Criminal Defense FAQs

What should I do if I get arrested? 

Remain silent and request an attorney immediately. Don't answer questions or explain your situation. 

What happens after I'm arrested? 

You'll be booked, processed, and possibly arraigned (formally charged) You will have the opportunity to set bail (if applicable). 

How do I choose a criminal defense lawyer? 

Consider experience, practice area focus, and communication style. I have been in practice since 2005 and have served the Brazos Valley since 2009. 

What is a public defender? 

A public defender is an attorney appointed by the court to represent you if you cannot afford your own lawyer. 

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony? 

Misdemeanors are less serious offenses with shorter sentences (usually up to a year in jail). Felonies are more serious crimes with potentially harsher penalties (including prison time). 

What happens at an arraignment? 

You have the right to be formally read the charges against you and you have the right to enter a plea of not guilty. 

What is the difference between a plea bargain and going to trial? 

A plea bargain involves pleading guilty to a charge and being sentenced to the charge or a lesser included charge; while going to trial means you enter a not guilty plea . 

What happens at a criminal trial? 

The prosecution presents evidence, it has the burden of proof. The defense can present evidence, and a jury or judge decides the case. 

What are the possible consequences of a criminal conviction? 

Penalties can include jail time, fines, probation, community service, and a criminal record that can impact future employment and housing. 

What factors are considered during sentencing? 

The severity of the crime, your criminal history, and any mitigating factors (e.g., remorse, rehabilitation efforts). 

What are the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction? 

A criminal conviction can affect your immigration status. Consult with an immigration attorney for specific guidance. 

Can I expunge my criminal record? 

An expungement seals your criminal record, making it difficult for employers or landlords to see it. However, not all offenses are eligible for expungement. 

How much does a criminal defense attorney cost? 

Costs vary depending on the nature of the charges, complexity of the case, and the lawyer's experience. Discuss fees upfront with your attorney.