TALK TO AN ATTORNEY 214.665.6930
For the defense you deserve.

Plano Criminal Defense Lawyer

Finding yourself accused of a crime can severely impact your life, regardless of whether the accusation is true. It’s vital to seek an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you get someone in to do damage control, the better off you and your case will be.

Being accused or convicted of a crime can negatively influence your future. You may struggle to find employment, which could jeopardize your financial security, your housing situation, and your safety.

Plano Criminal Defense Lawyer

What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Handle?

If you are feeling hesitant to get involved with an attorney or law firm, you are not alone. It can feel daunting to hire legal representation. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that, statistically, people who choose to represent themselves in court almost never succeed. Without an attorney with years of education and experience on your side, things can go south very quickly.

The Plano criminal defense attorneys at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. have experience handling a wide variety of cases, from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies. Our defense team has experience with:

  • Drug Crimes Drug crimes cover any drug activities that break the law. This includes possession, intent to sell, distribution, and trafficking.
  • Alcohol-Related Crimes Alcohol-related crimes include public intoxication and driving under the influence (including cars, mopeds, motorcycles, planes, helicopters, and boats)
  • Violent Offenses Being charged with a violent offense, such as aggravated robbery, sexual assault, or murder, can severely jeopardize your future. Without the assistance of an experienced attorney, it can be impossible to overcome.
  • White-Collar Crimes White-collar crimes encompass all sorts of financial crimes. Money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion, and other types of fraud are classified as white-collar crimes.
  • Theft Taking something that doesn’t belong to you, regardless of the context, can land you in a world of hurt. Retail theft, theft by check, and theft of trade secrets are all categories of theft.
  • Internet Crimes – As the internet has evolved, so has crime. Breach of computer security, electronic data tampering, online impersonation, and solicitation with a minor are all internet crimes that a person can be charged with.
  • Federal Crimes Federal crimes are criminal activities that have violated national law. Interstate drug possession or trafficking, all sorts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and money laundering are all classified as federal crimes.
  • Domestic Violence Domestic violence is defined as aggressive behavior in the home. Continuous violence against the family, domestic assault, and aggravated domestic assault are all forms of domestic violence.

These charges can be daunting, but you don’t have to take them on without guidance. Talk to a lawyer about the details of your case and what charges you’re facing. 

Preparing Yourself for a Criminal Defense Trial in Plano

You will find yourself due in Plano court soon after arrest. During weekends and holidays, it can take longer for the whole process. When you appear in court, you will be informed of the charges that have been brought against you, and your right to an attorney, among your other rights. 

If you cannot afford your own legal representation, you will have the option to use a Plano court-appointed lawyer. Your income and expenses will be audited to confirm your eligibility for court-appointed representation. 

While hiring your own personal legal representation may sound daunting, it will undoubtedly give you a better chance at beating the charges brought against you. 

At our first appearance in Plano court, you will be asked whether you plead guilty or innocent. It’s unwise to answer this question immediately, especially if you haven’t consulted your attorney yet. You are permitted to request more time before pleading either way.

Steps After Being Arrested and Charged in Plano

When you are arrested, be polite to the police officers, but do not reveal any information aside from your name and birthday. Cops are no longer required to read your Miranda Rights before you are arrested in Texas, only before you are taken into custody for a formal interrogation.

Your Miranda Rights state that you have the right to remain silent, warns you that any statements may be used against you in a court of law and that you have a right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

Once you are able to make your phone call, it should be to your Plano defense attorney. Usually, after you request your lawyer, you will be booked and released until your next court appearance.

Penalties for Misdemeanors in Plano

The word misdemeanor conjures images of minor consequences. Just because something is a misdemeanor doesn’t mean you will get a slap on the wrist. You could face time in jail and heavy fines. Employers also take note of misdemeanors when making hiring decisions, which could impact your future career opportunities.

  • Class A Misdemeanor – Committing a Class A misdemeanor, such as burglary of a vehicle, theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500, and a second DUI offense, can result in up to a year in jail and/or a $4000 fine. 
  • Class B Misdemeanor – Committing a Class B misdemeanor, such as theft of property valued between $100 and $749, driving while intoxicated, and possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana, is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,000 fine
  • Class C Misdemeanor – Being convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, such as disorderly conduct or theft of under $50, is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Penalties for Felonies in Plano 

Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors. Being found guilty of committing a felony can turn your entire life upside down. You could lose your job, your family, and years of your life to prison. You will likely incur huge amounts of debt due to the heavy fines in place for felonies.

