The goal of the criminal justice system is to see that justice is done. However, not all people charged with a crime are guilty, and not all those who commit the same crime should receive the same sentence. Every case is different based on the facts, circumstances surrounding the crime, and life history of the person charged. Whether you are the prosecutor or defense attorney, no one wants an innocent person to be convicted of a crime they did not commit or receive a sentence that is not just.
As a prosecutor and former Elected District Attorney for 23 years, I have successfully tried to a jury more than 150 felony cases, including 25 murder and capital murder cases and many misdemeanor jury trials. I have handled tens of thousands of criminal cases, including trying to a jury many of the highest profile homicide cases in East Texas over the past twenty three years. My experience, as a former Prosecutor and the Elected District Attorney of Smith County, has uniquely qualified me to provide an aggressive defense on behalf of my clients who need a skilled criminal lawyer in Tyler, TX or the surrounding areas of East Texas.
Most people think going from a prosecutor to a defense attorney would be a tough change. The truth is I enjoyed my 24 years as a prosecutor, and I enjoy very much now, the opportunity to protect the Constitutional Rights of those charged with a crime as a criminal defense lawyer. People sometimes forget that everyone charged with a crime enjoys an absolute Constitutional Right to the Presumption of Innocence. It does not matter whether they did or didn’t commit the crime. The State should always be held to their high burden of proving their case Beyond all Reasonable Doubt.
Why is the role of the defense attorney so important? The American Bar Association said it best when it said, “Defense Counsel is essential to the administration of Justice.” Imagine a system where the Government alone decided who was guilty and what sentence was appropriate without anyone there to protect the rights of the accused.
I am honored every time a client puts their trust in me to help them through this very difficult time in their life. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. I never forget that my clients are looking to me to work hard to make sure all of their Constitutional Rights are protected. I handle all of my client’s cases like I would want the case handled if I, or someone I love, was charged with the crime. The prosecutors are going to work hard to convict you. You need a defense attorney who is going to work hard and do his absolute best to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Individuals facing criminal charges need a lawyer they can trust to handle their case aggressively and effectively, making sure their rights are protected at every step of the process. Whether you have been charged with criminal homicide, DWI, possession of a controlled substance, theft, or any other crime, you have a criminal defense attorney in Tyler, TX, who is ready to fight for you.
The cost of hiring a criminal lawyer in Tyler, TX, varies depending on the experience of the attorney, the facts and complexity of the case, and the nature of criminal charges you are facing. Every case and every life story of the person charged is unique. That’s why we offer a free initial consultation where we talk about you and the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. It is a chance for me to get to know you and learn about the case, for you to get to know me and for you to ask questions about the law as it applies to your case, including possible outcomes and the cost of representation.
I believe you should not hire any attorney to represent you that you do not feel absolutely comfortable with. You should make sure that you, and the attorney you are considering hiring, are a good fit and one that you feel you can work well with. You want to hire the most experienced criminal lawyer you can. It’s your freedom, record and sometimes job and family that are at risk. Ask the lawyer how long they have practiced criminal law. Ask them how many cases they have tried in front of a jury. Ask them about the complexity of the cases they have handled. The experience level of your criminal defense lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Ask the defense lawyer you are considering hiring if he has ever been a prosecutor, for how long and what types of cases he/she has handled during this time. The experience you gain as a prosecutor is invaluable. It allows the criminal defense lawyer better insight into how a prosecutor thinks, how they prepare on their cases, and the strategies they will use in trying your case. After all, they were one.
Depending on the charges you are facing and your criminal history, there is, in general, a wide range of possible outcomes in your criminal case. These outcomes range from your case being declined at intake or dismissed after charges are filed, to being found not guilty by a judge or jury.
It’s important to remember that no defense lawyer can, or should, ever guarantee a client a specific outcome in their case. If a defense lawyer you are considering hiring does promise you a specific outcome, go somewhere else. It is not ethical or possible for the lawyer to do this.
If you are found guilty of a crime, there is a statutory range of punishment for that crime. These sentences may range from probation to incarceration, along with a possible fine that can be in the thousands of dollars. If the defendant is charged with, and convicted of, Capital Murder, for example, the only possible sentences are Life without Parole and the Death Penalty. However, in cases other than Capital Murder, the extent of the victim’s injuries, whether or not a deadly weapon was used, and the prior criminal history of the defendant, are a few of the factors that can significantly affect the sentencing received in a given case.
Moreover, what sentence an individual receives may also depend on what evidence is presented on their behalf at the Punishment stage of the trial. It is imperative that the defense lawyer investigate the case thoroughly, learn about the life of the person charged, and speak to friends and family members, looking for evidence that may mitigate the severity of the sentence he/she receives from a judge or jury.
In any case, it is vital to have an experienced defense attorney who knows the law, is willing to get to know you as a person, and who will thoroughly investigate your case, identify and develop defenses in the case and help you navigate this extremely stressful time in your life.
Fighting for a fair trial and a second chance for our clients is more than our job. It is our passion. Whether you’ve been charged with assault, aggravated assault, criminally negligent homicide, theft, DWI, aggravated robbery, sexual assault, violating probation, or any other crime, you need an aggressive and experienced defense lawyer who will work hard to make sure your rights are protected.
If you need a criminal lawyer in Tyler, Longview, Canton, Van, or another city in East Texas, I would be happy to meet with you, learn about you as a person, discuss the facts of your case in detail, and help you determine the best way to move forward.