Criminal charges and the potential for conviction can be terrifying, whether you made a mistake or did nothing wrong. If you have been charged with a crime in Angleton, you have the right to have a legal defense, and it is important that you exercise this right. Facing criminal charges can be isolating, but when you work with an Angleton criminal defense lawyer, you can have someone on your side.
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, a conviction can have a severe negative effect on your life, including incarceration, fines, probation, and a permanent criminal record. An experienced lawyer is essential to navigating your charges and determining a strategy that provides you with the strongest defense.
The Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, is dedicated to supporting and defending those accused of crimes in Angleton and the communities surrounding. We believe that criminal charges should not alter your entire life. Our firm wants to use our knowledge of state and federal criminal law to find the defense that provides the ideal outcome for your case in Angleton, TX.
Our team has been providing successful and effective criminal defense for 10 years, so we know how to tailor our experience to fit your needs and unique criminal case. Navigating the criminal justice system can be less overwhelming with our qualified attorney guiding you through the process. We can give your case our full attention, answer your questions, and provide you with exceptional legal care.
There are many types of criminal charges, and you want to work with an attorney who has success with cases like yours. Although each criminal case is unique, an attorney who has experience in the type of charge you face has a better understanding of the evidence that the prosecution needs. They also know what defenses are more likely to be successful in your situation.
At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, we have defended individuals from many types of criminal charges, including:
A DWI charge occurs when you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The penalties for a DWI vary depending on:
Typically, a DWI conviction results in jail time or probation, fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license.
Your driver’s license could be suspended as a result of different criminal convictions, such as a DWI, drug possession, and drug trafficking. To reinstate your license, you must attend an Administrative Law Judge hearing. An attorney can represent you during this hearing to argue against the suspension or limit the severity of the penalties. If your license is still suspended, an attorney can determine how you can apply for a restricted license.
Drug crimes include drug possession, drug manufacturing, and drug trafficking. These offenses have harsh penalties. They may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type of controlled substance, the amount you have, and what you intend to do with it. It’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side when you face drug crime charges, as these laws are complicated, and the penalties can be severe.
The penalties associated with theft crimes depend on the type of theft committed and the value of the items or services stolen. Shoplifting will have different penalties than the theft of a firearm. Petty theft involves items valued under $500, and anything valued higher is charged as grand theft. Theft charges also include writing bad checks. When you face theft charges, you will likely be required to pay restitution to the victim of the crime.
When you are charged with certain crimes, you may be assigned probation instead of incarceration, or probation will replace a portion of your incarceration sentence. During probation, you are required to follow certain guidelines, including:
Each individual’s probation may be slightly different, but if you do not meet the terms of your probation, you could be criminally charged and face more time in jail.
Violent crimes like assault may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on:
Assault is the crime of intentionally using physical conduct to offend or provoke an individual or make them uncomfortable.
Domestic violence is the crime of using physical violence or the threat of physical violence against a family member, romantic partner, or roommate. These cases are very complicated, and they carry significant social and professional consequences as well as criminal penalties. It’s important to have a qualified attorney handle a case where you are charged with domestic violence.
Sex offenses include public indecency, prostitution, and sexual assault. In addition to criminal penalties, a sex crime conviction typically requires you to register as a sex offender. This results in social and professional repercussions, and it also limits the places you can work or live.
When you are placed under arrest, especially if you have never been charged or arrested before, it’s important to keep in mind your rights. Trying to explain the situation may provide law enforcement officers with statements that they can later use against you, whether you committed the crime or not. Resisting arrest can also worsen the charges against you.
You have the right to remain silent when you are arrested, and it is essential that you invoke this right. You are not required to give any verbal or written statements. You also have the right to legal representation. Requesting legal representation should be the only statement you make after an arrest.
Misdemeanors are crimes that are typically less severe than felonies, but both types of convictions can have a significant effect on your future.
Misdemeanors are categorized into Class A to C, with Class A misdemeanors being the most serious. The penalties for misdemeanors may include:
Felonies have three degrees, with a first-degree felony being the most severe of the three. There are also state jail felonies and capital felonies, capital being the most serious crime. A state jail felony is the only felony that provides time in jail rather than federal prison. Penalties include:
Both felonies and misdemeanors result in a criminal record, which can alter the rest of your life.
A: The cost of a criminal defense attorney in Texas depends on several factors, including their fee structure. Most criminal defense attorneys charge on an hourly rate, sometimes with a retainer fee, to reserve their services during your case.
The hourly rate that an attorney charges will be different, depending on their own experience in the crime you are being charged with and the complexity of your case. A felony charge will result in higher rates than a misdemeanor charge, as they typically require stronger defenses, more investigation, and more work to mitigate or eliminate the charges.
A: Whether a felony can be dropped depends on the unique charges you face and the skill of your defense attorney. It is possible for felony charges to be dropped in Texas if there is an applicable defense or there is not enough evidence to prosecute and convict you of the charges. The lack of evidence may be the result of certain evidence being found inadmissible after an attorney raises defenses like mishandling of evidence.
Felony charges could also be dropped if the prosecutor decides to drop the case against you, or if you and your attorney negotiate a plea deal that results in misdemeanor charges rather than felony charges.
A: An affirmative defense in a criminal case in Texas occurs when a defendant admits to a crime in their defense, but this admission of guilt is made along with a justification or causation of the crime committed. For example, self-defense against an assault, battery, or homicide charge admits that the individual committed the crime but provides a reason as to why penalties should be mitigated or eliminated. Other affirmative defenses include:
A: Some of the most common defenses against assault charges in Texas include:
Your attorney can determine what defense fits the unique circumstances of your charge and arrest.
At the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC, we understand the criminal law system and can effectively protect your rights. Contact our team to learn how we can help.