You may be wondering:
- What is the penalty range for the crime with which I am charged?
- Will I do time in county jail, or be sentenced to prison time?
- Should I make a statement to the police?
In Texas, criminal offenses are divided into two broad categories: felonies and misdemeanors. After you are arrested, the judge (in most cases) will set bond. For example, in Dallas County, the bond amount set by a judge on an aggravated assault charge might be $10,000. Using this example, in order to be released from jail, the arrested person must either post a cash bond in that amount, or seek the services of a bail bondsman. In this situation, a bondsman posts a “surety bond” on your behalf, in exchange for your having paid him a fee to do so.
The bondsman’s fee is a percentage of the actual “cash bond” amount. Bail bond companies often charge between 10 and 15%, depending upon the nature of the charge, the defendant’s criminal history, and other factors. Under these facts, you would have two means by which you could secure your release from jail. You could post $10,000 cash at the Dallas County Bond Desk, or you could pay a bondsman $1500 (i.e., assuming that their fee is 15% of the bond). If you post a cash bond, the money you put up as security is returned to you (less a small administrative fee), once your case is concluded, assuming that you attend all of your court dates.
If you use a bail bondsman, the bondsman keeps the money you have paid to him as his fee for having posted a “surety bond” on your behalf. In some cases, it may be possible to post a personal recognizance bond. If a judge agrees, you may be released on your promise to appear in court at a later time. If a defendant has an outstanding warrant, and a personal recognizance bond is granted, the defendant is not required to book in to jail, post a cash bond, or utilize a bail bondsman. The warrant is simply recalled.
If you need help with a Dallas County jail release, call us now. The criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. cand advise you regarding cash bonds, surety bonds, personal recognizance bonds, and all other issues that arise regarding Dallas County bail bonds, as well as bails bonds in Collin, Tarrant, Ellis, Denton, and Rockwall County.
If you need someone released from jail, whether it be for a felony or a misdemeanor, call us at 214.699.7975. Our Dallas County bail bond attorney will not only represent them in court, but also post their bond, and help them
get out of jail… FAST!
At some point after arrest, the State of Texas will, in most cases, file a criminal charge against you. Felonies are charged by the filing of an “indictment.” Class “A” and “B” misdemeanors are charged by a document known as an “information.” Class “C” misdemeanors are initiated by the filing of a “complaint.” Regardless of the charge, the U.S. Constitution affords all criminal defendants with a number of rights. These include: the right to a jury trial, the right to present witnesses in your own behalf, the right to cross examine witnesses that might be presented against you (among others). The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution also provides that all defendants are to be free of “unreasonable” searches and seizure. In some cases, if the police have obtained evidence of an alleged crime by means of an “unreasonable” search, this evidence can be “suppressed.”
The Defendant’s Criminal Defense Attorney
The defendant’s criminal defense attorney can file a document with the court known as a “motion to suppress.” In this motion, the criminal defense lawyer will urge that, because the evidence was illegally obtained, it should not be allowed into evidence at the defendant’s trial. For example, if the defendant is charged with possession of marijuana, and the judge determines that the police obtained the marijuana as the result of an unlawful search, this evidence would thereby be inadmissible against the defendant at trial. Without any evidence, the criminal charge would ultimately be dismissed. Motions to suppress are but one example of a pretrial motion that an experienced criminal defense attorney can file on a defendant’s behalf. A well-crafted defense during the pretrial stage of a criminal case can, in some cases, result in a dismissal of the case, or lay the groundwork for ultimately obtaining an acquittal at trial. If you have a pending criminal case in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, Rockwall, Ellis, or Denton County, you need a criminal defense lawyer who is knowledgeable about pretrial matters in criminal cases. Look no further. The criminal defense attorneys at Berlof & Newton, P.C. can help. Call us now @ 214.827.2800 or use the contact form on this website.
All Criminal Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless Proven Guilty
All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. In all criminal cases, the prosecution has the “burden of proof.” A defendant is not required to prove anything at trial. The prosecution’s “burden of proof” requires them to prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Put another way, if, after the prosecution presents its case, the jury has any doubt whatsoever as to the defendant’s guilt, the jury is required by law to acquit the defendant and find the defendant “not guilty” (i.e., so long as the doubt the jury has is “reasonable,” in their view). If a criminal case is not dismissed prior to trial, one of two outcomes is likely: 1) plea bargain, OR 2) trial. A plea bargain usually occurs in cases where the evidence that would be introduced at trial makes it highly likely that the defendant would be convicted. For example, in a D.W.I. case, if the defendant were videotaped after his arrest, and stated “I’m way too drunk to drive,” all the while staggering and slurring his words, most criminal defense lawyers would typically recommend that their client consider accepting a plea bargain, rather than going to trial and having a judge or jury decide the case.
Plea bargains are punishments that are agreed upon between the prosecutor and the criminal defense attorney, and are granted in exchange for the defendant’s agreement that he or she plead “guilty” or “no contest” to the charge, rather than going to trial on a case in which they will almost assuredly be convicted, and might very well receive an even greater punishment. The terms of a given plea bargain agreement are negotiated between the prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, prior to trial, and can vary greatly. On the other hand, a trial occurs when the defendant decides to plead “not guilty,” thereby requiring the prosecutor to prove the case against him, beyond a reasonable doubt, in a court of law.
Trials are of two types: 1) jury trials, AND 2) trials before the court. In felony jury trials, the defendant’s case is tried in front of twelve jurors. In misdemeanor jury trials, the case is tried to six. In either instance, the jury must agree unananimously on a verdict. If the verdict is “not guilty,” the defendant is acquitted, pays no fine, is not placed on probation, and does not face jail.
Furthermore, he or she is immediately eligible for an expunction which, once granted, orders that all records of the arrest or charge be immediately destroyed. If the verdict is “guilty,” the defendant is then sentenced, at his option, either by the judge or the jury. If you have been charged with a crime in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, Rockwall, Ellis, or Denton County, you need a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about felony jury trials, misdemeanor jury trials, plea bargains, and all other issues that arise in criminal cases. Look no further. The criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. can help. Call us now @ 214.827.2800 or use the contact form on this website.
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