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Bail and Bonds

Why Hiring a Defense Attorney Is a Better Investment Than You Think

Why Hiring a Defense Attorney Is a Better Investment Than You Think

Investing in Your Defense

 

When faced with criminal charges, money is often a top concern. Fines for a criminal conviction can be exorbitant, but the costs of a criminal defense attorney can seem out of reach, too. Even so, hiring a criminal defense attorney is an investment in your future. If you’re not convinced or are on the fence about hiring an attorney to fight your Texas criminal charges, consider these points.

 

Paying for Protection

 

A criminal defense attorney can do many things for you, one of the most important of which is protecting your rights. This isn’t to say you can’t protect your own rights, but consider whether you really know and understand how to do that. Our experience in watching pro se defendants attempt this over the years leads me to conclude they do not. A defense attorney will understand how to protect your rights and—more importantly—leverage them to strengthen your defense.

 

Weighing the Costs of a Conviction

 

The costs of a criminal conviction might not be apparent to you at this time. Aside from any court-imposed statutory fines for your conviction, you may be ordered to pay other costs. For example, the court could order you to pay restitution, make a payment to Crime Stoppers and pay ongoing supervision fees. If you factor in potential discrimination on the job market or the chance you could even lose your job, you can begin to see how expensive a conviction really is.

 

Knowledge Is Power

 

When you hire a defense attorney, you are paying for that attorney’s knowledge. And that knowledge isn’t limited to what he or she learned in law school. In fact, you are paying for that attorney’s knowledge of Texas statutes and how to interpret them, how to navigate courtroom rules and trial procedures and how to employ negotiation tactics. Although normally not very effective, you can try to bone up on legal information at the library or online, but you can’t learn how to successfully defend cases without years of hands-on experience (it’s the equivalent of simply reading a manual in order to perform surgery on yourself). And that knowledge is powerful because without it you have a slim chance of getting the best possible outcome in your case. The legal system is not user-friendly, so when facing criminal charges, it’s unwise to go DIY. It’s simple: pay now or pay more later. And later you most likely will not be able to change the outcome.

 

Consult With a Defense Attorney to Learn More

 

If you are facing charges, you need to consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Many attorneys in the Dallas area offer free consultations wherein they can provide you basic information that can help you better understand your case. There is no excuse not to tap into this valuable source of knowledge! Discuss the details of the charges you face and learn about your options. Make sure you also discuss the potential consequences of a conviction. From there, you can make an informed decision about how to invest in your future.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

The Fight to Change the Dallas County Bail System

The Fight to Change the Dallas County Bail System

A Look at Dallas County Bail

 

Many critics argue Dallas County needs an urgent bail reform. Magistrates set a bond based on factors such as the seriousness of the charges and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Other crucial factors, such as the defendant’s ability to pay and the security risk they pose, go by the wayside. Proponents of bail reform argue this system needs to change. They argue considering the defendant’s ability to pay and using better risk assessment tools can lift the burden on the poor and keep higher-risk offenders behind bars.

 

An Oppressive Approach

 

With the current approach, financial resources are all that separates those who have to wait in jail until trial and those who can be released and return home to their family. Accordingly, some critics argue the Dallas County bail system is used as an instrument of oppression. They call for a more holistic assessment of the defendant, which could result in fairer bond setting practices. Such a reform would come at the cost of time and personnel resources. And many argue lowering bond amounts will only work to put more dangerous criminals on the street. The fatal shooting of Dallas police officer Rogelio Santander in April revived this debate. Santander was shot and killed by Armando Juarez, a man who had released from Dallas County jail on bond but had a warrant for his arrest. Juarez had been released on bond several times for low-risk offenses, but his pattern of failing to appear in court and reoffending could have been red flags under a reformed bail system.

 

Is There a Solution?

 

Bail reform would involve time and money, but if executed effectively, could let lower-risk defendants return to their families while keeping those with a clear propensity to reoffend behind bars. The reach of this problem extends to Harris County, too, which was recently subject to a civil suit brought on by inmates to demand fairer bail. A federal ruling favoring the plaintiffs shed light on the imbalance of justice of a bail system with such ridged determining factors. Now Dallas County faces the same type of suit brought on by inmates who claim the bail system is unconstitutional and discriminatory against the poor. While some accused individuals, no matter the risk, cannot afford to buy their way out of jail, others have the financial resources to walk free.

