No one leaves the house with plans to get arrested. No one plans to get tangled up in the overwhelming world of the criminal justice system in Texas. However, if you find yourself in such a predicament in Brazoria, Houston, or anywhere else in Texas, you need to know what mistakes to avoid.
Making an informed decision at every stage of the situation can significantly influence the outcome of your case or, at a bare minimum, keep you from being your own worst enemy.
If you’re reading this and you’re seeking legal representation following criminal charges in Brazoria County or Harris County, TX, we can help you.
At the Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe, we’ve helped thousands of Texans avoid jail and most of our clients get their criminal charges dismissed. If you have questions or need to talk with a defense attorney, call us at 979-265-6800 in Brazoria or 713-524-6656 in Houston.
In the meantime, let’s review a few mistakes you must avoid following criminal charges in Texas.
Mistake #1: Not Taking Your Charges Seriously
Many people tend to downplay the severity of criminal charges, assuming they can handle the situation without professional help.
This is a grave mistake.
Every criminal charge, no matter how minor, could lead to serious consequences which could be avoided with sound legal counsel. Some people don’t respect penalties like hefty fines, probation, and even imprisonment until they have to deal with it.
Don’t be this person.
Mistake #2: Talking Too Much
Talking too much, either to law enforcement, friends, or on social media, can ruin your chances for a positive outcome. Remember, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. To protect your rights, it’s advisable to exercise your right to remain silent. You have this protection and right under the law, so use it!
Mistake #3: Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest, even if you believe you’re innocent, will lead to additional charges and a lot of unnecessary bumps and bruises.
If the police have stopped or want to detain you, cooperate with the officers. Follow their instructions, but be cautious about providing any information beyond the basic details until you have legal counsel.
Mistake #4: Not Hiring the Right Lawyer
Not all attorneys are created equal. It’s always best to hire a seasoned criminal defense lawyer that’s familiar with winning legal strategies, the people who make up the court, and Texas law.
The Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe has a track record of successful defenses and we know the system. We’ll work to make a significant difference in your case.
Mistake #5: Ignoring Your Attorney’s Advice
Once you’ve hired a competent attorney, trust their expertise. Ignoring their advice or trying to handle aspects of your case on your own could harm your defense. Your attorney understands the legal landscape and how to navigate it effectively.
Mistake #6: Not Disclosing All Relevant Info to Your Attorney
Your attorney can only protect you if they have all the facts. Hiding information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could jeopardize your defense. Full disclosure with your attorney is a part of being well-prepared to execute a robust defense.
Mistake #7: Missing Court Dates
Failing to show up to court on the appointed date not only disrespects the court but also casts a negative light on your case. Be present for all court dates, as this is a clear indication of your respect for the process.
In most cases, an FTA (Failure to Appear) warrant for your arrest will be issued if you miss court on a Texas criminal case.
Again, don’t be this person.
Mistake #8: Not Understanding the Charges Against You
Understanding your charges is key to planning an effective defense strategy. Take the time to discuss the charges with your attorney. By putting in the effort to gain a deep understanding of the situation, you’ll learn the potential consequences and legal options you have. Then, you can make the best decision.
Mistake #9: Not Preparing Properly for Court Appearances
Courtroom etiquette and presentation matter. Dress appropriately, be polite, and speak clearly. Your behavior in court can affect the judge’s and jury’s perception of you.
When you’re being judged by people, the human condition can either save you or destroy you. So, be sure to do your part to manage perceptions.
Mistake #10: Not Considering a Plea Bargain
In some cases, accepting a plea bargain is in your best interest. While it’s not always the ideal choice, dismissing it outright could be a mistake. Discuss all options, including a plea bargain, with your attorney and your family.
If you’re innocent, don’t bother. But if you’re guilty, don’t dismiss the idea (just in case).
Mistake #11: Using Social Media Indiscreetly
Be super cautious with your online presence during the process of litigating open criminal charges. Posts, comments, and even private messages can be subpoenaed and used against you in court. We advise you to either completely eliminate or drastically limit your social media use. Certainly avoid discussing your case on these platforms.
Mistake #12: Contacting the Alleged Victim
If you have criminal charges involving a victim, such as an assault or harassment situation, don’t contact the victim. Contacting the victim WILL lead to further complications.
Any interaction could be perceived as intimidation or a continuation of the alleged crime. If you’re the victim of false sex crime allegations for whatever reason, it’s toxic activity. Don’t do it. Let your lawyer work for you.
It’s best to avoid any contact with the alleged victim unless explicitly advised by your attorney.
Mistake #13: Not Respecting the Prosecutor
Remember, the prosecutor ain’t there to help you, but to prove your guilt.
Providing information to the prosecutor without your attorney present can lead to unintentional self-incrimination. It’s like testifying against yourself and helping the state to convict you. Don’t do it. Avoid self-snitching at all costs. Always consult your attorney before communicating with the state.
Mistake #14: Neglecting the Impact of a Criminal Record
A criminal conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, affecting job prospects, housing applications, and even social relationships. Don’t underestimate these consequences. Know the long-term implications of a criminal record and work with your attorney to avoid a conviction if possible.
Even if you are convicted of a crime, there may be options to have your criminal record sealed, expunged, or erased. Whether clearing your criminal records is possible is largely contingent on the crime, the nature of the offense, and any previous criminal history on your part. If you have questions about sealing your criminal records or arrest records, contact my office.
Mistake #15: Ignoring the Emotional Impact
Criminal charges and the potential for losing your freedom, familial stability, and career, can be emotionally draining. Ignoring your mental health during this process can lead to poor decision-making and overall distress.
To combat this reality, we advise that you get support from trusted loved ones & friends. Sometimes, even working with a counselor or mental health professional be helpful in rough situations.
Seeking Legal Representation?
Contact the Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe Today!
Since 2003, Attorney Sandra J. Oballe has remained committed to helping people avoid the realities of jail, prison, and being removed from the lives of their families. Even for our clients charged with misdemeanor offenses, we know the impact that a conviction can have on careers. If you need help out of a jam with the legal system, we’re here for you.
Whether you or a loved one stand charged with a sex offense, drug possession, domestic violence, or any other serious offense, let us take a look at the case. We’re the Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe.