The Criminal Defense Process
Guidance from a Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer
Before anyone faces a judge and jury, law enforcement and attorneys investigate every aspect of a case. By providing excellent criminal defense, the right attorney can help you avoid some steps in the judicial process or potentially avoid a trial altogether by obtaining a plea bargain or case dismissal.
At The Law Office of Samuel R. Terry, P.C., I have a thorough understanding of the Texas criminal process and can take immediate action to prevent you from facing a serious criminal conviction or going to trial in the first place.
How a Criminal Case Progresses in Texas
Criminal cases begin the moment a person is accused of committing a crime. In general, an investigation will need to take place in order for charges to be filed against the accused. Once officially under investigation or asked in for questioning, it is extremely beneficial to retain a criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth who can skillfully challenge law enforcement during the investigation process to disprove the accusations against you and prevent charges from being filed. The next step in the process is criminal arrest and booking.
If you are charged with a crime, you will be arrested by an officer and undergo fingerprinting and questioning before being confined in jail. You will then be required to make your first appearance in court for your arraignment, where a judge will notify you of the charges against you and will set the amount for bail. You will then be returned to jail until your criminal trial unless bail is posted on your behalf.
Many cases involve what are known as pre-trial hearings before the actual trial occurs. These hearings allow a judge to hear each side's arguments and establish which pieces of evidence are admissible so that proper, legal evidence is presented.
What Happens at a Criminal Trial
The remainder of the case involves the criminal trial and sentencing. At trial, the defendant will enter their plea and opening statements will be made by both the prosecution and defense. Each side will then offer testimonies and rebutting testimonies, after which cross-examinations of witnesses will be conducted.
Once all the evidence and testimonies have been presented and each attorney has presented a closing argument, the jury will deliberate and come to a unanimous decision. The decision of the jury will decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.
If the defendant is found to be not guilty of the charges against them, then he or she will be discharged. If the defendant is found to be guilty, then the judge will pronounce judgment against them according to the penalties permissible under the Texas Penal Code. The individual will then be sentenced and placed in jail or prison and / or pay a fine. This process can turn your life upside down, so don't wait to hire me as your Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with a crime of any kind.
The Law Office of Samuel R. Terry, P.C. is capable of defending all types of charges and providing guidance through the process. Get in touch with my firm today for a free case evaluation. The criminal defense lawyer in Fort Worth is here to fight on your behalf!