Your ability to move through the world socially will be affected. Employers, colleges, and people in your neighborhood will have their view of you colored by your felony. It’s not an easy thing to conceal or to navigate once it’s revealed.

  • First-Degree Felony – Committing a first-degree felony, such as aggravated robbery, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, or murder, is punishable by between five and ninety-nine years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. 
  • Second-Degree Felony – Committing a second-degree felony, such as aggravated assault, manslaughter, or robbery can result in between two and twenty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Third-Degree Felony – Being convicted of a third-degree felony such as stalking, intoxication assault, or possession of a firearm as a felon is punishable by between two and ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • State-Jail Felony – Committing a state-jail felony, such as criminally negligent homicide, possession of between forty ounces and five pounds of marijuana (marihuana in Texas legislature), and theft of property between $2,500-$30,000 can result in 180 days to two years in state jail, and up to a $10,000 fine.

To offer some clarity on certain points, there is a difference between a jail and a prison. While colloquially these words are often used interchangeably, they are different structures with different purposes.

A jail is a holding place for individuals awaiting trial, or for individuals who have committed minor crimes, such as misdemeanors and state-jail felonies. Prison is for convicted criminals who have committed more serious crimes, usually felonies.

Any crime in Plano, Texas can incur a more serious punishment if it’s aggravated. An aggravated crime occurs when a person does the following:

  • Knowingly, recklessly, and/or intentionally caused serious harm or bodily injury to another person
  • Displays a weapon or threatens someone with serious harm or bodily injury while committing another crime
  • Recklessly endangers another person and puts them at risk of serious bodily injury without their consent
  • Fires a weapon inside or at a home, business, vehicle, or other structure without knowledge of whether someone else was inside

Serious harm or bodily injury is any injury that could result in someone’s death, permanent scarring or disfigurement, and/or loss of function to any part of their body. This can include limb loss, paralysis, or traumatic brain injuries.

Reckless endangerment refers to any act committed without thought or care for the potential consequences of that action. For example, someone speeding down a Plano highway with a child in the passenger seat would be committing an act of reckless endangerment to that child’s safety.

Other Consequences of Criminal Conviction for Plano Residents

The consequences of being a convicted felon don’t end with legal consequences. Even after serving jail time and paying your fines, a felony can still follow you around, making your life infinitely more difficult.

Convicted felons in Plano often struggle to secure employment. Their criminal status will often overshadow their resume, no matter how qualified and prepared they may be for the job they’re applying for. Previous virtues are prone to disappear in the light of a felony.

A felony conviction can also impact an individual’s social life. They can feel ostracized by former friends, community members, and even family members. The spouse and children of convicted felons can also suffer damage to their reputations and may deal with some degree of societal ostracization.

Because it’s more difficult to get a well-paying job as a felon and they are likely to have incurred heavy fines, their financial security is prone to become endangered. Unfortunately, impoverished individuals are more likely to commit crimes to provide for themselves and their dependents, which creates a terrible cycle.

If a convicted felon had a drivers license or a license to carry a firearm, one or both could be impacted or permanently revoked, depending on the situation.

Possible Defenses Your Attorney May Employ

You may have heard the phrase innocent until proven guilty. This is the primary concept that the United States court systems operate on, from local municipal courts to the Supreme Court of the United States. Fortunately, this means that even if things feel impossible, the prosecution must be able to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you are guilty.

Your defense attorney’s job is to counter the prosecution and to poke holes in their case against you. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all formula for criminal defense cases because every case has different people involved and different influencing circumstances, your attorney may suggest any of the following defenses, or even a combination, for your case.

  • Someone else has intentionally framed you
  • Someone else has stolen your identity
  • Information is being presented in a biased light
  • Information is factually incorrect
  • There isn’t enough hard evidence
  • Your rights were violated in the process
  • The police did not follow the proper procedure
  • The police knowingly broke the law
  • The laboratory did not handle the evidence associated with your case correctly

Talk to a Plano Criminal Defense Attorney

You may have been charged with a crime, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your time in Plano, Texas suffering the consequences of a convicted criminal.

Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. is home to a criminal defense team that is dedicated to helping you find the best possible outcome for your case. With the experience and education of our attorneys, you can hold out hope for a reduced sentence, or even the dismissal of your entire case. With our help, the outcome of your situation will improve dramatically.

You can call us today at 214-665-6930, or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a consultation with a Plano criminal defense lawyer whenever it’s best for you. Don’t trust the criminal justice system to treat you fairly. Get in touch with one of the Plano criminal defense attorneys at Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. today.

Our Defense Attorneys Serve Plano


* All Fields Required