Criminal Accused Information

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN CREATED TO HELP INFORM YOU. AT THE TORRES LAW FIRM, WE BELIEVE THE MORE KNOWLEDGE OUR CLIENTS HAVE, THE MORE POWER HEY HAVE.

HARD WORK + DEDICATION = RESULTS

THE TORRES LAW FIRM = RESULTS

A Note From The Torres Law Firm

You have been accused of a crime. You are not guilty. You may have been indicted- A felony case has been brought against you, or you, or you may have been Charged- A misdemeanor case has been brought against you. Again, you are not guilty, you have only been accused. 

Torres Tip: It's not uncommon for criminal cases to take anywhere from 6 months - 1 year to be taken care of.

Arraignment

This is the formal process of The State of Texas informing you of the charges being brought against you and your rights. The formal reading of the Indictment/Charge is usually performed by The Judge and can be Waived- to give up your right. 

Torres Tip: The formal reading of the Indictment/Charge is passed on, to: 1)save time 2) yor attorney can go over it with you.

What Now?

You have a few options to consider:

  1. Accept the charges brought against you and Plea- make an agreement with the Government about punishment.
  2. Accept the charges brought against you, but allow the judge to decide punishment- Open Plea
  3. Fight the charges brought against you, choosing either a Jury Trial or a Bench Trial

Plea Bargaining

Your attorney and the government's attorney have negotiated and reached an agreement as to punishment. Either, probation or a fixed prison time has been arranged.

Different Kinds of Probation

Deferred Probation:

  • Your chase will be dismissed after SUCCESSFULLY completing probation.
  • You could face the full range of punishment if you ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL on probation.
  • You are eligible for a Non-Disclosure- only government agencies can see your arrest.

Straignt Probation:

  • You will have a Conviction- can never be taken off your record.
  • You can only face the agreed punishment sentence, Not the full range of punishment.

Pre-Trial Diversion

  • Only available in misdemeanors
  • 6 months or 12 months program
  • You are eligible for an Expunction- Like a sponge, it never happened.

Torres Tip: All probations have the same conditions of probation, with only requirement differences.

Probation Requirements

  1. Curfew
  2. No alcohol or drugs
  3. Community service
  4. Classes
  5. Monthly Fees
  6. Urinalysis fees
  7. Do not be around other people on probation or convicted felons
  8. Do not pick up any new offenses

Open Plea

You and your attorney have decided to enter a plea of guilty but could not reach an agreement as to punishment with the government attorneys. Limited witnesses can be used by your attorney and the government's attorneys. The judge will decide a suitable punishment.

Bench Trial

You and your attorney have decided to have the judge of your court decide guilt or innocence and to decide the punishment. Very similar to a jury trial.

Jury Trial

You and your attorney have decided to have a jury- 6 jurors for misdemeanors, 12 jurors for felonies, decide guilt or innocence.

Punishment Ranges 

Enhancements Not Included

Misdemeanor:

  • Class A: up to 1 year in county jail.
  • Class B: up to 180 days in county jail.

Felony:

  • 1st Degree: 5-99 years.
  • 2nd Degree: 2-20 years.
  • 3rd Degree: 2-10 years.
  • State Jail Felony: 180 days- 2 years in state jail.
  • All felonies:10,000 fine-max

Trial Procedure Outline

Voir Dire / Jury Selection

  • 6 jurors selected for misdemeanors
  • 12 jurors selected for felonies

Opening Statements

  • The government will go first
  • Then your attorney will go second

Presentation of Evidence

The government will now:

  •  Call witnesses
  •  Show evidence
  • Your attorney can question any witnesses the government calls

Closing Arguments 

  • The government will go first
  • Then your attorney will go second
  • The government gets to go one last time

Jury Deliberation / Verdict

  • All jurors MUST AGREE FOR GUILTY
  • Only 1 juror needs to say NOT GUILTY