Criminal Defense and Title IX
Attorneys Austin, TX

Texas Criminal Defense FAQ

Experienced Austin, TX defense attorneys provide answers you can trust

Criminal law governs individual conduct, crimes, charges, punishments, and related matters. Navigating this complex field can be overwhelming for newcomers. It involves offenses, arrests, pretrial procedures, hearings, sentencing, and appeals. You don’t have to face it all alone. We’re here to help.

The following are answers from our Austin criminal defense lawyers to frequently asked questions about Central Texas crime and justice. This information is general and may not apply universally. For case-specific guidance, contact Botsford & Roark for a free case evaluation. We can explain the charges you’re facing, potential penalties, and defensive options.

What happens in a Texas arrest?

Typically, in Texas, once an individual has been arrested, the arresting officers must inform them of their Miranda rights. This includes advising the accused that they have a right to remain silent, that anything they say can be used against them in court, and their right to an attorney. All questioning should stop until a lawyer on their side is present.

Next, the individual is usually transported to the police station or nearby detention center for booking. This typically involves taking photographs and fingerprints of the individual. In the morning, or soon thereafter, will be the arraignment, in which the individual goes before a court judge to enter a plea to charges. After pleading not guilty, the judge may set bail.

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What is bail?

Bail is an amount of money paid to secure release pending trial; however, it should not be confused with paying for someone’s freedom as full payment must still occur at the conclusion of a case regardless of if found guilty or innocent.

Several factors are considered when setting a bond/bail, such as criminal history and flight risk. Additionally, some jurisdictions offer alternative forms of bail, such as surety bonds which require another party – usually a friend/family member – to vouch for the defendant’s appearance in court instead of posting cash.

The individual may also be released under personal recognizance, meaning the person is being trusted to appear on scheduled court dates. Once all applicable fees are paid and paperwork filed, the individual may leave custody until a future court date(s).

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Can the charges against me be dismissed?

Maybe. When charges are dropped it’s usually because a piece of evidence law enforcement and prosecutors were relying on is no longer available. At Botsford & Roark we file pretrial motions and attend hearings to challenge whether evidence should be admissible in court. A move to suppress is a request asking for certain types of evidence – such as illegally obtained confessions or items seized without sufficient probable cause – to be excluded from consideration by the judge or jury. If there is not sufficient evidence to support prosecution, the charges must be dropped.

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Can I plead down to lesser charges?

This may be possible, depending on the charge and circumstances. In some situations, pleading to lesser offenses is the least disruptive option. This is called plea bargaining. Negotiations are conducted between the defense attorney and prosecuting side (usually the district attorney), allowing the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge(s) to avoid the more damaging consequences of a more severe charge. If no agreement is reached, then the case goes to trial.

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What are the penalties if I am convicted of a crime in Texas?

Sentencing considerations occur following a conviction at trial or after accepting a plea deal. Several factors are considered when determining the appropriate penalty for the crime committed, including criminal history, the severity of the offense committed, mitigating circumstances present, etc.

Sentences may range from probation to life imprisonment depending upon each situation; judges also have the discretion to impose fines/restitution orders as part of the penalty imposed against a convicted person.

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Can I appeal an unfair conviction?

The appeals process enables defendants to challenge their convictions, either through state appellate courts or, if necessary, at the higher federal level, such as the Supreme Court. However, it must be initiated within a strict legal timeframe. This ensures that any potential errors raised are promptly addressed before they become moot due to the expiration of statutory limitations that occur over time since the initial conviction.

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Put your trust in decades of criminal defense experience

Criminal charges demand seriousness and professional legal guidance. Talking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer can increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Botsford & Roark has decades of experience in Central Texas. We excel in handling complex cases while serving all clients with respect and dedication. Our Austin criminal defense lawyers gather evidence, build strong defenses, and negotiate for favorable results. Contact us anytime for a free case evaluation.

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