Do I need an Attorney?
If you have to ask yourself this question, chances are you do. Criminal charges are very serious and can affect a person’s entire life. We would strongly suggest that, at a minimum, you at least contact an attorney if you have questions. We offer a free consultation, where we will sit down, review your case, and discuss all of your options at no charge.
What is the standard criminal process once I’ve been arrested?
If you have been arrested and posted bond for a charge in Denton, you will be given a date to appear back in court (this date is usually 30 to 60 days after the arrest, but may be longer is some circumstances). The hiring of a skilled Denton County Criminal Defense Attorney is crucial at this point. Once you hire a criminal defense attorney, all correspondence will go through the attorney’s office, and the attorney will ensure that all proper paperwork, motions and/or documents are filed with the court. After the arrest, the police will prepare and present their report, as well as any corroborating evidence to the District Attorney (the State). After reviewing the evidence, the State will then decide whether or not to file the case. If the State decides to go forward and file the case, it prepares an “information”, and files this with the Court. (In a Felony DWI, the case will be sent before a Grand Jury, where a “True Bill of Indictment” will be sought.) Once the information has been filed, your case is set on the Court’s docket.
Once your case has been filed and set on the Court’s docket, it will go through a series of settings. These court settings usually last between 3 and 6 months. Generally, if you have hired an attorney, you will not need to be present for these settings unless specifically directed by the Court. During these settings, your attorney will review your case, review all of the evidence, consult with the State, and help you determine the best course of action to take. Your attorney should also ensure that all proper procedure has been followed regarding your case, and that your constitutional rights were violated in any way during the arrest. Such violations may result in your attorney filing a Motion to Suppress Evidence or having the case dismissed altogether.
Your attorney should be carefully examining every aspect of your case, and discussing it with you and the State. He may obtain a plea bargain “offer” from the State, but contrary to popular belief, the State is not required to make an offer. If the State chooses to make an offer, it may include reduced or no jail time, reduced fines, probation, or even a reduced charge. Your attorney will negotiate the best deal possible based upon the facts of your case and any flaws he may find in the State’s evidence. Your attorney may advise you as to whether or not to accept the offer, but ultimately, the decision on how to proceed is entirely yours. A lawyer may not force you into any agreement to which you do not consent.
If an agreement cannot be met during this series of settings, the State will choose to either drop the case or set it for trial (It is extremely rare that the State will decide to dismiss the case at this point, so most likely the case will be set for trial). You may request a bench trial, wherein your case is presented before a Judge, or a jury trial, wherein a jury of your peers will hear the case. Your attorney may also set up hearings to discuss various issues with the court while preparing for trial. One common hearing is a Motion to Suppress Hearing, wherein your attorney may attempt to have some or all of the evidence against you thrown out if proper procedure was not followed.
Finally, if your case has not yet been disposed of, the State will proceed with trial. If you have chosen a jury trial and your case is a misdemeanor, the trial will be heard by a jury of six. If you have chosen a jury trial and your case is a felony, the trial will be heard by a jury of twelve.
If you have been arrested, or are facing charges of any kind, contact our office today for a free consultation.
How much is an attorney going to cost me?
Our fees are probably less than you think. In many circumstances, the savings we can obtain for you in fines, court costs and probation fees will often pay for the entire representation. If you are facing jail time, you know how important your situation is, as serving time can often lead to other devastating problems such as the loss of your job and the inability to care for your loved ones. That being said, every case is different, and we do not discuss fees over the internet. We believe that it is important to sit down, thoroughly review your case, and answer any questions you may have before we discuss fees.
At Ross Law Offices, we don’t advertise or claim to be the cheapest attorneys in town, because we are not. We believe that like most things in life, when hiring an attorney, cost is only one of your considerations. We will be the first to admit that there will always be someone willing to represent you for a slightly cheaper rate. But as the saying goes, you often get what you pay for. Be cautious when dealing with anyone whose rates seem “too good to be true”. This may very well mean that you are not getting the representation and time devoted to your case that you need and deserve.
We believe that most of our clients are willing to pay a slightly higher fee in exchange for the benefit of a truly qualified attorney who takes the time to devote great effort to each and every client’s case.
Client Communication is Key
We go above and beyond expected standards in order to communicate with our clients and make ourselves available 24/7. In fact, all of our clients are given Mr. Ross’s personal cell phone number and may contact him at any time should the need arise. This can be extremely important when an issue arises during non-business hours.
In addition, we offer flexible payment plans which often make affording representation much more reasonable. We are willing to work with our clients and we understand that everyone experiences hard times in life. At Ross Law Offices, we believe that financial concerns should not prevent you from obtaining the representation you deserve.
At Ross Law Offices, we provide quality representation and a dedication to our clients’ interests which is often hard to find. We offer competitive (not cut-rate) fees and a level of service to our clients which we believe is among the best in the industry. Let us prove to you the dedication we hold to our clients’ interests. We offer a no-obligation free consultation to review your case and discuss your options.
Will I have to appear in court?
With most misdemeanor charges, we can file a document with the Court which allows us as your attorney to appear in your place for almost all of your court appearance requirements. This is extremely convenient for many clients, since it allows them to go about their normal lives and not incur the burden of having to miss work or school for several hours at a time, on numerous occasions.
Will this charge be on my record forever?
There are far too many factors which come into play when considering whether a charge will ultimately remain on a person’s record. An Expunction or Non Disclosure may be available, but this will depend entirely on the nature of your charge and what kind of deal or disposition is reached. Contact our office and we can discuss the details of your specific situation.
Is my license going to be suspended for a DWI?
Please review the ALR section of this website, which discusses license suspensions due to an ALR hearing. In addition, depending on the particular circumstances of your charge (including whether this is your first DWI), you may face additional driver’s license suspensions and state surcharges if you are convicted of DWI.
You may still be eligible to drive by obtaining an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL). Call our office for more information on this process.
Will my insurance rates go up as a result of a DWI charge?
Every insurance company is different, and they all impose different rules and regulations for their insured’s coverage. There is no way to be certain whether you may face increases in rates or possibly be dropped from coverage altogether. Contact our office and we will help you navigate your way through the insurance process and achieve the best results possible.
How long does a DWI stay on my record?
If you are convicted (or plead no contest) of DWI, it remains on your record forever. There may be ways of limiting who can see the record, but a conviction is permanent.
Can my criminal record be sealed?
Your criminal record may be eligible to be sealed or permanently destroyed. For an in-depth discussion on Record Sealing and Expunctions, please click here.