When faced with criminal charges, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You may even find thinking straight challenging. All this is normal, especially if you have never been in such a situation. In this case, consulting with a criminal defense lawyer would be the first thing you need to do.
Please note that various criminal acts fall under different categories according to the state of Texas penal code. A reputable Houston criminal defense lawyer will be able to advise you on the severity and classification of charges brought against you.
Punishable Criminal Offences
As stated earlier, criminal charges fall under different categories and are judged accordingly. They range from:
- First-degree felonies like aggravates robbery, murder, arson of habitation, attempted capital murder, etc.
- Second-degree felonies such as aggravated assault, bribery, arson, intoxication, manslaughter, etc.
- Third-degree felonies include aggravated perjury, bail jumping, deadly content with a firearm, etc.
- State jail felonies include burglary of a building, credit card abuse, cruelty to animals, unauthorized use of a vehicle, etc.
- Class A misdemeanors. This includes violation of a protective order, burglary of a vehicle.
- Class B misdemeanors. This includes criminal trespass, terrorism threats, prostitution, harassment, etc.
- Class C misdemeanors. This includes assault by threat, use of laser pointers, gambling, leaving a child in a vehicle, etc.
City Of Houston
Despite five out of ten Americans thinking of Houston as being safe, reports paint a different picture. Automobile theft and assault remain high, while rape and murder are considered bordering the middle line.
Things To Do When Facing Criminal Charges In Houston
Criminal offense charges are not to be taken lightly; depending on the severity of the charge, you could end up going to jail- for a long time. Should you find yourself in this situation, this is what you need to do:
- Avoid Speaking With The Police
This point can’t be emphasized enough. It’s common knowledge, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t observe this. In numerous instances, when the police question people, they attempt to explain themselves.
You gain nothing by doing this. You could be doing yourself more harm than you know. Why? Because the police can use any statements made by you as evidence and use them against you in court.
- Get In Contact With A Criminal Lawyer
Next, if you suspect that you are subject to a police investigation, you should immediately contact a reputable Houston criminal defence lawyer. The period before and after you are charged are highly significant. They can make or break your case.
- Don’t Agree To Anything
Fortunately, the US Constitution limits the lengths to which law enforcement agencies can search for evidence, especially private property. This means that they don’t have the right to go through your car, home, or conduct a body search without having a warrant.
Most often, people willingly allow the police to conduct searches on their property. Don’t agree to this. Like before, this could end up blowing up on your face.
Maybe you are already arrested and in police custody; observe all the points as mentioned earlier. Being put in hand-cuffs under arrest can be intimidating and scary. But please keep in mind that they still don’t have a case against you.
This is simply an intimidation act. It serves as a psychological means of unraveling you; in turn, you slip and give them information- unknowingly. So, avoid handing them the rope with which they will use to hang you with. Exercise your right to remain silent and access to an attorney.
Lastly, avoid speaking to any other person you may encounter, including family members and other inmates. They might be willing to work with law enforcement in exchange for a deal. The police might be listening to your conversation, so keep any talk as general as possible.
Portrayed as villains in popular films and movies, criminal lawyers are essential to the American judicial system. Without them defending you from any charges, who will be able to check the government and guard against its overreach.
Under the law, you are assumed free until proven guilty. Having an experienced Houston criminal defence lawyer might determine whether you go to jail or not by ensuring you have a free and fair trial.