Frequently Asked Questions
Fort Worth Criminal Defense
Why do I need an attorney?
Anyone charged with a crime can be sure that the prosecution will present a strong case against them. Even a DWI will have evidence against you that will convict you unless you have a legal representative defend you by establishing a case that refutes the evidence brought against you. Your chances of being found innocent without the help of a lawyer are almost nil. Get the help you need right away, as the sooner we can begin to develop your defense, the better chance you have of success.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge?
A misdemeanor is charged for those crimes that are punishable by up to $4000 in fines and up to one year in jail, depending on the severity of the crime. These can include such charges as DWI, theft, assault, minor drug possession. A felony charge is a more serious crime, involving serious bodily harm, theft involving larger amounts, even murder. There are different degrees of felonies, but they can result in large fines and many years in prison, up to the death penalty for a capital murder charge.
Should I speak with the police if I am arrested?
No, it is never in your best interests to speak with law enforcement when they are investigating you for a crime. Their intent is always to find more information so that they can develop an even stronger case against you. It is important to remember that the authorities are allowed to lie to you during questioning in attempt to pull a confession or conviction statement out of you. If you retain a Fort Worth criminal attorney from Alband, Lane & Balderama, we can provide you with the skilled defense you will need. Depending on the circumstances, there may be occasions when you could be questioned in the presence of your attorney.
Is there any way to get out of a DWI charge?
There are always defenses to use, even when it appears you have no hope of getting out of a DWI conviction. As a former prosecutor, I know how the prosecution develops their case and I can challenge evidence brought against you if it failed to meet the guidelines for obtaining your arrest and blood or breath tests. Having a DWI conviction on your record can lead to serious consequences, so it is well worth it to attempt to fight your charges. If we fight and cannot attain a not guilty verdict, I will work tirelessly to have your charges reduced so that you will face minimal penalties.
How long will a DWI conviction remain on my driving record?
Many people are under the impression that similar to bankruptcy, the DWI conviction will be wiped off their record after a certain number of years. Unfortunately, this is a myth and a DWI/DUI mark will remain on your driving record indefinitely unless you take legal action to clean up your record. A Fort Worth DWI attorney from the firm can help you pursue expunctions, and work to remove past convictions. Contact our legal team today if you are interested in cleaning up your record.
If police want to search my home or vehicle, do I give my consent?
Definitely not. You are by no means obligated to give them your consent and agree to a search. To this day the same rule applies that “a man’s house is his castle,” and the time they are allowed to enter in and search your home, is if they have your verbal permission or a written warrant. For your vehicle, the law is slightly different because they are allowed to search if they have reason to believe that you have any illegal substance, stolen items or criminal evidence in the car. If the car was stolen or confiscated, then they are permitted to do a search as well. When it comes to giving your verbal consent however, our Fort Worth criminal lawyers highly discourage it.
If I am innocent, do I still need an attorney to represent me in court?
If you are indeed innocent, then you actually have more to lose than a guilty offender. Many people mistakenly believe that the courts will take the time to find out the truth and will believe them to be innocent. The law may say that you are innocent until you are proven guilty, but there have been many people who have been wrongly accused and convicted of a crime that they did not commit. If you have been arrested, that means that the authorities already believe you to be guilty and they are simply trying to find evidence against you to justify their arrest. Don’t leave your entire future at risk. Take up aggressive legal defense and protect yourself from any possible unwarranted penalties.
If the authorities did not read me my rights, does that mean my case won’t hold up in court?
Unfortunately it does not. The only reason the police legally need to read you your rights is when they intend to question you and put your statement on record as evidence against you. They do not need to read you your rights during the arrest, as seen on TV, but some may choose to do so. Your case will not be thrown out of court if they fail to read you the Miranda warning. Your statement however, may not be used against you in court if you were not read your rights. The Miranda rights go as follows:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning if you wish. You can decide at any time to exercise these rights and not answer any question or make any statements.”
If the authorities claim that they have evidence against me, should I confess?
No! This is a tricky tactic that police officials will use to move the process along quicker. The authorities are warranted to tell you any white lie in the book in hopes that you will confess and make their job easier. If they tell you they already have witnesses or convicting evidence against you, they may be lying. If you were not alone in the crime, many times they will separate you from the other suspects and will try to turn you against each other. They will say that the others have already confessed and you would be wise to do the same. Do not believe everything that the authorities tell you, they are looking out for their best interests and they already assume you to be guilty so do not give them further reason. Please remember that you have the right to remain silent and you can request to have your attorney present during questioning.
What is a probationary period?
After a criminal offender has served some time behind bars and has shown good behavior, they may be released and permitted to spend the remainder of their sentence as a member of the community. There are however, certain rules, terms, and conditions that come along with probation that must be followed to the letter. The offender is still under the courts supervision during this time, it is not until probation is successfully served that they are free from court supervision. During probation the offender usually has to report to a probation officer on a regular basis and may also be subject to community service, alcohol or drug tests and certain correctional programs that are deemed necessary by the court. If the terms of probation are violated, then it may be revoked, forcing the person to return to incarceration.
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