A criminal charge or DWI in Houston can leave very negative marks on one’s record – and for a long time. It interferes with their credit, with their ability to find jobs or even with the chances of getting into higher education. In many cases, these negative consequences can be reduced. Or, they can be avoided altogether. Here are the first steps to take when facing criminal charges:
Remaining silent when faced with a criminal case
Yes, you have the right to remain silent and it’s actually very important to do so. The Fifth Amendment allows us to avoid incriminating ourselves. When in custody, do not answer any questions until a lawyer is present. You may communicate that accordingly, to make it clear.
Having a calm attitude
Your attitude when being charged will greatly influence how the justice system treats you. Many let themselves loose or get angry, in an attempt to prove the injustice of the situation and pass as innocent. The truth is, such attitude doesn’t help. It is much more rewarding and wiser to remain calm and act politely towards everyone, no matter how upsetting the situation is.
Contact a criminal defense firm
This must be done as soon as possible, so there isn’t much time to waste. Don’t proceed to comparing all the law firms in Houston. Focus solely on specialized ones and select a Houston criminal defense attorney with solid experience, who can give you the time you need. Top professionals can surely succeed in keeping your record clean. They will fight to obtain either acquittal or dismissal. Let them do all the talking, it can save you a great deal of trouble.
Understanding the accusation
Discuss with your lawyer about what the accusation means and its possible consequences. If it’s a misdemeanor, you could face time in jail or pay a fine. In case of felonies, you can expect a longer time in prison, plus paying restitution to the victim. You may also lose certain rights, such as the right to carry a fire arm or to vote.
Resist posting a bail
It’s not exactly a good idea to post a bail for someone. Let the attorney check the facts first, they may be able to get you released from custody in a few days only, no bail required. A lawyer will also reduce the bail bond fee. If the procedure is really necessary, then the attorney will guide you through it.
The essential is to remain calm and refrain from helping yourself; that will minimize the impact of the events. Make sure your first call is to a specialized criminal law attorney.