, TX?
Check the local bar association to make sure they’re licensed to practice in the state.
Some laws differ based on where you’re charged. Choosing a Dallas criminal defense lawyer will help you find someone with the hands-on experience and expertise you need.
After all, people learn from experience. You don’t want a lawyer who has never taken a case to trial before. Instead, look for an attorney with plenty of courtroom experience.
As you meet with different lawyers, pay attention to how they communicate. Do they sound confident? A lawyer who knows how to communicate will know how to speak on your behalf.
Make sure the attorney you choose is a winner, too.
What’s their overall track record? How many criminal cases have they won? How many of those cases were recent?
Make sure they’ve dealt with criminal cases that were similar to yours, too. Choosing a lawyer who has won a case similar to yours will give you peace of mind about their abilities.
Are they up-to-date with the latest laws relevant to your case? If not, look for someone who has the experience and knowledge you need.
You can also learn more about a lawyer’s abilities by speaking with their previous clients. Can they refer you to a client they acquitted?
Check online for reviews, too. You can find reviews for law firms on their Better Business Bureau or Google My Business listing. The local bar association’s website might have reviews you can read, too.
Reading reviews will help you learn about the lawyer’s professionalism. Did their clients have any complaints about the attorney? How were those problems resolved?
About 95% of customers read online reviews, trusting the opinions of others before making a choice for themselves. You can use the same process when hiring an attorney.
Look for someone who has a strong online reputation.
According to your Fifth Amendment right, you can remain silent when you don’t have your lawyer present.
Fight the urge to make a case for yourself. Instead, leave that to your lawyer. If the police suspect you in a criminal case and want to talk to you, fight the urge to give a statement.
An officer might give you a chance to relay your side of the story. If the police don’t have enough evidence to arrest you, they might use what you say to make an arrest.
Once you give your statement, you’ve committed yourself to that version of events. You might unintentionally say something that makes you look bad. You don’t want to unintentionally incriminate yourself.
Instead, only discuss the specifics of your case with your Dallas criminal defense lawyer.
Don’t Give Consent
Don’t give police permission to do anything without speaking to your lawyer first. That includes:
- Looking at your car
- Digging through your trunk
- Searching your products
- Looking through your home
If the police ask for consent, tell them you can’t give them permission without speaking to your lawyer.
If you do give the police consent, your lawyer might have a difficult time arguing against it. For example, a lawyer can’t argue police don’t have the right to search through your home if you’ve invited them in.
It’s your lawyer’s job to help you understand the law. Don’t make assumptions. Instead, rely on your lawyer to help you navigate the situation.
The prosecutor will make an offer at some point, allowing you to settle. The process might involve a plea deal. Before taking an offer, make sure to discuss the pros and cons with your lawyer.
You usually have three options for your plea: nolo contendere (no contest), not guilty, and guilty.
Pleading guilty indicates you’re admitting you committed the crime. Claiming you’re not guilty doesn’t always mean you’re innocent. It might mean you’re making the state prove you committed a crime instead.
Then, a judge and jury will determine if you’re proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Nolo contendere indicates you don’t want to fight. You’re not admitting that you’re guilty or not guilty. However, a judge does treat a claim of nolo contendere as a guilty plea.
Make sure to review each option with your attorney.
When building your criminal defense in Dallas, TX, it’s important to think about the consequences.
Crimes are differentiated based on their severity. For less serious crimes, you could receive probation instead of incarceration.
Crimes that aren’t considered severe are class “C” misdemeanors. These crimes can include driving under the influence, public intoxication, or small thefts.
These crimes are punishable with a small fine and without jail time.
Class “B” misdemeanors, on the other hand, are punishable with up to 6 months in jail. You might need to pay up to $2,000 as a fine.
Class “A” misdemeanors are punishable with up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Large thefts and assault that causes bodily injury fall under this category.
Defend Your Rights: What to Do During a Criminal Defense in Dallas, TX
Don’t try to navigate your criminal defense in Dallas, TX alone. Instead, contact a Dallas criminal defense lawyer right away. They’ll build your case and protect your rights.
Otherwise, you might have to spend years behind bars.
Ready to build your case? Contact us for a free case consultation.