At the Law Offices of Jesse Hernandez, we understand that facing criminal charges can be a confusing and stressful experience. Below are some frequently asked questions we receive from clients in San Antonio, Texas and the surrounding areas.
If you have a question that requires immediate attention, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. We are here to help you navigate the criminal justice system with confidence and peace of mind.
Q: What Rights Do I Have?
As a citizen, you have rights that protect you from self-incrimination and provide you with the right to legal representation. You do not have to speak to law enforcement officers, and you can hire an attorney to represent you. By asserting your right to remain silent, officers are not allowed to question you. If you believe your rights have been violated, our experienced team can help you build an effective defense strategy to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
Q: What Should I Do If I’m Arrested?
What you do after an arrest can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Refrain from speaking to anyone about the situation to avoid accidentally incriminating yourself. Avoid running away or resisting arrest. Most importantly, exercise your right to hire an attorney and consult a professional as soon as possible. You need a skilled criminal defense lawyer to help you build your case and protect your rights.
Q: What Happens if a Police Officer Wants to Search My Car?
If a police officer asks to search your car during a traffic stop, politely decline and state that you do not give your consent. Avoid handing them your keys or opening the door for them. If the officer threatens you by saying they will obtain a warrant or use a drug-sniffing dog, stay calm and refuse consent again. Refusing consent can help your lawyer build a case for an unlawful search.
Q: What if My Miranda Rights Aren’t Read to Me?
Miranda rights are a vital part of being arrested, and certain evidence can sometimes be kept out of a trial if it was obtained without your rights being read. However, this only happens in specific circumstances, and the failure of an officer to read your rights does not necessarily mean your charges will be dismissed. Consulting our team for legal advice after your misdemeanor or felony charges will help you understand your situation better.
Q: What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?
A: Felonies and misdemeanors are both types of criminal offenses in Texas, but they differ in severity. A misdemeanor is a less serious offense that typically carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine. Examples of misdemeanors include disorderly conduct, simple assault, and DUI. A felony is a more serious offense that can result in a sentence of one year or more in prison, along with fines and other penalties. Examples of felonies include homicide, sexual assault, and drug trafficking.
Q: Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in the success of your case. Even if you are a first-time offender, it’s essential to seek the help of legal professionals. Any criminal offense can come with serious consequences, including a permanent mark on your record, jail time, and excessive fines. We can help reduce the risks of these consequences.
Q: When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
In a perfect world, you are able to secure legal representation the moment you are arrested. If you are arrested, it’s best to get in touch with a lawyer who can represent you as soon as you are released. However, you don’t have to wait to be arrested to hire professional assistance. Having a lawyer hired on retainer can help you avoid delays between your arrest and your legal defense.
Even if you plan to plead guilty to a crime, it is essential to hire a lawyer. A criminal defense attorney can negotiate a deal on your behalf and ensure the best possible outcome for your case. A qualified lawyer with expertise in state and federal law can help settle your case and minimize the consequences of a guilty plea.
Q: How do I Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A: When choosing a criminal defense attorney, it’s important to look for someone with experience, knowledge of the law, and a track record of success. You should also choose an attorney who is responsive and communicates well with you, and who will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and freedoms.
Q: Is a Criminal Lawyer and Criminal Defense Lawyer the Same?
A: A criminal lawyer is a broad term that refers to any attorney who practices in the area of criminal law, including prosecutors and defense attorneys. A criminal defense lawyer, on the other hand, is specifically focused on defending individuals who have been accused of a crime. A criminal defense lawyer will work to protect their client’s rights and freedoms, while a prosecutor will work to secure a conviction.
Q: What is an Arraignment?
Arraignment is a legal proceeding during which the defendant is officially charged with a crime. The defendant is informed of the charges against them and has the opportunity to enter a plea, which can be guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The plea entered at this stage determines the course of the case going forward.
Q: What Do I Do if I Find Out There is a Warrant Out for My Arrest?
If you discover there is an active warrant out for your arrest, the first thing to do is to contact a criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the specifics of your situation and take appropriate action. Under certain circumstances, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to recall your warrant. By contacting an attorney, you can ensure that you are prepared to face the charges against you.
In some cases, individuals can have their warrant removed before surrendering or being arrested. The likelihood of having your warrant removed depends on the type of crime you are alleged to have committed. A qualified criminal defense attorney can review the details of your situation and determine the best approach for eliminating your warrant.
Q: How Does Probation Work in Texas?
A: Probation in Texas is a type of community supervision that allows an individual to avoid jail or prison time if they agree to follow certain conditions set forth by the court. These conditions can include regular check-ins with a probation officer, drug testing, community service, and restitution payments. If an individual violates their probation, they may be required to serve the remainder of their sentence in jail or prison.
If you have further questions or concerns about criminal defense in Texas, please don’t hesitate to contact our law firm, The Law Offices of Jesse Hernandez in San Antonio. We are here to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights, schedule your free consultation today.