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Texas Criminal Defense FAQs

Have Your Questions Answered by a Criminal Lawyer in Houston, TX

There is no guidebook for what to expect after you’ve been arrested. Criminal law is complex and the details surrounding a person’s arrest will drastically affect how their case plays out. Nonetheless, there are some common general questions that Houston criminal defense attorney Samuel M. Gardner receives from clients. Below, you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Texas criminal law.

  • I’m being charged with a misdemeanor, do I need a lawyer?

    Yes. Do not make the mistake of underestimating misdemeanor charges. While you may not be facing jail time, the real penalty of misdemeanors is not the fine—it’s the permanent mark on your criminal record.

    An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to find weak points in the charges against defendants. In some cases, charges can be entirely dismissed and you can avoid having a conviction show up on background checks.

  • I plan on pleading guilty, do I need a lawyer?

    Yes. Accepting a plea deal is a big decision- you are agreeing to be labeled as a convict. This saves the prosecutor a lot of work, which is why they are often eager to make these deals. There are some cases where accepting a plea deal is the best option, but you should still have your own attorney representing you so they can negotiate better terms.

  • What should I do if I am under investigation?

    If you are being investigated for a crime, an arrest may be imminent, even if the police did not indicate that you are a suspect. You should start researching attorneys now so that you have someone to call if you are ever arrested.

  • What is the right to remain silent?

    Exactly what it sounds like. When you are arrested, the police are required to tell you your Miranda Rights, one of which is the right to remain silent. Anything you say after you are arrested can be used against you in court.

    Do not try to explain your situation to law enforcement or a judge after an arrest. They are not interested in helping you—they are listening for anything that will incriminate you. Even innocent people can inadvertently make comments that make them sound guilty.

    For instance, if you are accused of being at the scene of a crime on a certain date you should not try to explain that you were at the specified place without talking to a lawyer first. If you get any of the details wrong, contradictions between this statement and your final statement will be brought up in court, throwing your entire claim into question.

  • What happens if I break the terms of my probation?

    As difficult as this may be, it is important to strictly adhere to the terms of your probation. Law enforcement can send you back to jail without a trial if you break the terms of probation. Furthermore, judges are not usually willing to hear your reasons for breaking probation. Breaking this agreement is considered a violation of trust and is not taken lightly.

    If you did break the terms of your probation, either by accident or out of necessity, talk to an attorney immediately. A skilled lawyer may be able to soften the consequences.

  • I was caught “red handed”, is there any hope for my case?

    There is always more to the story than what appears on the surface. Even if the police caught you committing a criminal act, that does not mean they understand the full situation. Prosecutors create narratives that paint defendants as criminal masterminds. You need to make sure someone can explain your side of the story in a legal context. Even if you believe you will be found guilty, there are usually opportunities to have charges dismissed and reduce possible penalties.

Attorney Samuel M. Gardner

“I truly view my role with my client as attorney and counselor. Often clients come to my office with more going on than just their criminal case. I try to be sensitive and supportive to those issues while offering legal advice.”

- Samuel M. Gardner
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