Being accused of a crime can cause your life to take a turn for the worse, whether or not you’re guilty. It’s often vital to get good legal representation as soon as possible, to positively influence the outcome of the predicament you’ve found yourself in.
Being charged or convicted of a crime can jeopardize your future, making it difficult to find gainful employment, which could negatively impact your financial security.
However, with the expert representation found at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., you have the chance to beat your criminal charges. Reach out to a McKinney criminal defense lawyer to get the guidance you need for your case.
While it may be tempting to represent yourself, it is extremely difficult and endangers your future to attempt to defend yourself against the might of the Texas court system. Without the help of an attorney’s years of experience and legal education, things can go very wrong, very quickly.
Criminal defense lawyers in McKinney are prepared to tackle a variety of cases, from misdemeanors to felonies. We have extensive experience with:
If the crime you’ve been charged with doesn’t fall neatly into one of the above categories, that doesn’t mean that we can’t help you. Consultations with clients to discover the best way to handle each unique situation are part of our process. There is no formulaic approach to any case, which is why it is important to speak to a reliable criminal defense lawyer.
You will be due to appear in court shortly following your arrest. Sometimes, during special circumstances, such as holidays, it can take a little longer. When you appear in court, you will be informed of what you’ve been charged with and your rights.
You have the option to use a court-appointed attorney if you are unable to afford one on your own. Your income, savings, and expenses will be examined to see if you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. Paying for a lawyer may be daunting, but it may also give you the best chance possible to avoid a conviction.
At your first court appearance, you will be asked how you plead. It is unwise to answer this question if you haven’t had time to consult with legal counsel yet. You are permitted to request more time before entering a plea.
If you have been jailed, your first phone call should be to a criminal defense lawyer. Don’t tell the authorities anything other than basic information, like your name and birthday, until you’ve been able to consult with an attorney. Anything you say to a police officer can and will be held against you.
Be respectful and cooperative when interacting with police officers, but remember that you have the right to remain silent. Don’t let them frighten or bully you into giving up potentially sensitive information. Giving up that information is more evidence against you in the courtroom.
After contacting a lawyer, you will likely be booked and released until your next scheduled court appearance. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence and bolster your defense during this time. Your lawyer will also represent you in the courtroom when the time comes, sharing evidence and arguing on your behalf.
The word misdemeanor doesn’t always carry as much weight as it should. Just because it isn’t a felony offense, doesn’t mean that it won’t cause you problems down the road. Contrary to popular belief, employers do care about misdemeanors, which can affect your future.
Penalties for misdemeanors in McKinney include:
Being convicted of a felony can turn your life upside down. You can lose years of your life in prison, or get bogged down in debt due to huge fines. Felonies are on your permanent record for the rest of your life. The way you are seen by others like employers, universities, and neighbors can change drastically, and it is not an easy thing to conceal.
First-degree felonies may land you between five and ninety-nine years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. First-degree felonies in Texas include aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and aggravated sexual assault.
A second-degree felony comes with between two and twenty years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Second-degree felonies in Texas include aggravated assault, manslaughter, and robbery.
Third-degree felonies are less severe but still have harsh penalties. You may face between two and ten years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Third-degree felonies in Texas include stalking, intoxication assault, and possession of a firearm as a felon.
A state jail felony may leave you facing between 180 days and two years in state jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine. State jail felonies include criminally negligent homicide, theft of property valued between $2,500 and $30,000, and possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana.
Aside from the direct legal consequences of being convicted of a crime in McKinney, there are other consequences that you may not have considered.
Your career opportunities could become jeopardized. If you have a job, you may be fired. If you are looking for a job, it doesn’t matter how charismatic or experienced you are. Most jobs in McKinney, and many other parts of Texas, are not accessible to convicted felons.
Your family could suffer due to your conviction. Your parents, siblings, spouse, or children will have to find out how to handle the consequences of your conviction. They will likely struggle emotionally and financially if you are imprisoned, and their reputations could be damaged as well, limiting their opportunities as well as yours.
If you are unable to secure employment, your financial stability could be deeply impacted, especially if you are dealing with hefty fines. Certain neighborhoods in Texas prohibit some convicts from living there. You may also lose access to government programs that you used to qualify for.
If you had a license to drive or a license to carry a firearm, you may lose it. Being convicted of a felony in McKinney can even lose you your right to vote. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer in McKinney about your options to protect your future.
The United States court systems operate off the concept of innocent until proven guilty. This means that, even if the odds seem stacked against you, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are guilty. Your criminal defense attorney is there in part to illuminate the holes in the prosecution’s argument.
Every case is different. The people involved and particular circumstances in every instance make it impossible to use a one-size-fits-all formula for any case. However, your attorney may suggest any of the following defenses, or a combination, as a strategy for your case:
Just because you have been charged with a crime in McKinney, does not mean you have to face the lifelong consequences of being a convicted criminal.
At Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., our criminal defense attorneys are ready to help you find and follow the path to the best possible outcome for your situation. Sometimes that’s a reduced sentence, and sometimes it’s the dismissal of your case altogether, but with the experience and education of the lawyers at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., your chances improve dramatically.
Our law office accepts calls at 214-984-3113. You also have the option to fill out an online form to schedule a consultation at a time that works best for you. Don’t take any chances with the criminal justice system. Contact our stellar criminal defense attorneys today.