Criminal Defense FAQs
At The Law Offices of James H. Horton, PC, we understand that if you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime in Texas, you probably have many questions. Below, please find answers to some of the inquiries we commonly receive. For more information, and to discuss your case with us, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
- Do I need a lawyer if I was only charged with a misdemeanor?
- Can I avoid going to jail if I have been charged with a felony?
- Should I accept a plea bargain?
Q: Do I need a lawyer if I was only charged with a misdemeanor?
A: Yes. Although misdemeanors often seem minor, many still carry serious punishments, including large fines and potential jail time, on top of any additional administrative punishments, such as having your driver's license suspended. Regardless of the crime with which you have been charged, the U. S. Constitution gives you the right to have an attorney present at all stages of criminal proceedings. In many misdemeanor cases, our attorneys can successfully defend the charges at trial or negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense.
Q: Can I avoid going to jail if I have been charged with a felony?
A: It is often possible to avoid jail time for a felony charge, especially if you have no previous convictions on your record or if the case against you is weak. Using our decades of experience negotiating and trying criminal matters, we are often able to negotiate with the prosecutor to drop or reduce the charges, or to offer you a diminished punishment consisting of alternatives to jail time, such as counseling programs, classes, or probation.
Q: Should I accept a plea bargain?
A: A complete answer depends on the details of your particular case, but in many cases, accepting a plea bargain may be your best option. However, even if you are considering the prosecutor's offer, it is important to hire experienced defense lawyers who understand the tactics prosecutors use in plea negotiations. Often, the initial deal you are offered is not the best one you can obtain, and you might end up pleading guilty to a more serious crime.
Regardless of whether you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony, our lawyers will examine the facts of your case and advise you as to whether a plea bargain might be a good idea in your particular situation, or if it would be better to fight the charges at trial. If you choose to pursue a plea, we will comb through all of the evidence in your case so that we can negotiate the best possible arrangement on your behalf. We can inform you of the offer and advise you as to whether we believe it is the best option, but you are the one who ultimately makes the decision about whether or not to accept the plea in your case.