Where to Hire a North Richland Hills TX Criminal Defense Lawyer
All defendants need a defense attorney, no matter if they're guilty or not, as they are going to be their guide and protector throughout the entire legal process. However, defendants can get court-appointed attorneys or private lawyers, which may be the key difference that keeps them from ending up in jail.
Paid attorneys usually have much more time to dedicate to their case, making them the ideal option for most defendants, but sometimes, this is impossible. Still, the Sparks Law Firm is filled with the best criminal defense lawyers in North Richland Hills, TX, ready to bring justice to anyone who may need it.
What Is Criminal Defense Law in North Richland Hills?
The power levels between government prosecutors and defendants are highly unbalanced, which is why each defendant has the right to have a Fort Worth TX criminal defense lawyer who knows all the legal processes that must be followed during the case. This makes it a much more fair situation and gives them the possibility to prove their innocence.
Moreover, a criminal defense attorney is there to gather all the needed information to build a strong case and use their constitutional knowledge to prevent the police from using unethical ways of winning the case. Therefore, criminal defense law specializes in the protection and fair treatment of those accused of committing a crime.
Some of the most common crimes are related to domestic violence, personal injury cases, violent crimes, and traffic tickets. In addition, there have even been some cases involving a white-collar crime and a first-degree felony.
What Does a North Richland Hills Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
Assignment of the Case
A criminal defense attorney can get a case in one of two ways. The defendant can directly contact them, or the court may assign it to them if they're a public defense lawyer. In the best-case scenario, the defendant is going to hire a private lawyer, as public attorneys tend to have a considerable caseload that prevents them from having enough time to dedicate to the case.
Interview about the Case
In order to get to know more about their criminal cases, lawyers have to meet with their clients and gather as much information as possible. This helps them get all the details they need to build a defense and determine whether the case is strong enough to go to court.
Investigation into the Case
Then, the lawyer must conduct a thorough investigation that's meant to dig deep into all the aspects of the case. This usually means talking with witnesses and police officers, gathering reports and video recordings, etc. All of these pieces of evidence are going to help clear out the defendant and lower their sentence.
Moreover, criminal defense lawyers can review the prosecution's case to find anything wrong with it before it's submitted. This way, they can refute or find expert witnesses to test the evidence presented by the plaintiff.
Analysis of Evidence
Another crucial step of building a case is analyzing the evidence found during the investigation, as this is going to help the lawyer get a better insight into what happened at the crime scene. Moreover, this may help them start creating defense options to prevent their clients' convictions.
Continue Contact with the Client
All criminal defense lawyers must be in direct contact with their clients at all times, as they must explain all the legal procedures being executed at the moment. Moreover, all conversations must be confidential, as any information leak could lead to their client's conviction. The defendant must know at all times what's going on so that they are aware of the possible outcomes.
A criminal defense lawyer must also be part of the jury selection process, as sometimes jurors may be biased against their client, which could cause them to act unethically and make them lose the case. However, both parties can be involved in this process.
Lawyers can also negotiate with the prosecutor about the case's status, which could cause them to get a plea bargain. This consists of getting a favorable deal for their client if they notice there's no way of winning the case through a jury trial. Most plea bargains include a reduction of charges or punishment if the defendant agrees to plead guilty.
The defendant must hire a lawyer willing to go to court and fight for their freedom. This highly stressful situation requires someone with certain negotiation skills who can convince the jury of their client's innocence.
Finally, if the defendant is found guilty, their lawyer must still negotiate the severity of the punishment and try to get them as little time as possible in jail. They can do this by accepting a plea bargain or simply negotiating with the judge or jury. Moreover, there are several incarceration alternatives they can offer so that their clients get to skip jail time altogether.
Securing a Release from Jail Pending Trial
In most criminal offense cases, the defendant is going to end up in jail while they wait for the court to proceed with their case. However, this process may take weeks, and they can't simply skip work and stop their daily responsibilities to be in jail. That's why one of the first things the criminal defense lawyer must do is obtain a release from prison, also called "bail."
Bail consists of a certain amount of money the defendant gives to the court to be able to go home while the case is being prepared. This ensures the court that the defendant is going to come back to follow the standard procedures. Otherwise, they are going to retain the bail money. Moreover, some defendants may not be able to afford bail, so they can also use a commercial bond service, or the judge may reduce the amount of money if they can demonstrate they're not a threat to the community.
Cost of Legal Representation in North Richland Hills
Hourly Billing for Criminal Defense
This is the most expensive type of billing, as lawyers are going to charge the defendant for the total time they dedicate to their case, which tends to range around the $300 per hour mark. However, this doesn't include any standard legal fees defendants must pay during these cases.
Advantages to hourly billing
There aren't many benefits to hourly billing, but it may work for cases that end fast.
Disadvantages to hourly billing
Cases can be completely unpredictable, so they can get longer than expected, which is going to cost a tremendous amount of money to the defendant if they're paying a criminal defense lawyer's hourly rate. Moreover, most lawyers still charge a minimum retainer fee if the case is solved rather quickly.
The best thing to do in these scenarios is to ask for a free consultation to estimate how many hours the case would take. Moreover, the defendant must also ask several lawyers and compare rates if they wish to get the best possible deal.
Case Billing for Criminal Defense
On the other hand, case billing is usually the best option for the defendant, but the set fee is going to change depending on the case and criminal defense lawyer they choose. Still, it is a fantastic option, as the cost isn't going to change no matter how complicated the case may get.
Advantages to case billing
Case billing allows the defendant to get peace of mind, as they know how much their case is going to cost, and they don't have to worry about future complications.
Disadvantages to case billing
However, the price isn't going to be reduced if the case gets a quick settlement, so many defendants end up feeling ripped off. Moreover, most of these fees only include the pretrial phase, and defendants must pay an extra fee if the case goes to trial.
In order to avoid this, the defendant must get as much information as possible before signing any deals. Another common agreement is paying an hourly fee until they reach a certain fixed sum, in which the price is going to stop increasing. However, this must be previously negotiated with the lawyer.
Is a Private Attorney Better than a Court-appointed Attorney?
Many people believe that private attorneys are much better than Tarrant County public defenders, and although they have certain advantages, they are rarely related to their skill level. This is because many private attorneys were once prosecutors or Tarrant County public defenders, giving them a similar experience.
Moreover, according to several statistics, defendants represented by private and public defenders had similar conviction rates. Still, it is well-known that private defenders have much more time to dedicate to individual cases, as public defenders tend to be overworked.
Nevertheless, the main things that must be considered when choosing criminal defense attorneys are their skills, experience, and commitment.
Other North Richland Hills Practice Areas
Being involved in criminal convictions can have severe long-term consequences for the defendant, as they are likely to lose a lot of money and end up in jail. Therefore, they must put their future in good hands and hire a professional criminal lawyer.
All criminal cases deserve legal professional representation. Luckily, the Sparks Law Firm has a team of fantastic lawyers with vast experience defending criminal cases in North Richland Hills, TX, making it one of the best law firms for defending criminal charges in North Texas.