Plano Criminal Defense Lawyers Protecting the Rights of the Accused
After you or a loved one has been arrested, you may have many anxious thoughts: will I face jail time? Could I lose my children? If I’m convicted, will I be unable to find a job in my field? The list could go on and on. At Wilder Law Firm, we understand that every criminal charge presents a potential disaster for individuals and their families. That is why we take the time to listen to your unique case and build a defense that is tailored to your situation. Every set of circumstances surrounding each criminal case is different. Your legal team will use their extensive knowledge of criminal law to provide you with the custom legal guidance you need.
Wilder Law Firm has over 35 years of experience defending clients in Collin County, Texas. Our criminal defense attorneys take pride in steadfastly protecting the rights of those facing criminal charges. We deliver a client-centered legal strategy that takes into account the specific aspects of your case and gives it the time and attention it deserves. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our compassionate lawyers, contact our office today: 469-423-8467.
What Should You Do if You Must Interact With the Police?
Whether you have been pulled over in your car, approached by police in public, or have officers show up at your door, it can be a frightening and stressful experience. The police are supposed to handle the situation professionally and respect your rights. However, as some recent high-profile cases have shown, this does not always happen. While it is not your responsibility to de-escalate the situation, taking steps to protect your safety during an arrest is still wise. Recommended actions include:
● Stay calm.
● Do not resist arrest.
● Keep your hands visible at all times.
● Do not provide false information.
Often, police will attempt to question individuals to gather incriminating evidence before officially arresting them. If a police officer begins asking you questions, you are under no obligation to provide any information aside from your name. If you are not being arrested or are uncertain whether the police are arresting you, you may ask if you are free to leave. If the police say you are free to go, quietly leave the scene.
What Are Your Rights if You Have Been Arrested?
If the police place you under arrest, you still retain certain rights. These rights include:
● The right to remain silent: The police will likely ask you questions, but you do not have to answer. In fact, you should never answer or sign anything until your criminal defense lawyer is present, to ensure that you are not harming your case. Inform the officers verbally that you are exercising your right to remain silent to make your intentions clear.
● The right to refuse a search: You can state out loud that you do not consent to a search of your person or belongings. The police are still able to pat you down to check for weapons. If they go beyond this basic search without your permission or a warrant, anything they find may not be admissible in court.
● The right to a lawyer: Even if you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to legal representation, and a government-appointed lawyer will be provided.
● The right to not answer questions regarding your immigration status, nationality, or citizenship: In general, if you are not at a border or airport, you do not have to give information about where you were born or your citizenship status. It is highly recommended to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible if you have been arrested and have concerns that your immigration status may come into play with your criminal charges.
You also have the right to make a local phone call. If you contact a lawyer, the phone call is protected by attorney-client privilege, and the police cannot listen in. However, remember that they are allowed to listen to any calls made to a family member or friend, so be mindful of your conversation.
What Types of Charges Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Assist You With?
As a criminal defense law firm, Wilder Law Firm can help individuals charged with almost any type of crime. Whether the criminal offense you are being accused of is a felony or a misdemeanor, our criminal defense attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, provide skilled legal representation, and help you clear your record if you were falsely accused. Wilder Law Firm fights hard to obtain favorable outcomes for all our clients, no matter their criminal charges. Common types of criminal cases our attorneys handle include:
● Drug possession
● White collar crimes
● Domestic assault
● Sex crimes
● Gun offenses
If you or a loved one are facing any variety of criminal charges, our legal team is here to fight for your rights and help you navigate the complex criminal justice system. Contact our law office today to learn more about how we can assist you.
What Consequences Can You Face for a Criminal Conviction in Texas?
The repercussions you may face if you are proven guilty of a crime in Texas can vary widely. Factors that can impact your sentencing include the charges involved, the severity of your actions, your prior criminal history, and whether your crime caused physical harm, property damage, or death. Depending on the circumstances, you could find yourself looking at a fine, probation, or even jail time.
Crimes are split into two main categories, felonies, and misdemeanors. Felonies are more severe and can result in huge fines and lengthy prison sentences. However, misdemeanor convictions can still be life-altering and will go onto your criminal record. Felonies and misdemeanors are broken into further subcategories with their own sentencing guidelines. These are the guidelines for an individual with no previous criminal record:
● Capital felony: This is the most serious charge, typically reserved for particularly heinous crimes like capital murder. Convicted individuals may be subject to the death penalty or a life prison sentence.
● First-degree felony: For severe crimes like theft of property over $200,000 or aggravated sexual assault, the penalty is a minimum of 5 years in prison to a maximum of 99 years in prison. A fine of up to $10,000 may also be enforced.
● Second-degree felony: Reckless injury to a child and aggravated assault are two of the crimes classified into this category. The penalty ranges from two to twenty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
● Third-degree felony: For individuals convicted of this kind of crime, which includes deadly conduct, indecent exposure to a child, and tampering with evidence, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is two years and can be as long as five years. It may also include a fine of up to $10,000.
● State jail felony: For crimes like a child endangerment DWI or check forgery, the penalty is 180 days to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. These charges may be increased to a third-degree felony or decreased to a class A misdemeanor at the judge’s discretion, based on the circumstances of the criminal case.
● Class A misdemeanor: Includes crimes such as stalking with no bodily harm and theft of property worth less than $1500. Convicted individuals face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4000.
● Class B misdemeanor: Most DWI cases fall into this classification. Penalties include up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000.
● Class C misdemeanor: These are minor crimes, such as theft of property worth less than $20. Individuals convicted of a class C misdemeanor are unlikely to get jail time but may be required to pay a fine of up to $500.
Why Choose Our Law Firm?
While many criminal defense firms use generic approaches to defense strategies, Wilder Law Firm provides legal assistance that centers the client. Because we employ this method, it means that we take the time to listen and fully understand your case. Then our highly trained attorneys and staff thoroughly investigate all potential avenues of defense. The result is a defense that is custom-made for your charges.
At Wilder Law Firm, we care about our clients and are always answerable to them. We understand that this is likely a challenging time for you, so that is why you will have direct access to your criminal attorney, including their cell phone number. We are here to grant you peace of mind and give you the best possible chance of a favorable outcome in your case.
In all criminal cases, contacting a defense attorney as soon as possible is key to the success of your case. It provides your lawyer with time to investigate and gives you the benefit of their advice and protection throughout the entire process, so you know your rights are being upheld. For a free initial consultation to learn more about how our skilled lawyers can assist you, contact us at our Plano office: 469-423-8467.