You have posted bond and retained a top Houston criminal lawyer. With your first court appearance approaching, this article explains the different stages of the criminal justice system and how your top criminal defense attorneys will win your case!
Top Criminal Defense Attorneys Practice Tip: While different courts and counties may vary on their policies and procedures, the process remains similar.
Often referred to as “arraignment”. Under the Tex. Code of Crim. Proc. Art. 26.02, the purpose of “arraignment” is to determine the identity of and plea of the person accused.
In reality, this setting will give your top criminal defense attorneys an opportunity to enter in as attorney of record and examine the State’s file. Your criminal defense lawyer will also obtain copies of anything in the State’s file. In all likelihood, the State’s file will be incomplete at this first setting.
Not much will be expected of you other than showing up on time, properly dressed, and answering present at docket call. Expect to sign a reset form resetting your case for three to four weeks so additional evidence can be obtained.
The criminal justice system is a system that will test your patience. These settings are often referred to as “non-trial” settings. It takes time for the State to develop their file. Videos, audio recordings, offense reports, witness statements, photographs, etc., all need to be tracked down and copied for the defense.
The burden to prove your guilt is on the State, and they need to see if they will be able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. All the while, your top criminal defense attorneys will push to have your case dismissed.
Our firm’s primary goal is to obtain the best possible result for your case. There is no better result than a dismissal. Based on sound legal arguments and mitigating evidence your top criminal defense attorneys will relentlessly pursue a case dismissal. Eventually, the time will come where the State will evaluate the case and decide if they agree the case should be dismissed. When they do, your case is dismissed. If they do not, they will make an offer. It is at this time you will decide whether you want to take the deal or set the case for trial.
Top Criminal Defense Attorneys Practice Tip: Just because the State does not dismiss your case at this setting, does not mean it won’t be dismissed at a later date. Sometimes it takes setting the case for trial to get it dismissed.
If you decide the State’s offer is too good to pass up, you will be required to fill out some paperwork. Once the paperwork is complete, signed by all parties, and verified, you will go in front of the judge. There you will enter your plea of “guilty” and the court will likely accept the State’s recommendation.
Top Criminal Defense Attorneys Practice Tip: It is important to know that while the judge typically accepts the State’s recommendation they are not required to. Remember to speak clearly and respectfully (i.e. yes sir, no sir, yes your honor, no your honor). It can make a difference.
If you decide to reject the State’s offer and set the case for trial, the case will be reset. The time frame varies ranging from one month to as far out as six months depending on the court’s schedule.
Stages of the Jury Trial:
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