|What To Expect When Charged With A Crime|
You have had the day from hell, your company 'down-sized' and let you go, your girlfriend has suddenly found she's still in love with an old flame, you were cut off on the freeway by a Hummer and nearly hit someone else. You decide that maybe what you need is to go get some super rich ice cream at the mall. While you're waiting your turn, some big fat loudmouth in a suit just walks in front of you and makes his order. Near the breaking point, you manage to keep your temper, thinking he'll be out of there momentarily. As he's leaving, the oblivious idiot trips and throws his order all over you.
Rage overtakes you and you not only punch the guy, but manage to put him through the front window. The police arrive along with the ambulance; you are taken to jail; loudmouth is taken to the hospital. I will work for you.
After being booked and photographed, you sit in a cell wondering how it came to this, and what happens next.
In general, the process follows this pattern: The police take all the evidence information they have thus far and turn it over to the District Attorney's office. The DA's office decides whether, and what type of charges are appropriate, and these charges are then issued. Following this is your initial appearance in court. (If you are charged with a misdemeanor, this is your arraignment; because of the amount of damage, you have been charged with a felony.)
At this time, bail will be set, and any conditions of bail put forth. Several factors go into this- your personal history, standing in the community, and the seriousness of the crime. The judge has the option, if you have never been in trouble before and the crime is not serious of releasing you without bail; up to no release at any bail. Most cases fall somewhere in between. The more serious the crime, the more damage to people or property, as well as how often (and for what) you've been in trouble- the higher the bail.
Bail is an insurance that you will return for trial, rather than flee. Most people cannot readily get their hands on the required cash for release, therefore the use of a bail bondsman. For a fee (usually 10% of the total amount of the bail) a bondsman will cover your bail. It will be returned to him when you show up for your trial.
Also at this time, the judge will set the date of your next (preliminary) hearing for your felony case. This is also the point where a public defender (if you do not already have a lawyer and it has been concluded through an indigence investigation that you cannot afford one) will be assigned.
In Lubbock County there is a Plea Negotiation Conference. The PNC is held after your initial appearance. At the PNC the District Attorney will present an offer to your attorney who will communicate that offer to you. If you accept the offer, an additional hearing will be held.
If you do not accept the offer at the PNC, a pre-trial hearing is set. At this hearing the judge will hear various motions from your attorney and the District Attorney. After the pre-trial hearing, a trial set.
David Moody is experienced in all phases of the criminal process and will represent you well.
Call David Moody at 806-791-2400. Reach him on his cell phone at 806-535-9667.