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Texas Criminal Court Process

Whether you are being charged with a minor misdemeanor or a serious felony, understanding the Texas criminal court process is essential to protecting your freedom. If the chances of winning your case are low, you may want to settle and agree to a plea bargain. If on the other hand, you are sure of your innocence, you can take your case to trial where you will either be found guilty or not guilty by a jury. These proceedings are often complicated, and it’s imperative to have helpful and skilled legal assistance.

Houston criminal attorney Ned Barnett has years of experience as both a prosecutor and a defender. He can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy in order to craft an effective defense. Attorney Barnett can also guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you understand your options as well as what is going to come next.

Call (713) 222-6767 today to discuss your charges in a free and confidential consultation.

Being Arrested

With most crimes, the individual has several rights during the investigation and arrest process, but an arrest typically occurs in one of two ways. An officer can either obtain an arrest warrant or have probable cause that a crime has been committed. When it comes to misdemeanor crimes, an arrest can only be made if the officer witnesses the crime being carried out. Regardless of the nature of the crime, an individual should be read their Miranda rights. In essence, a person’s Miranda rights include the following elements:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The fact that whatever the accused says can and will be used against them as evidence
  • The fact that the accused has the right to an attorney for representation
  • The fact that a lawyer will be appointed to the accused if they cannot afford their own

Plea Bargains, Trial, and Sentencing

After bail has been set and the accused individual has attended their initial court hearing, they may be approached with a plea bargain. This is an agreement in which the accused pleads guilty or no contest in exchange for a lessened sentence. According to the Texas Department of Justice, close to 90% of all criminal cases are ended by a plea bargain. If a plea bargain is not accepted, however, the person being charged will need to take their case to trial. Here, there is no guaranteed outcome.

Felony and misdemeanor trials differ in that they have 12 and 6 jurors, respectively. In a trial, it is the responsibility of both sides to prove whether the accused is guilty or innocent. The prosecution is tasked with proving that the individual committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defense has to present solid evidence and explanations that create a reasonable doubt as to guilt.

Hire The Right Texas Attorney To Protect Your Freedom

In order to increase your chances of having your charges reduced or dismissed, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney. A lawyer can help you establish a strategy for your case and provide advice related to the steps you should take.

At the Law Offices of Ned Barnett, we have helped many people fight back against their charges and believe that the key to achieving the best possible result in your case involves getting to know you and understanding your side of the story. Once all of the details have been uncovered, it will be easier to present your case in a positive light. Do not be taken advantage of by an often unfair legal system.

Call (713) 222-6767 now to see how you can protect yourself from those trying to put you behind bars.