 

Call a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney if You Have Been Arrested

 

Navigating the immediate steps following an arrest in Dallas County can be overwhelming and stressful. Calling a Dallas criminal defense attorney after an arrest is the best way to ensure you can return to your family as soon as possible. An attorney who is familiar with the Dallas County bail system can explore your options for reducing your bond, so you don’t have to work with a bail bond company. Bail bond companies cannot defend your rights or provide any legal assistance. Conversely, an attorney might be able to release you from jail without having to post the full bail amount and can promptly get started on fighting your charges.

 

 

If you’ve been arrested for a crime and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your charge. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

10 Quick Tips for Navigating Your Texas DWI Case After an Arrest

10 Quick Tips for Navigating Your Texas DWI Case After an Arrest

Navigating Unknown Territory

 

You never thought you’d hear the words, “I’m placing you under arrest.” by a police officer. Now it’s happened, and you don’t know what to do or who to turn to. Every day in Dallas-Fort Worth, well-meaning citizens are arrested for DWI. Maybe they just had a few drinks with dinner. Maybe they weren’t even over the legal limit, but the officer that pulled them over thought otherwise. If you find yourself in this stressful and unfamiliar territory after a DWI arrest, you are not alone. To help you navigate your Texas DWI case after an arrest, here are ten quick tips our firm has compiled.

 

Invoke Your Constitutional Rights

 

During and after your DWI arrest, it’s important to invoke your constitutional right to remain silent when interrogated by the police.

 

Post Bail

 

It’s difficult to navigate a DWI case from jail. Post bail as soon as you can or enlist a friend or family member to help. You can also call an attorney to post a surety bond, securing your release from jail. You’ll want to jump into action a soon as possible to maintain as much control over your case as you can.

 

Call an Attorney

 

In reality, this can and should be your first step. But if you’ve just been released from jail after a DWI arrest, calling an attorney should definitely be the first thing you do. Without having insider knowledge of the Texas criminal court system and the specific jurisdiction under which you are being charged, you have a very slim chance of successfully fighting your charges.

 

Request a Hearing

 

You have 15 days from the date you receive your notice of license suspension in which to request an administrative (ALR) hearing through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Your ALR hearing is your chance to fight your license suspension, so take advantage of it.

 

Heed Your License Suspension

 

If you failed to request an ALR hearing or didn’t prevail at your hearing, the DPS will suspend your license 40 days after you receive your notice of license suspension. Watch that date. If your license is suspended, speak with your attorney about obtaining an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL).

 

Discuss Your Options

 

Go over your options for handling your case with an attorney. Do you want a DWI trial? Try to negotiate a plea bargain? Learning about your options will give you peace of mind. Also, it will help you make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.

 

File Pre-Trial Motions

 

If you are heading to trial, work with your attorney to file any pre-trial motions that may help you, such as a motion to suppress evidence.

 

Prepare for Trial

 

Most DWI cases resolve before trial by way of plea bargains (in our opinion generally not your best option). But if you weren’t offered a plea bargain you can accept, prepare for trial with your attorney so you know what to expect, what to say, how to act and what to do.

 

Go to Trial

 

If you make it all the way to trial, this is your chance to fight your charges full force. Make sure you are working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled DWI trials in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to have the best chance of an acquittal.

 

These steps can help you get through the stressful and at times confusing DWI case process from arrest to trial. If you are ready to take your DWI charges seriously and fight them with all you’ve got, consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney immediately to get started.

 

If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Tips to Help a Friend or Family Member in Jail

Tips to Help a Friend or Family Member in Jail

Help in a Time of Need

 

Discovering a friend or loved one was arrested can be a scary experience. You want to help but, if you’re like most people, aren’t sure how. Luckily, there are many ways you can help your friend or family member in his or her time of need. To help you navigate the process during this stressful time, here are a few tips to follow when a friend or family member is in jail.

 

The first thing to do if you discover a friend or family member has been arrested is to locate him or her. Then, gather other important pieces of information so you can set to work. Specifically, you’ll want to find out:

 

  • Where your friend or family member is being held
  • The arresting officer’s jurisdiction
  • The charge on which your friend or family member was arrested, and
  • The bail amount

 

If you don’t know where your friend or family member was taken, call the jail for the city in which he or she was arrested. Remember, stick to essential information when talking with your friend or family member in jail, i.e. do not talk about what happened that caused them to get arrested. Your communications aren’t confidential.

