I Was Arrested, What Are My Options?
Retain Experienced Counsel from a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you decide to ask a jury decide your guilt or innocence, then you could
be found not guilty after which a motion to expunge your record could
be filed to wipe out all reference to your arrest and prosecution, or
you could be found guilty which means that you will have a final conviction
on your record which can never be expunged or sealed.
Sentenced to Time in Jail or Prison
If you are convicted after a jury trial, then either the jury or the judge
must sentence you to serve time in the county jail for a misdemeanor or
the department of corrections for a felony.
If you are convicted by a jury and you have never before been convicted
of a felony, then you can ask the jury to recommend probation to the judge.
This is called a probated sentence. A probated sentence is a final conviction
and it will be on your criminal record forever, and the record of your
conviction cannot be sealed or expunged.
Any plea bargain that is offered by the District Attorney will take into
consideration the facts of the crime that you are charged with and any
prior convictions or arrests that might be on your criminal record.
Sentence of Time in Jail or Prison
This option takes little explanation, except that you should know that
it is a final conviction that will follow you for the rest of your life.
Your criminal record cannot be sealed or expunged.
Fine and/or Credit for Time Served
Paying a fine and/or taking credit for time already served jail from the
time of your arrest up to the time that bond was posted, sounds like a
great idea. However, paying a fine or taking credit for time served is
the same thing as doing actual time in jail or prison. You will have a
final conviction on your criminal record that can never be sealed or expunged.
This is a type of probation where no finding of guilt is entered by the
court, and which if you successfully complete then your criminal record
can be sealed. This means that private citizens and employers cannot find
out about your guilty plea. However, the government will always know about
the guilty plea, so if you need to get a state issued license or pass
a government background check then you will have to report the guilty plea.
PTD is available in some cases where the defendant has no criminal record
and the amount of drugs found was very small, or in a DWI case the breath
test or blood test was less than 0.15.
If PTD is granted then the defendant is on probation to the District Attorney's
Office. The period of probation is usually one year, and if probation
is successfully completed then the charge against you is actually dismissed.
Because there is no guilty plea or court ordered probation, the defendant
is entitled to expunge his criminal record to wipe out all reference to
his arrest and prosecution.
In order to convince the District Attorney to dismiss your case, we will
have to make a compelling argument that there is no way the State can
win if we set your case for trial, or we must convince the District Attorney
that there is legal argument that precludes your conviction, for example:
the evidence against you was obtained during an illegal search.
Get the Help You Need 24/7 from a Houston Criminal Drug and DWI Attorney
If you are charged with a criminal case in Houston, Texas, call
713-468-9333 (713-got-Weed) or
713-468-2394 (713-got-aDWI) or
e-mail my office to discuss your criminal charge. I offer payment plans, and
accept Visa, Master Card, Discover Card, and American Express. Program
my number into your cell phone now, because you never know when you'll