Criminal Defense FAQ

Criminal defense law in Austin, Texas can be a complex and confusing venture. The other side of consideration is that it can come with incredibly damaging consequences when you don’t have the right criminal defense attorney to guide you through the hazardous jungle that awaits you in the judicial system.

By doing research, speaking with an attorney, and getting sound legal advice, you can better prepare yourself for the legal challenges ahead. Erin Shinn and her legal team are ready to vigorously defend you in your fight against your criminal charges.

When preparing for a criminal defense, there are questions that you as the defendant should be asking:

Will you go to jail if arrested?

There is a large difference between a holding cell and being assigned to a correctional facility. A jail conviction can only be applied if the charges placed upon the accused have been pled guilty toward or guilt has been proven.

What are your rights after being arrested?

You have the right to remain silent when being questioned by the police. This is often the best course of action. Often times, when the accused speaks during times of emotional duress, they make mistakes that could endanger the entire criminal case.

Law enforcement officers can often use deception and trickery when trying to elicit information. In many cases, depending on the tact they use, this could be grounds for your case being dismissed. It’s for this very reason that having a skilled attorney present who is fully aware of your rights and able to fend off these deceptive tactics is vital for the outcome of your case.

Can you represent yourself in a criminal case?

While legally you are entitled to represent yourself, it’s discouraged by most experts in the field. Depending on the charges, the consequences can be devastating and a poorly orchestrated defense can lead to even heftier charges being brought forth due to a lack of understanding of the judicial system.

A skilled and trained attorney can properly coach the accused of a particular crime and help them seek a resolution that is fair and consistent.

How soon should you contact an attorney once having been arrested?

While this may seem like common sense, the answer is that you should call a lawyer as soon as you are able to. The more time that the police have with you alone, the more they will try to apply pressure tactics, manipulation, and have you slip up in any way, shape, or form that can compromise your ability to defend your innocence.

Can the police openly search your home and vehicle?

In most instances, the police require your consent to search your house or vehicle. There are exceptions, however, including a tow inventory, exigent circumstances, for safety, et cetera. Barring your consent or a valid exception, the police require a search warrant to examine the inside of your vehicle or home.

What is the primary difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

While both categories of crime should be taken seriously, felonies generally carry more serious felonies and that classification is reserved for more serious crimes.

Misdemeanors are often considered lesser crimes that typically carry the consequence of shorter jail times and smaller fines. In the state of Texas, the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is a year in jail and fines.

Is it worth hiring an attorney?

There are far too many technicalities in the judicial system for someone who is unfamiliar with them to properly defend themselves. Even in the cases of simple misdemeanors, the result of a conviction can greatly compromise your life leading to jail time, fines, and a criminal record.

A conviction could impact opportunities to get in school or join the military. Your criminal history can affect your ability to work for some employers. Some crimes can affect your child custody rights.

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