 

Jail Release

 

Next, you’ll want to get your friend or family member out of jail. Post the cash bail amount if you can. If you can’t post bail, your next step should be to call a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can either get the bail amount reduced or eliminated or post a surety bond. A surety bond is a promise the attorney makes to the court that the defendant will appear in court as instructed. Then, that attorney can start to work on the case.

 

An alternative to working with an attorney to post bail is to work with a bail bondsman. Typically, you pay 10-15% of the total bail amount to the bondsman, who then posts the amount needed to secure your friend or family member’s release from jail. You do not get that percentage back, however, and the bail bondsman cannot provide legal advice or representation. Conversely, if you work with an attorney, your friend or family member will have a good head start. The sooner you involve an attorney, the more an attorney can do to fight the charges.

 

Seek Advice When a Friend or Family Member Is in Jail

 

If you haven’t already, talk to a few attorneys about your friend or family member’s situation. Now is when that important information you gathered will be helpful. Find an attorney with ample experience handling cases similar to your friend or family member’s. You will want to find one who has handled similar charges in the same jurisdiction. Once the attorney has a few basic pieces of information, he or she can explain what will happen next and what you can do to help.

 

Following the above tips can help you get your friend or family member out of jail. Also, remember these tips if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

 

If your friend or family member has been arrested and is now in jail in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to help your friend or family member. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

How to Quickly Lift a Texas Warrant

How to Quickly Lift a Texas Warrant

First Steps to Deal With Your Warrant

 

Many people panic when they find out they have an outstanding warrant. Even if your warrant is for unpaid traffic tickets, police can arrest you at any time and any place.

Warrants are not easy to resolve or “lift.” While you may have many options for doing so, each of those options comes with pros and cons. You could easily choose the wrong option for your case and suffer the consequences.

In some cases, those consequences can end up costing you much more than the ticket itself. Thus, you should always work with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you have a warrant. An experienced attorney can learn about your case and lift your warrant quickly and cost-effectively. Review this basic information on lifting Texas warrants to increase the productivity of your meeting with your attorney.

 

You can lift your warrant with a number of methods.

 

Do Jail Time

 

Many people mistakenly believe doing jail time instead of paying their ticket will be the cheapest way to lift the warrant. Some people even think this is their only option if they can’t afford to pay their expensive ticket. In reality, doing jail time is the equivalent of pleading guilty to the offense. It may have the indirect result of resolving your warrant, but it doesn’t save you from the other penalties associated with the offense, and some Class C convictions have very expensive surcharges and/or suspensions associated with them.

 

Pay the Ticket

 

You can also pay your ticket to lift the warrant. But paying the ticket is also seen as a guilty plea. So, once you pay the ticket and lift the warrant, you can be subject to more penalties, including surcharges. If you fail to pay those surcharges or miss a payment, your license can be suspended.

 

Post a Cash Bond

 

Another option is to request a new court date. To do this, you may have to pay a cash bond. But this is a high-risk move. If you miss your new court date, even accidentally, you forfeit the cash bond amount and are right back to square one.

 

Hire an Attorney to Post a Surety Bond

 

The best option is to hire an attorney to post a surety bond on your behalf. This lifts the warrant and reinstates the case on the court’s docket, and you have someone knowledgeable to appear for you in court to obtain the best deal for you, which may be to have the case dismissed! Moreover, you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to appear in court; the attorney does that for you!!

 

 

If you have a warrant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Jail Release: How to Get Out of Jail Fast in Texas

Jail Release: How to Get Out of Jail Fast in Texas

An Unexpected Arrest

 

Being booked into jail can be a stressful and anxiety-ridden experience for anyone. Most people taken to jail after an arrest have jobs they need to get to and families to take care of. Understandably, one of the biggest concerns for those in jail is getting out as quickly as possible. Fortunately, our firm has put together this list of steps you can take to get out of jail fast in Texas.

 

What Is Bail?

 

In most cases, the process for jail release after an arrest is relatively simple. A seasoned attorney should be able to get you out of jail fairly quickly.

