Crimes are investigated by law enforcement, which includes city police, county sheriffs, state troopers, District Attorney Investigators and the Texas Rangers. Additional law enforcement agencies can enforce warrants, such as the county constables and marshalls. Even cross-jurisdictional matters may involve federal support from the FBI.
Law enforcement officers pursue cases where probable cause is found. In other words, if they have a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed, the officers will either make an immediate arrest or present the facts to the District Attorney for acceptance of the case.
Once a person is detained or arrested, and therefore not free to leave, then that person is considered in custody. Miranda rights are required before an officer begins questioning a suspect about the particular crime. Detained suspects or persons of interest have the right to an Attorney prior to responding to officers’ interrogation questions.
The District Attorney presents felony cases to the Grand Jury for a formal charge called an Indictment. Cases that do not rise to a felony level are prosecuted as misdemeanors. Felonies can range in punishment from 2 years to 99 years in prison. Misdemeanor punishment ranges from 6 months to 1 year in county jail. Lesser misdemeanors which are not prosecuted by the District Attorney at the county level can be prosecuted at the local city level, where the punishment does not exceed a $500 fine.
In all criminal cases, prosecutors must prove that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if presented in a trial setting. Otherwise, the person will be acquitted and free of future prosecution for the same crime. If a negotiated plea-bargain is reached, prosecutors must still meet the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A person facing potential criminal charges should seek our assistance right away. Our experienced Attorneys will navigate through the cumbersome Justice System on your behalf. As your Attorney, we will view the accusation, examine and challenge the District Attorney’s evidence, file pre-trial motions to dismiss, prepare your trial and offer advice to help you make the best decision. Most importantly, we will not rush nor force you into a plea-bargain agreement.