TALK TO AN ATTORNEY 214.665.6930
For the defense you deserve.

Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal conviction has the potential to destroy every area of your life. Fight for your life’s future happiness and defend your civil rights by partnering with a Dallas criminal defense lawyer from Chris Lewis & Associates, P.C.

No matter what crime you’ve been charged with by the police in Texas, being convicted of crimes will change your life. Even misdemeanor offenses have the potential to make your life much more difficult. You could struggle to secure employment, cause your family embarrassment, and destroy your financial prospects forever.

Chris Lewis, Criminal Defense Attorney

A Criminal Conviction Will Have Lasting Consequences

Many people don’t think about all the negative effects of a conviction in Texas. Now you have the chance to change the outcome of your case, and thus your life. You won’t be able to change the outcome later, after you’ve already pled guilty or been convicted of the crime you’re facing.

It is more than possible to get justice and beat a criminal charge with professional legal representation from a dedicated Dallas criminal defense lawyer at our law firm.

Types of Crimes Your Defense Lawyer Handles

Defense Attorney Taking Notes During Free ConsultationYour Dallas criminal lawyer from our law firm can handle all different types of criminal cases. Big or small, there’s no criminal case that our lawyers can’t take on and work to improve the practical outcome of when you’re facing a serious accusation. As an individual, trying to defend yourself in the Texas courts against a conviction for crimes is not a good idea. It takes years of education and experience to successfully defend against criminal conviction.

When You’ve Been Arrested, Our Defense Attorney Can Help

The following is a list of some common types of criminal case practice areas our defense firm’s legal consultants handle and have helped previous defense clients with:

What To Do Before Your First Hearing in Dallas Criminal Court

Usually, your first court appearance will take place within 48 hours after your arrest. It may take longer if you were arrested on a weekend or holiday. The court will let you know the charges against you and of your constitutional rights.

Getting a Criminal Attorney Through the Court

The court will also let you know that they will appoint a lawyer to you if you are unable to afford one. If you are unable, they will analyze your income and expenses and determine whether you qualify for a court-appointed attorney or not.

Defense Attorney's Notes

How You Plead to Criminal Charges Matters

The court will also ask you if you plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. If you haven’t had time to consult with a defense lawyer regarding what to do, you may need to ask the court for more time. It’s important to discuss the charges, defense to these charges, and the likelihood of you winning the case with your attorney. Only after discussing with an attorney should you enter a plea.

What To Do After Being Arrested and Accused of a Crime

Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are booked in jail. If you’ve been accused of a crime or questioned by authorities, don’t give them details beyond basic identifying information, like your name. They can use everything you say against you, so simply ask for your lawyer if they press you for information.

You Have Rights After an Arrest

You should be respectful and cooperate with their requests, but always preserve the right to remain silent and reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. Even after being photographed, fingerprinted, and booked, give our office a call.

Contact Your Defense Lawyer Immediately

Once you’ve spoken with a Dallas criminal defense lawyer, you should be booked and released in the time between your arrest and your day in court. During this time, your lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong defense for your case.

Criminal Penalties for Common Felony Crimes in Texas

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a felony offense, don’t make the mistake of taking the crime lightly. Felonies can shatter your life in many ways, from lengthy Dallas jail or prison terms to hefty fines. Once a felony is on your record, it’s there for life. It will change the way the world views you, and being a felon isn’t something you can easily hide.

Felony Punishments Can Be Harsh

The following are some of the legal penalties of a felony conviction in Texas, which your criminal lawyer wants to help you avoid.

  • First-Degree Felony – Punished by between five and ninety-nine years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Examples of crimes in this category are aggravated sexual assault and theft of property valued over $200,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony – Punished by between two and twenty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Examples of second-degree felonies are crimes such as reckless injury to a child and aggravated assault.
  • Third-Degree Felony – Punished by between two and ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Examples of crimes in this category are theft of property valued between $20,000 and $100,000 and drive-by shootings with no injuries.
  • State Jail Felony – Punished by between 180 days and two years in state jail and up to a $10,000 fine. Examples of state jail felonies are crimes such as credit or debit card abuse and theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000 in value.

