Plano Criminal Defense Attorneys
Powerful Legal Advocacy
If you have been accused of a crime, you do not need to face the criminal justice system alone. The legal team at G.J. Chavez & Associates, P.C. is here to ensure that your rights and freedom remain protected throughout every stage of the process.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution must prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. In many cases, there is a way to cast doubt on the evidence brought against the clients we represent.
Our Plano criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience representing clients facing all types of charges, including:
- Sex crimes
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you can depend on our attorneys to fight for the outcome that you deserve.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
A Plano criminal defense attorney is a legal professional who specializes in defending clients charged with crimes. They work on behalf of the accused individual and are responsible for evaluating the evidence, interviewing witnesses, preparing legal documents, providing court representation and negotiating plea deals when appropriate.
Criminal defense lawyers can be instrumental in achieving an acquittal or reducing the sentence imposed by a judge. Depending on the situation, they may decide to challenge police procedures or seek to have evidence excluded from a trial, which could result in having your entire case dismissed.
Ultimately, criminal defense attorneys strive to obtain results that minimize repercussions for their clients and minimize exposure to jail time or other negative consequences. Do not hesitate to let our criminal defense team at G.J. Chavez & Associates, P.C. protect your rights, freedom, and future.
What Is the Criminal Defense Process in Texas?
The criminal defense process in Texas is similar to the process in many other U.S. states, but there may be some variations in the specific procedures and laws.
Here is an overview of the typical criminal defense process in Texas:
- Investigation: The criminal defense process often begins with the investigation, where law enforcement gathers evidence, interviews witnesses, and collects information related to the alleged crime.
- Arrest: If law enforcement has sufficient evidence to believe that a crime has been committed and that you are the suspect, they may arrest you. You will be read your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
- Booking: After the arrest, you will be taken to a local police station or jail for booking. This process includes recording personal information, taking fingerprints and photographs, and conducting background checks.
- Initial Appearance: You will have an initial appearance before a magistrate or judge, where you will be informed of the charges against you, your rights, and the opportunity to request bail.
- Bail: You may have the opportunity to post bail or bond to secure your release from custody. The amount of bail is determined by the nature of the charges and other factors.
- Grand Jury or Prosecutor's Decision: In some cases, a grand jury may review the evidence and determine whether there is enough evidence to issue an indictment. Alternatively, a prosecutor may file charges without going through a grand jury.
- Arraignment: You will be formally charged during an arraignment hearing. At this point, you will have the opportunity to enter a plea, which can be "guilty," "not guilty," or "no contest."
- Pretrial Proceedings: Both the prosecution and defense will engage in pretrial proceedings, which may include discovery, motions, and negotiations. Discovery involves exchanging evidence and information, while motions can address issues like suppression of evidence or dismissal of charges.
- Trial: If a plea agreement cannot be reached, the case proceeds to trial. In Texas, you have the option of a jury trial or a bench trial where a judge makes the decision.
- Sentencing: If you are found guilty or you plead guilty, a separate sentencing hearing will be held to determine the appropriate punishment, which may include fines, probation, or incarceration.
- Appeals: If you are convicted and believe there were legal errors in your case, you have the right to appeal to a higher court.
- Post-Conviction Relief: After a conviction, you may have options for post-conviction relief, such as filing a habeas corpus petition or seeking a pardon.
It's important to consult with an experienced Plano criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through each step of the process and help protect your rights. If you are facing charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm to discover what we can do for you!
Felonies Vs. Misdemeanors in Texas
The specific penalties you could incur for a criminal conviction depends on whether the offense is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors are considered less serious crimes and typically involve non-violent offenses – the crime did not cause physical harm to the victim.
Potential consequences for a misdemeanor conviction include up to one year in prison, fines, court fees, restitution, community service, and probation. A misdemeanor can be classified as either Class A, Class B, or Class C, depending on the severity of the crime.
Felony offenses are considered the most serious type of crimes. Usually, crimes of violence and offenses that cause financial loss are charged as felonies. If convicted for a felony, you could face two or more years in prison and extensive fines.
While you will definitely want a skilled legal advocate on your side when facing felony charges, you should also hire a law firm if you have been accused of committing a misdemeanor.
When Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
One possibility for obtaining reduced charges is accepting a plea bargain that is offered to you by the prosecutor. This contract involves you pleading guilty in exchange for a promise of lesser penalties.
It is important to realize that this option still results in a conviction, which will be placed on your permanent record. A criminal history can often make it difficult to obtain certain forms of employment and gain acceptance for specific education programs. You might also be required to forfeit a professional license.
Factors we consider when determining if a plea bargain is a good decision include:
- Any evidence that connects you to the crime
- Whether the police obtained that evidence legally
- Any witness testimony that could convict you
- Whether you have any available defenses
- How the judge has ruled on similar cases
Before accepting a plea bargain, be sure to consult with our experienced legal team at G.J. Chavez & Associates, P.C. We can review the prosecutor’s case against you to determine whether the plea bargain is the right option for your situation.
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Our Firm Has Handled Thousands of Cases
We Are Dedicated to Serving Our Clients
We Create Tailor-Made Solutions for Every Client
More Than 20 Years of Legal Experience
We Offer Representation in Spanish