This resource provides answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Please get in touch with Case J. Darwin Inc. for additional information or to schedule a consultation.
How Does the Criminal Process Work?
Apart from payment, the most frequently asked question is how does the criminal process work? Many people explain that they have never been arrested or charged with a crime before and thus have no idea what to expect. If this is you, that is okay. It is more normal than you think. Below I will provide you with a sequential roadmap of the criminal process. But don’t worry; we will help guide you successfully through this process.
How Does a Defendant Obtain a P.R. Bond (“Personal Bond”)?
A “P.R. Bond” is legally defined as a “personal bond.” A personal bond allows a defendant to leave on his own recognizance. This means that the defendant does not have to post a bond. The defendant simply gives his or her word that he will show up for the future court date if and when it occurs.
An attorney can do this by obtaining the State’s agreement to a personal bond. This is the best result, obviously. It is quick, and the Judge will typically agree to it without a hearing.
How Does a Defendant Get a Bond Reduction?
Only an attorney can coordinate an agreed reduction with the District Attorney’s Office or get you a bond hearing before a district judge. If a judge has indicted the defendant, the attorney will file a Motion for a Bond Reduction. The attorney will then either agree with the State for a lower bond amount or put on a hearing in front of the Judge.
What is a 90-Day P.R. Bond (“Personal Bond”)?
The most well-known personal bond is the 90-day P.R. bond. After 90 days of incarceration and if the State has not indicted a defendant, such a person is generally entitled to a 90-day personal bond. You will need to get an attorney to accomplish this for you. Only an attorney can coordinate a 90-day personal bond with the District Attorney’s Office. They can also get you a bond hearing before a district judge.
How Much Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer because all crimes are different, and all cases have their own unique factors. We understand that an attorney is a significant expense, so we offer payment plans. Remember, you get what you pay for. Our lawyers ensure to provide the best service for their price, no matter the charge.
We have no generic answer to this, as it depends on the case type. Motions to revoke probation (“community supervision”) or adjudicate typically carry lower fees, as a jury trial is not legally an option.
Contact Case J. Darwin with any additional questions or help. We are always welcome to speak about pricing options and can find the correct payment plan for your situation.
What is a 12.44(a) or a 12.44(b)?
A 12.44(a) or a 12.44(b) comes from the Texas Penal Code. Texas Penal Code section 12.44(a) typically gets a defendant time served in the county jail for a state-jail felony. It does carry with it a felony conviction. Texas Penal Code section 12.44(b) is a conversion statute. It converts a state-jail felony into a Class A Misdemeanor and typically carries a time-served sentence. A 12.44(b) is much better because it leaves a defendant with a misdemeanor for punishment purposes. It gets rid of the felony!
What is a Drug-Free Zone Enhancement?
The drug-free zone enhancement typically applies to the possession or distribution of drugs at or within 1,000 feet of a school or playground. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.134 (West 2018). The enhancement can also apply to drug possession or distribution at or within a certain amount of feet of a public swimming pool, video arcade facility, youth center, or school bus. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.134 (West 2018). The enhancement covers all drug penalty groups and thus includes marijuana, marijuana concentrate, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, dangerous drugs, mushrooms, and MDMA.
Possession or distribution of drugs in a drug-free zone increases the offense level by one degree. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.134 (West 2018). Thus, a Class B Misdemeanor becomes a Class A Misdemeanor, a Class A Misdemeanor becomes a state jail felony, a state-jail felony becomes a third-degree felony, etc. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.134 (West 2018). If the amount of drug possessed or distributed, with the drug-free zone enhancement, is a third-degree felony or second-degree felony, the minimum amount of punishment starts out at seven years, while if it is a first-degree felony, the minimum amount of punishment starts out at ten years. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.134 (West 2018).
What is the Punishment for Possession of Marijuana?
Simple possession of marijuana starts out as a Class B Misdemeanor (possession of two ounces or less). It is important to note that a person can only be prosecuted for possession of marijuana if he has a “usable quantity of marihuana.” See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 481.121 (West 2018). Unlike possessing other drugs, where “trace” amounts permit prosecution.
Although not viewed as severe as other offenses, possession of marijuana can severely affect a person’s record. A conviction for possession of marijuana will result in a six-month driver’s license suspension. See Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.372 (West 2018). A marijuana conviction can also affect a person’s ability to receive financial aid.
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