If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Texas, you most likely feel concerned and overwhelmed. At the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez, our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers completely understand that you may feel uncertain by the prospective legal matter ahead.
In order to bring you a sounder mind, our Houston criminal defense attorneys prepared the answers to frequently asked questions.
If you have a question that requires immediate counsel, please contact our firm right away.
Common Concerns Addressed by a Defense Lawyer
What Rights Do I Have?
It’s critical to remember you do have rights. This means you don’t have to say a thing. You also have the right to hire an attorney. Once you use your right to remain silent, officers can no longer question or investigate you.
What Should I Do If I’m Arrested?
What you do after you are arrested can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your case. Be careful not to speak to anyone about the situation to prevent accidentally incriminating yourself. Avoid running away or otherwise resisting arrest.
Perhaps 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.
What’s the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor?
Crimes are typically either classed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes but may still require up to a year in jail. A felony, on the other hand, is a much more severe offense and typically carries penalties of more than a year in jail or prison. However, both types of crimes can become part of your permanent criminal record.
What Happens if a Police Officer Wants to Search My Car?
If a police officer asks to search your car when getting pulled over, politely decline and say you don’t give consent. Gently explain that you’ve been advised not to allow police searches, and refrain from 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 respectfully refuse consent again. Refusing consent will help your lawyer make a case out of unlawful search.
What if My Miranda Rights Aren’t Read to Me?
Miranda rights are a vital part of being arrested, which is why certain evidence can sometimes be kept out of a trial if it was retained after arrest without your rights having been read.
However, this only happens in specific circumstances. Can a case be dismissed if Miranda rights aren’t read? The short answer is no – a failure of the officer to read your rights doesn’t 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.
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 important 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.
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.
What is an Arraignment?
An arraignment is a special type of hearing during which the defendant is formally charged with a crime. The defendant is informed of the charges being leveled against them and has the opportunity to answer in the form of a plea. The types of pleas which can be entered at this stage are guilty, not guilty, and no contest. The plea entered by the defendant determines how their case will be addressed going forward.
Do I Need a Lawyer if I Plan to Plead Guilty?
Yes. It’s important to hire a lawyer regardless of what plea you intend to enter. Even if you intend to plead guilty to a crime, a criminal lawyer can help negotiate a deal on your behalf. A qualified attorney who understands the complex workings of state and federal law is more likely to deliver the best-case scenario when it comes to settling your case.
There’s a Warrant Out For My Arrest. What Do I Do?
If you discover that there is an active warrant out for your arrest, the first thing you should do is contact a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can counsel you through the specifics of your situation and take appropriate action. Under certain circumstances, a criminal lawyer may be able to recall your warrant. Getting in touch with an attorney will help ensure that you are prepared to face the charges against you.
Can a Warrant Be Removed?
In some situations, individuals are able to have their warrant removed before they surrender or are arrested. The chances of your warrant being removed vary greatly depending on the type of crime that is alleged to have been committed. Our qualified attorney can review the details of your situation and determine what the best approach will be for eliminating your warrant.
Do you have more questions? We have your answers. Call today.
If your specific question has not been addressed, do not think that your particular case is too complex or too difficult. Our criminal defense attorneys have handled criminal matters ranging in all degrees of complexity and we are confident that we can help you make empowered, informed decisions for your future.
As a testament to our law firm’s knowledge and professionalism, Attorney Hernandez has earned a 10.0 Superb rating by Avvo, Inc. and has been named as one of the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in San Antonio by SA Magazine.
Our firm proudly defends the rights and freedoms of individuals who have been arrested and charged with crimes in Houston and other surrounding areas in Texas.
To move forward with the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez, call our office and schedule your free case evaluation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.
San Antonio Office: 3107 Broadway Street, San Antonio, Texas 78209. (210) 672-1435.
Austin Office: 2025 Guadalupe Street Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78705. (512) 955-5871.
Houston Office: 3663 N. Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, Texas, 77032. (713-984-4724)