 

Typically, within 24 hours of your arrest, a judge will set your bail at an initial hearing. The premise of bail is simple.

Bail is cash the defendant pays to the court to obtain conditional release from jail. If you return to court as expected, the court will refund your bail, less any applicable fees. If you fail to return to court, however, you forfeit your bail, which the court then keeps.

 

If you cannot pay the entire amount in bail, and this is not uncommon, you can secure a bond. A bond is an obligation to pay the court. Typically, a bondsman (or your attorney) can post a bond to secure your release. This is called a surety bond. Again, this is an obligation to pay the court. If you fail to appear at your future court proceedings, you must fulfill that obligation. Also, the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest.

 

If you work with a bail bonds company, you can post your bail with fewer immediate costs. Essentially, the bail bondsman will post your entire bail, and you pay a certain percentage to the company. If you return to court, the company gets the bail refunded, and the percentage you paid to the company applies to your fees. But the company may require up to 15% of the total bail from you and could require collateral to secure your ability to pay the entire sum should you fail to appear in court. Also, many bond companies require you to check-in weekly with them in person. Thus, working with a bail bondsman can be high risk.

 

Options for Jail Release

 

Now that you understand what bail and bonds are, we’ll go over the options for getting out of jail fast.

 

First, call an attorney or have a friend or family member call an attorney. An attorney can do a few things for you. The ideal outcome is your attorney negotiates for your release on personal recognizance. This means the court agrees to grant you release from jail if you acknowledge your obligation to return to court and promise to fulfill it. No cash payments are involved. But some charges may preclude you from this option, so have an attorney advise you on the best option.

 

If the court won’t grant you release on recognizance, an attorney can work to reduce your bail to a more reasonable amount. If this isn’t a good option (and your attorney can advise you on this), your attorney can post a surety bond. Surety bonds secure the bond (and the obligation to pay the court) on your behalf.

 

Act Quickly

 

If you want to get out of jail fast in Texas, calling an attorney will be the quickest route to release. An experienced attorney can set to work on securing your release from jail using one of the methods above. A good attorney can get you out of jail quickly in the most cost-effective way possible.

 

If you’ve been arrested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and want to get out of jail fast, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Bond Reduction: Exploring Your Options

Bond Reduction: Exploring Your Options

A Fair Amount

 

Bail is the money you pay the court to be released from custody after an arrest. Typically, in misdemeanor cases, if you can post bail (i.e. pay your bail) you can go free. But not everyone can afford to pay exorbitant bail amounts. Judges have a wide amount of discretion when setting bail. Often they set the bail based on the facts at hand alone, before considering the defendant’s ability to pay. In these cases, it’s crucial you have an attorney help you.

 

Exploring Your Bond Reduction Options

 

The most ideal outcome is for an attorney to get you released on personal recognizance. Personal recognizance, also called own recognizance or “OR”, means you acknowledge your obligation to pay the court if you fail to appear at any of your scheduled court dates. A good attorney can secure your release on personal recognizance in many misdemeanor cases. With this type of release, there is no cash payment to the court. If you fail to fulfill your promise to return to court, however, the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest.

 

Alternatively, an attorney can file a Motion for Reduction of Bail. Bail cannot be excessive. But bail is often set using factors such as the nature of the offense and not the defendant’s financial standing. A Texas criminal defense attorney can use the regulations on bail setting to your advantage to negotiate a lower bail amount you can pay.

 

An attorney may also be able to secure a surety bond on your behalf. A surety bond (also called an attorney bond) is a promise made by your attorney that you will fulfill your obligation to appear in court. The benefit of having an attorney secure a surety bond is he or she can begin to work on your case even before you are released. If you work with a bail bondsman, you will end up paying a fee to the bail bond company but will not receive any legal guidance. Thus, having an attorney obtain a surety bond can be a better use of your resources in most cases.

 

Leverage the Law

 

Texas imposes strict regulations on the setting of bail and bonds. These regulations work to protect defendant rights and prevent oppression. If you want to make the most of those protections, work with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth area criminal defense attorney. The best thing you can do for yourself is to speak with an attorney about your case. An attorney might be able to reduce your bond or post a surety bond on your behalf to release you from jail.

 

 

If you’ve been arrested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.