When facing criminal assault charges, one of the first things you should ask yourself is if you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. While an experienced defense attorney does come with costs and fees, those costs are nothing in comparison to being able to reduce and/or avoid a prison sentence and hefty court-imposed fines. While many people think they understand the ins and outs of the legal process and assume they will be able to defend themselves in an assault case, it is always best to speak to a criminal assault lawyer to learn how they can protect your rights. Being charged with “assault” in Texas can mean a variety of different things in court, ranging from a credible threat of committing violence to another individual to actually physically inflicting serious bodily harm. Handling the complexities of an assault case typically requires the knowledge and experience of a criminal defense attorney.
8 Reasons to Hire a Criminal Assault Lawyer
1. Timing is essential.
After being arrested and charged with assault, time will not be on your side. You have to act quickly as the police and prosecutors are already using their time to gather evidence to use against you. The best chance you have to negotiate and eliminate or reduce your charges is to start those negotiations right away. An experienced criminal assault attorney will act quickly after your arrest to negotiate a reduced charge or to even have the charges dropped.
2. The judicial system is complex.
Criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience navigating the complex judicial system. Having a criminal assault lawyer representing your interests will help you get through this intricate process. Your criminal assault lawyer will explain step-by-step what will happen throughout the proceedings and provide details about all possible outcomes. Assault charges are serious, and a professional approach is required to deal with the challenges each case will present. The Texas Penal Code and federal statutes are complex and nuanced when it comes to criminal charges. An assault lawyer knows these laws and the best way to counter the charges against you.
3. You do not want to accidentally incriminate yourself.
Police, investigators, and prosecutors may try to question you about the case in very aggressive ways. You should not answer these questions, no matter how much they try to get you to answer, without a lawyer present acting on your behalf. A criminal defense attorney will assist you regarding how to answer so that you do not accidentally and wrongly incriminate yourself. Police and prosecutors try to trick suspects into admitting a crime; and, you do not want to hurt your case by saying something incriminating. It is your absolute legal right to have a lawyer by your side when you are questioned. Asking for a lawyer is not an admission of guilt but rather a necessary step to protect your rights.
4. Your rights may have been violated.
When you were arrested, the police officers involved may have violated your constitutional rights. Police officers often make serious mistakes or go beyond legal boundaries when making an arrest. Your criminal assault lawyer will look for evidence that can be deemed inadmissible in court based on it being obtained violations of your legal rights.
5. They have established relationships with prosecutors.
Criminal assault lawyers who have worked in the field for many years begin to develop relationships with prosecutors. It may seem strange to develop a positive relationship with the other side; however, in criminal courts, often lawyers on all sides begin to understand that everyone has a better experience working together when they are familiar with each other. A criminal assault attorney who has a good relationship with the prosecution can help with negotiations or setting a more affordable bond.
6. You may want to negotiate a plea bargain.
Many cases are resolved before even going to trial through the negotiation of a plea bargain. An experienced criminal assault lawyer will do everything they can to keep you out of court and out of jail. By agreeing to a plea deal, you will be agreeing to plead guilty to the crime but will receive a lesser charge or reduced sentence. This can help avoid the time, stress, and expense of a long trial. If a plea bargain is offered by prosecutors, your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution to ensure the offer is fair and beneficial to you.
7. They can provide reassurance and emotional support.
The stress and anxiety you may feel after being charged with assault can make you feel alone and scared. When you hire a knowledgeable and experienced criminal assault lawyer, you can be reassured that someone is there to support you through your entire case. Assault charges are serious and have potentially life-altering consequences. Psychologically, you may feel like breaking down. Your attorney will stand between you and the justice system to ensure you are supported while dealing with this crisis.
8. Criminal penalties are costly and life-changing.
On top of facing possible jail time for an assault, those who are convicted of assault in Texas also face expensive fines. You can face penalties of up to thousands of dollars as well as the expenses of court costs, bail costs, and other legal fees. You can easily lose your job, professional license, and future earning potential with a negative result. When you hire a criminal assault lawyer, the cost of legal services is often significantly lower than what you may face if you are convicted.
Houston Criminal Assault Lawyers
When you’re facing criminal assault charges, it is essential that you hire someone to help navigate your case. We understand how stressful, frustrating, and upsetting this process can be, and how easy it is to feel overwhelmed. In the time immediately following an arrest for assault, you may have a lot of questions, concerns, and fears. The experienced team at J.D. Silva & Associates is here to answer them. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.