Criminal Penalties for Common Misdemeanor Crimes in Texas

Police Pulling Suspect OverIt’s unfortunate that a lot of people think, until it’s too late, that misdemeanors won’t have resulting negative impacts that affect their lives. They often believe that a misdemeanor offense isn’t something employers care about, but they’re wrong. Many employers do care about misdemeanor offenses, and being convicted for one of these crimes in Dallas is a serious legal issue that can affect your job and career prospects.

A Misdemeanor Conviction Can Have Lasting Consequences

Woman with Criminal Conviction Upset over Lost Opportunities

Depending on the type of misdemeanor offense, the resulting consequences could actually affect your life in the same negative ways a felony conviction can. For instance, if you’re convicted of a violent offense in Dallas, your employer won’t care whether the offense was a misdemeanor or felony. They may still believe you are violent and they may not want to take a risk in hiring you.

Get a Lawyer For the Best Chance at Avoiding Punishment

Misdemeanor convictions have many negative consequences, in addition to the legal penalties you will surely face if convicted. Listed below are some of the penalties for misdemeanor offenses in Texas, which your Dallas criminal lawyer will help you avoid.

  • Class A Misdemeanor – Punished by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Examples of class A misdemeanors are stalking without bodily injury, theft of a cable service, and theft of property valued between $500 and $1,500.
  • Class B Misdemeanor – Punished by up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. Examples of class B misdemeanors are first-offense DWIs, making terrorist threats, and property theft with a value between $20 and $500.
  • Class C Misdemeanor – Punished by a fine of up to $500. Examples of class C misdemeanors are theft of property with a value below $20, attending a dog fight, and traffic violations.

Nonlegal Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in Texas

In addition to the legal penalties you will suffer if convicted for the crimes you’ve been accused of, you will also face practical nonlegal, lifelong consequences.

Woman Fired from Job over Recent Criminal Conviction

Possible Consequences After a Criminal Conviction

  • You could be fired from your job or have difficulty securing employment, no matter how personable you are or how much practical experience you might possess. In fact, many jobs in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas are barred to felons.
  • Your family will suffer because of your felony conviction, as well. They could suffer embarrassment and damage to their reputation, or they could struggle financially and emotionally while you’re in jail or prison.
  • Your finances will be affected because of the heavy fines associated with your crime and your inability to secure decent employment.
  • Depending on the offense you’re convicted of, you could be barred from living in certain neighborhoods in Dallas or qualifying for certain government programs.
  • You could lose your license to drive or your rights to bear arms and vote.

Expunging a Dallas Criminal Record

In Texas, there are some ways that these criminal charges can be removed from a record or sealed away so they’re no longer visible to anyone doing a search. That can make a big difference in your life, as a criminal record that shows up during a background check can hurt your employment, housing, and other aspects of your life.

What to Do About a Criminal Record

There are options available such as expunction, non-disclosure, and record clearing for certain circumstances. Consulting with an attorney about the details of your specific situation is the first step to take to find out if you qualify for one of the options. They are not available in all circumstances or cases, so get guidance from your lawyer before you act. (Chris Lewis & Associates does not currently provide expunction services.)

Possible Defenses Against Conviction of a Crime in Dallas

Gavel in Criminal CourtMany people believe that they can’t fight their criminal charge, as they don’t believe the federal or Texas criminal justice system favors the defendant; however, the opposite is true. You can’t be convicted of a crime unless the prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of the offense. This means that the prosecution will need to locate, identify, and present significant and convincing evidence against you.

Your Attorney Will Help You Handle the Prosecution and Police

The police and the prosecution can’t just suspect you of the crime. Even if you’ve been caught red-handed, if they can’t prove that you committed the crime, you can beat your charge even if they formed a case to prosecute you with. That being said, you can’t beat a crime that you admit to or one that you plead guilty to. You will have to battle the criminal charge with good information and solid evidence, rather than giving in and accepting your fate. At the very least, a plea bargain might be an option.

Defenses Your Criminal Lawyer Might Employ

The following is a list of some tried and true practical legal defenses available for crimes in Texas. Your Dallas criminal defense lawyer will look into your case to find the defense to use that will give you the best chance of evading conviction.

  • You were acting in self-defense or defense of others.
  • You didn’t commit the crimes at all.
  • There was a mistake of fact.
  • Someone worked to frame you.
  • Someone used your identity.
  • The police broke the law during the investigation or the arrest.
  • The laboratory made errors.
  • There’s not enough evidence to convict.
  • Your rights were violated.

Get in Contact with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When it comes to being charged with a crime in Texas, it’s a long way from being a convicted criminal. At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., our defense lawyers have the experience with criminal trials you need to help you secure the best possible outcome and find the evidence to constitute the best defense. Whether it’s a dismissal or a reduced sentence, our lawyers will work for your best interests.

Our Defense Law Firm Helps Those Facing Criminal Charges

Call our law office situated in Dallas at 214-984-3113 or fill out the form at the bottom of this website to schedule a consultation with one of our defense attorneys with experience. Make certain that the criminal justice system treats you fairly by securing the best legal representation in Dallas. With our firm, a Dallas criminal defense lawyer is always here when they’re needed most and will use every resource at our disposal to defend our clients.

Our Dallas Law Office

Dallas Criminal Defense FAQ

The consequences of a criminal conviction in Dallas are damaging and lasting to both your life and your rights. If you’ve been arrested or under investigation by police for a crime, you need a robust legal defense strategy if you’re going to have a shot at clearing your name. Reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer at our Dallas law firm as soon as possible gives the most time possible to prepare for your case. Until then, check out these frequently asked questions from our criminal defense clients to get started with the information you need.

What does a criminal defense lawyer do?

Criminal Lawyers Discussing Defense Strategy The job of a criminal defense lawyer is to provide sound legal advice, ensure that their client’s rights are protected, and that their clients' best interests are advanced in the context of a police arrest or criminal investigation. Criminal defense lawyers may also provide general counsel. Every arrested person possesses the right to a fair trial and the right to obtain legal counsel. Criminal defense lawyers help uphold this right while working to cast doubt in the prosecution’s case in order to clear their client’s name and achieve justice.

Your Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Knows Your Case Is Unique

And unlike with public defenders, good defense attorneys only take on as many cases as they have capacity for, so you can rest assured that your case is getting all the attention it requires.

Is everything clients tell a lawyer confidential?

Criminal Record When you engage a criminal defense attorney, everything you communicate to them is protected by lawyer-client privilege. This means your attorney can’t be compelled to give away the secrets of their clients. However, this is only the case when you’ve actually retained a lawyer in a professional capacity. If you need legal counsel, you should contact our lawyers ASAP, especially before you say anything to the police or prosecutors.

What are the different levels of criminal offenses in Texas?

Suspect of Criminal Charge in Jail Awaiting Bail Depending on the nature of the crimes of which you’re accused, you could be facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. Felonies represent the strictest punishments, which can range from prison time to fines and other civil punishments.

What if I’ve been charged with federal crimes?

Gavel and Scales of Justice for Criminal Court System In cases where the federal United States government has jurisdiction, you need the assistance of a federal criminal defense lawyer with the proper experience to take on your case and the allegation against you. Federal crimes are often serious, and you’ll need a robust legal defense and practical knowledge if you’re going to take down the prosecution’s case in court while called in front of a judge and jury.

Is a misdemeanor worth getting a criminal lawyer to defend against?

Personal Charged with a Crime Discussing Case with Criminal Attorney The penalties given for a misdemeanor are not as strict as those that come with a felony, but it doesn’t mean you should struggle to serve jail time and fines. Typically, the fines can be on the upwards of $4,000 and there is usually a one-year jail sentence.

Accepting a Criminal Conviction Isn't the Answer

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fight these criminal charges. You shouldn’t have to face these penalties, and you may be able to get them dropped or lowered. Reaching out to connect with an attorney can help you learn more about your rights and options.

