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The Financial Costs of Fighting Texas Criminal Charges

Updated: Mar 3, 2024 @ 8:14 pm

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The Immediate Costs

Bails and Bonds

When a person is booked on criminal charges in Angleton, the financial burden isn’t limited to fines and restitution. Before you even have a chance to prove your innocence, you’re often confronted with the costs of getting out of jail. You may even have to pay to recover your vehicle if your arrest was the result of a traffic stop.

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 17.15 mandates that bail should be sufficiently high to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court, but not oppressive. Yet, for many of the folks that call Brazoria County home, especially those with felony cases, bail can range from a few thousand bucks to tens of thousands of dollars.

If you can’t afford the post bail, you’ll need the help of bail bond companies. They’re cost effective, but not cheap. Their fees are typically 10% of the bail amount. But remember, that 10% isn’t refundable, even if you’re found not guilty.

The Cost of Legal Representation

You Get What You Pay For

As a practicing criminal defense lawyer in Angleton since 2003, I’ve seen the disparity is quality between public defenders and private attorneys.

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees everyone the right to legal representation. However, it doesn’t promise that you’ll get a good lawyer. Public defenders, though hard-working, are often overwhelmed with caseloads, resulting in less personalized attention. This means that getting you the best results possible might not be practical or even a priority.

Opting for a private attorney, especially in a specialized area related to your case, requires a financial investment.

Experienced criminal justice attorneys can offer the expertise you’ll need to give the best chance for a positive resolution. Private practice defense attorneys aren’t as overwhelmed as their public defense counterparts and can give your case the dedication it needs. However, executing these expertise require lots of time and come with a price.

Although most defense lawyers, like myself, are not prohibitively expensive, who can put a price on freedom? If you’re considering securing legal representation from our law firm, we charge affordable legal fees and provide flexible payment options.

Have questions? Call us!

Ancillary Court Costs and Administrative Fees

Aside from the cost of bail and legal representation, the State of Texas has a range of court and administrative fees.

These range from filing fees to court costs, surcharges on probation, and even fees for a jury trial in some cases.

A lot of these expenses aren’t anticipated by the defendant. A study from The Brennan Center for Justice outlines the profound financial burdens placed on the accused, further emphasizing the demand for competent representation.

Potential Fines and Restitution

In Texas, if convicted, the punishment isn’t just time behind bars. Depending on the severity of the charge, fines can escalate rapidly.

For instance, a Class C misdemeanor might carry a fine up to $500, while a first-degree felony could set you back by up to $10,000. These figures don’t include any potential restitution imposed by the court to compensate victims for their losses.

The Long-Term Ripple Effects

Consider this: even after serving your sentence and paying off fines, the financial ramifications linger.

If you have a criminal record following you around, potential employers might turn you away, leading to lost income opportunities. Housing applications can be denied. You could even face higher insurance premiums. The cumulative financial strain over a lifetime can be monumental.

A report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimates that the reduction in job prospects for individuals with a criminal record results in a significant cut in overall earnings.

Need Help with a Criminal Case?

Talk with Angleton Criminal Defense Lawyer Sandra J. Oballe Today!

I have an extensive history in Texas criminal courts. My career started with me as a court reporter and then I earned my license to practice law and became an attorney in 2003.

I, Sandra J. Oballe, commit to providing your case the time and dedication it needs for us to be successful.

At the Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe, we believe in a personalized approach. We’ll be active in guiding you through every financial implication, ensuring you’re not just defended, but also informed.

After all, in the face of life-altering decisions, you deserve more than a defense attorney – you deserve an advocate. If you’re charged with a crime in Angleton, Brazoria County, Harris County, or anywhere in the Greater Houston area, reach out to us.

If you’re seeking help for a loved one, we’re here to help.

Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe

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