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If you’ve been charged with a crime in Texas, you need an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights and make sure you get the best possible outcome! Because every criminal prosecution is unique, every strategy must also be tailored to the particular case and the specific approach that the district attorney decides to take. The best defense strategy is one that is rooted in the truth and that places the you in the best possible light. That means that the most effective defense strategies occur when you are open and honest with your attorney.
While there are many effective strategies depending on your case, there are some common successful criminal defensive strategies we can employ on almost any case:
Under the constitution, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause (or reasonable suspicion) to stop and arrest you. That means that if you defense lawyer can show that the police officer who detained you was had no real indication that something illegal was happening, we may be able to successfully get evidence suppressed and dispute the charges against you. With this strategy the charges may be dropped and your case dismissed.
If your case goes to trial, your defense attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer. At this point, the officer’s disciplinary record, training, memory of the events, and other circumstances can come under questioning. For example, demonstrating that the arresting officer lacked the training to properly administer a field sobriety test can prove to be an effective defense to a DWI charge.
Once a defendant is in custody, they have a right to ask for a lawyer. If you asked for a lawyer and continued to be questioned by the police, you may have an excellent defense for your case.
Other defense strategies can include procedural review, questioning if proper protocol was followed at a sobriety checkpoint; challenging blood alcohol content or field sobriety test results; demonstrating mistakes made by law enforcement; or arguing that the police’s anonymous source did not establish sufficient grounds for a stop. Providing a feasible alternative explanation like self-defense, or introducing eyewitnesses that can offer observations that contradict the prosecution’s story can also be effective in defending against a criminal charge and may help get your charges dismissed.
A knowledgeable and experienced defense attorney, like the criminal defense attorneys at Blass Law, tailor a defense strategy to your unique situation and enable you to get the best possible result for your case.
Being falsely accused of a crime is a nightmare come true. If you have been accused of a crime you didn’t commit, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will passionately defend your innocence. Jay Cohen of Blass Law has the experience and qualifications you need to get exonerated of false accusations.
Whether due to an erroneous identification by the victim or a witness or other circumstances that make the police think that you committed a crime despite your innocence, it’s possible to find yourself formally charged with crimes you didn’t commit. Here’s what to do–and what not to do–in cases of false accusations.
First and foremost, retain a criminal attorney as soon as you can. You should also gather any evidence that relates to the underlying events of the alleged crime; this includes photos, videos, clothing or other objects. You should also keep and protect any related documentation or records (e-mails, letters, phone records or financial records).
Document any evidence that you believe exists, but isn’t in your possession (such as objects at the crime scene like blood or bullet cases). Think about any possible witnesses who might have information about the alleged crime or related circumstances and gather their contact information if possible.
Have all of this evidence and information ready to share with your attorney when you meet with them.
It can be tempting to destroy any evidence that makes you look suspicious, but doing so will look even more suspect. Don’t talk to the alleged victim or witnesses, as it can look like you’re trying to interfere with the investigation or intimidate a witness.
You should also avoid any contact with law enforcement or investigators without your lawyer present. That includes answering questions (even innocent-sounding ones), offering a sample for a DNA test, or giving any evidence that you have. Even if you think it will prove your innocence.
Even if you haven’t been formally charged with a crime, it’s a smart idea to speak with a lawyer any time someone has falsely accused you of a crime. An experienced attorney will give you specific, targeted advice on how to proceed and avoid criminal charges.
Sometimes the cost of a trial and risk of conviction compel defendants to negotiate with prosecutors in exchange for lighter sentences, reduced charges, or to avoid jail. About 94 percent of all state-level criminal cases in this country end in a plea bargain, but understanding the plea bargain system and how to navigate it can be complicated. Here’s what you need to know about the plea bargain process in Texas as well as the pros and cons of entering into such an agreement.
A plea deal is an agreement between the prosecution and the defense. In a typical plea bargain, the defendant will be asked to admit guilt, and in exchange, the prosecutor will agree to ask for less than the maximum possible penalty or a reduction of charges faced. Plea bargains can include a wide range of punishments, from jail time and fines to probation, deferred adjudication, community service, counseling and more.
The prosecution has a large degree of discretion when negotiating plea agreements. They have no obligation to make a plea bargain that is beneficial to the defendant, which is why it is imperative to have a qualified attorney negotiate with the prosecution for you. Common factors that prosecutors consider when deciding whether or not to make a plea bargain include the circumstances of the crime, the defendant’s intent, the defendant’s criminal record and other factors in the defendant’s background such as educational and professional history, life conditions, home situation and psychiatric history.
For many criminal defendants, going the plea bargain route can offer many benefits. Cases can be resolved much more quickly, allowing a defendant to get on with his or her life. Many plea bargains can allow a defendant to avoid jail time, which is often a real risk if you chose to go to trial and are convicted of many crimes in Texas.
On the other hand, admitting guilt is a necessary part of any plea bargain. There are serious collateral consequences of pleading guilty to a crime; you may lose your right to own guns, you could be required to register as a sex offender, you could be deported (if not a citizen), or you may face penalty enhancements in the future. Additionally, a criminal record can follow you and prevent you from getting a job or qualifying for housing.
The decision to enter into a plea bargain is not one to be taken lightly and should be considered carefully with your attorney.
DWI Lawyer, Jay Cohen, is an expert in Texas
DWI law. A DWI conviction impacts a person’s
future in extensive and enduring ways. Jay
gets that. He ensures that his clients are
well-informed of their options and he
provides them with the best defense
against their charges.