8:00 - 6:00

Hours Mon. - Fri.

214.329.9433

Call Us For Free Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Search

Lang

 

Plea Bargains

First Steps After Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

First Steps After Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

You’re facing charges. You’ve hired a criminal defense attorney. And now you’re wondering what to do next. While your attorney might set to work building your defense, your job isn’t over yet. Keep these first steps after hiring a criminal defense attorney in mind if you want to maximize your chances of clearing your name.

 

Learn About Your Case

It’s crucial you familiarize yourself with your case process for your peace of mind and so there are no surprises. Ask your attorney what happens next and what you can expect in the coming weeks. Some criminal cases move slowly while others resolve relatively quickly. It all depends on how your attorney handles your case and the pace of the court.

 

Be Proactive

Depending on your charges, your attorney may ask you to do a few things. For example, if you are facing charges for a drug-related offense, your attorney will ask you to abstain from drugs and perhaps enroll in a substance abuse treatment program. Or, if you are facing family violence (i.e. domestic violence) charges, your attorney may ask you to enroll in an Anger Management Class or Battering Intervention and Prevention program. Be proactive, and stay involved in your case.

 

Prepare for Court

If you need to appear in court, now is the time to make sure you have something respectable to wear. Many defendants overlook the importance of appearance when in court. Men should wear suits, and women should wear business attire. This is especially true for trial. The prospective jurors should look at the defense table and think everyone sitting at it is a lawyer. They will only have this impression if you are dressed professionally.

 

Make Arrangements

Discuss with your attorney what could happen if you are convicted. Whether it’s through a plea bargain or at trial, a conviction means you will be sentenced. Your attorney can advise you on the likely consequences of your charges. For example, if your attorney anticipates you will be given some jail time, now is the time to look into incarceration alternatives. Similarly, if you are looking at a DWI conviction, start learning about what you will need to do to get your license back as soon as possible.

 

Learning about what to expect and preparing for it should be your focus right now. Trust us when we say you won’t want to be surprised with anything the judge says. It’s far better to inform yourself of what could happen in court beforehand. If you are at a point where you haven’t hired a criminal defense attorney or think your current attorney may not be the fighter you need right now, consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney with trial experience. It’s important to speak with an attorney who has experience fighting cases all the way because such an attorney will be best able to advise you on all your options and which is the best for you.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Are All Texas Felonies Created Equal? A Look at Crime Degrees

Are All Texas Felonies Created Equal? A Look at Crime Degrees

Types of Texas Felonies

 

In Texas, felonies are crimes that are punishable by a term in a state jail or prison. Felonies are considered more serious than misdemeanor offenses. But not all felonies are created equal. They will typically fall within one of the following categories.

 

State Jail Felony

 

As the name suggests, state jail felonies are those that are punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000. State jails are an answer to the overcrowding in Texas state prisons and typically house nonviolent felons. But, unlike in terms in county jails or state prisons, felons in state jails are not eligible for early release due to good behavior. Examples of Texas state jail felonies include possession of a controlled substance under 1 gram and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

 

Third Degree Felony

 

Third degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between two and 10 years, and the judge may also impose a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of third degree felonies include intoxication assault and third offense DWI.

 

Second Degree Felony

 

Second degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between two and 20 years and potentially a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of second degree felonies include aggravated assault and robbery.

 

First Degree Felony

 

First degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of between five and 99 years or life in prison and potentially a fine of up to $10,000. Examples of first degree felonies include aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

 

Capital Felony

 

Capital felonies are punishable by a prison term of life without parole or the death penalty. Examples of capital felonies include murder of a peace officer on duty or murder of multiple people during the same criminal episode.

 

Felony Charges? Get Serious About Your Defense

 

Any felony charge should be taken seriously. With potentially long terms of incarceration and steep fines, no one can afford to plead guilty to a Texas felony. Whenever facing felony charges, it’s absolutely essential you work with a skilled Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Involve an attorney in your case as soon as you can. An attorney can explain the penalties you could face and the important elements in your case the prosecution must prove to convict you. From there, you can develop a plan of action to fight your charges. Naturally, any person will want any criminal charge dismissed, but you really have to assess the evidence against you along with the plea bargain being offered by the State. Being that the sentences for some types of felonies can result in a punishment that can cost the better part of your life, it is imperative that you select an experienced attorney who can weigh all the options when deciding how best to fight and/or resolve the case.