What’s the difference between probation and parole?

Woman with Criminal Conviction Contacting Parole Officer Probation allows you to stay in your home and go to work rather than spending your sentence in jail. You’ll face strict probation rules, and if you break them, you’ll be spending the rest of your sentence in jail. Parole is offered to those who have served part of a sentence to leave jail early. You’ll also need to abide by strict rules and regular visits with a parole officer to avoid being returned to jail.

What happens if I have to face a grand jury during my criminal trial?

Scales of Criminal Justice If you face a grand jury, you’ll have Dallas residents listening to your case and reviewing the evidence for it. They then decide if there is enough evidence to charge you with a crime. Your defense lawyer can help you present evidence that shows you aren’t guilty, or emphasize that there isn’t enough evidence to press charges.

If I was told to pay restitution, what do I have to pay?

Gavel and Fine for Criminal Charge Restitution has many factors, and an attorney can help you guide the process and help you understand what you owe. Restitution includes the money needed to pay the victims and for any damaged property. You may also need to provide funds for funeral expenses or medical costs.

What is probable cause in criminal cases?

Police Officer Interviewing Suspect of Crime For police to search your items or make an arrest, they need a reason to do so. This is known as probable cause. For example, if you smelled like alcohol when pulled over at a traffic stop or the police see the drugs on the person, they would be justified to do a search.

When the Police Don't Have Probably Cause

If the police make an arrest or do a search without having probable cause, the evidence gathered during the search will not be allowed as evidence in criminal court.

Do I still need to work with a lawyer if I plan on pleading guilty?

Criminal Defendant Standing Before Judge in Court Even if you’re thinking about pleading guilty, having a criminal defense lawyer can help to reduce any possible consequences that come with the conviction. In addition to reducing the severity of these charges, they can also advise you on the best course of action to take.

What are some questions I should ask a potential defense lawyer?

Questions for Defense Attorney Hiring an attorney to help with your criminal defense case is crucial and you want to make sure they’re going to defend you correctly. To make sure you’re hiring the right lawyer for your case, ask some of these questions to get to know more about your Dallas criminal defense attorney:

  • What can you do about appeals?
  • How much do you charge?
  • Will you be able to talk to me during my case, whenever I need to?
  • Have you represented someone like me before? What was the result of this case?

Get to Know Your Defense Lawyer

You’re better able to learn more about the lawyer and what past results they’ve seen for cases like yours. It can also help you lean into more in-depth questions that might help you determine if they’re the best fit for you and your case.

How long will my criminal case take to conclude?

It’s hard to say just how long a case may take when dealing with criminal charges. This is due to the nature of each case and how different they are from one another. Depending on whether your case goes to trial, if there are legal barriers, administration issues, or other factors, the length of your specific case can range.

The Duration of a Criminal Case Varies

The case may take anywhere from just a couple of months to many years. The best way to get a better estimate of your specific case is to speak with us here at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. We can go over the specifics of the case with you and determine what timeline you may be looking at.

When does theft become a felony crime in Texas?

Fingerprints After Suspect Booked for a Crime Theft becomes a felony when the value of the items stolen is over $1,500. These charges have serious consequences such as incarceration for 180 days to two years, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000.

Worst-Case Scenarios for Theft

Charges can become worse if you’re charged with a felony of the third degree by theft of items worth more than $20,000 but less than $100,000. Those charged with this felony can face two to ten years in prison.

How are jury members chosen for my criminal trial?

Jury During Criminal Trial in Court Juries are chosen from the community where the crime was allegedly committed. The selection phase at first is random. Those chosen will be questioned to see if they qualify to sit in the jury. The lawyers on the case will then select jurors from those qualified to sit on the jury.

What the Attorneys Are Looking for in Potential Jurors

While the lawyers are choosing, they question the potential jurors to find out if they have potential bias that might change their judgment against the accused. Once this questioning is done, the final selection will be made.

CONTACT US IF YOU NEED CHRIS LEWIS + ASSOCIATES IN YOUR CORNER.

* All Fields Required