 

 

If you need help fighting your felony 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 to fight your charges. 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 Costs and Benefits of Plea Bargains

The Costs and Benefits of Plea Bargains

Plea bargains, also called plea deals, are a crucial component in many Texas criminal prosecutions. Most people think they have only two options when facing criminal charges: plead guilty to the charges or go to trial. In reality, most criminal cases are resolved prior to trial through a plea bargain. A plea bargain is essentially a negotiated “deal” wherein the defendant exchanges his or her guilty plea for a reduced charge or lesser sentence. But plea bargains have both benefits and costs that should be considered.

 

Benefits of Plea Bargains

 

Plea bargains are negotiated between the prosecution and the defense. They attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution: a better outcome for the defendant and a lightened trial load for the court. The courts want to avoid trial because they are resource intensive. Courts typically have a backlog of cases awaiting trial at any given point. The defendant also benefits. He or she avoids the costs, risks and uncertainty of trial. In a trial, the defendant’s fate is often in the hands of the jury. Moreover, the defendant saves attorney fees, court fees and the costs of obtaining evidence, such as expert testimony.

 

Plea bargains also have the added benefit of giving the defendant options. If he or she does not want to plead guilty to the charge he or she is facing, a plea bargain may provide a favorable alternative. For example, if the defendant was facing a charge with a mandatory jail sentence, his or her attorney might be able to negotiate a deal wherein the defendant serves no jail time.

 

Costs of Plea Bargains

 

While plea bargains can provide the defendant some level of flexibility in terms of options, they also come at a cost. Typically, you will need to hire an experienced attorney to get the best plea bargain. Although the defendant would still end up avoiding the cost of trial, he or she would most likely have to hire a criminal defense attorney skilled at negotiating plea bargains for best results.

 

The most important cost of plea bargains to keep in mind is the defendant is still pleading guilty. In a trial, the defendant would have a chance of acquittal. An acquittal would mean he or she would walk away with no criminal conviction. In accepting a plea bargain, the defendant is pleading guilty to a crime and will acquire a criminal record in the process. In light of this fact, it becomes less of a “bargain” and more of a burden. Unfortunately, many defendants don’t consider the costs of a criminal record until it’s too late. But if you consider the destructive potential of a criminal conviction, you can see how costly they are. For example, a criminal conviction can:

 

  • Cause you to lose your job
  • Hurt your chances when applying for a job
  • Result in denials when applying for apartments, loans or even insurance
  • Hurt your financial aid options
  • Cause you to lose certain rights (e.g. a family violence conviction will result in the loss of firearm rights)
  • Damage your reputation and status in your community
  • Result in the loss of certain relationships
  • May be used against you in future criminal cases

 

Long-Term Costs

 

These are just a few of the many harsh consequences of a criminal conviction. The worst part is these consequences often last a lifetime.

 

The only way to make an informed decision on how to plea is to discuss your case in detail with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. An attorney can go over all the costs and benefits of plea bargains and advise you on what you should do given the details of your case.

 

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 clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Weighing Your Chances in a Texas Criminal Trial

Weighing Your Chances in a Texas Criminal Trial

Is Trial a Good Idea?

 

Criminal trials are complex legal proceedings. Weighing your chances at a Texas criminal trial is impossible without a full examination of the facts and circumstances of your case. Even then, a good attorney can only give you a general idea of what the outcome may be. For this reason, you should consult with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. But, in the meantime, here is some helpful information on the factors that can affect the outcome of a trial.

 

Who Decides?

 

Trials in Texas are most commonly jury trials, meaning a panel of jurors decides the verdict and sometimes even the sentence. Jurors are everyday citizens. They are selected to be free from bias and prejudices. But it’s difficult to know how any given jury will decide. An attorney with trial experience should give you an idea of the factors that come into play when juries decide on cases.

 

A criminal defendant in Texas has the right to have the jury decide the punishment. Jurors are educated on sentencing guidelines and instructed on what factors can influence a sentence. In some cases, letting the jury decide the sentence is the best way to ensure a fair punishment. In others, it may be advisable to let the judge decide.

 

The Timeline

 

It could take a while before your case goes to trial. If you are awaiting trial while in jail, your case will move more quickly. But, in general, much of the delay in criminal trials comes from the court’s backlog of cases. In fact, this is why prosecutors are keen to offer plea bargains when defendants plead not guilty. The plea bargain works in the defendant’s and the court’s favor. The prosecutor may offer the defendant a lesser charge or a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. The court, in turn, reduces its backlog of cases awaiting trial.

 

Every Case Is Different

 

It’s best to explore all your options for fighting your charges with an attorney. While your chances of acquittal may be hard to estimate, a seasoned attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you on the best course of action. Trial isn’t for everyone. In many cases, plea bargains are preferable. But it requires going over all the details in your case with a skilled Texas criminal defense attorney to know what your best option is.

 

 

If you are facing criminal charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. 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.