608 W. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Call the 24-hour number 347-526-8116
1. I’m not under arrest and the police want to talk to me – What should I do?
You should never talk to the police without first consulting with a defense attorney.
A cop should always try to get the suspect’s side of the story before charging him or her with a crime and the cop who fails to do so should expect to be hammered on cross examination. This is especially true in cases where it is just the complainant’s word against the defendant’s word. However, it is not always in a defendant’s best interests to give a statement to the police. Your attorney can advise you whether it is in your best interests to speak to the police.
If you are factually innocent, the matter might be dropped after you give your side of the story to the police. If your attorney advises you to give a statement, your attorney should be present and you should insist upon recording the interview in some manner, rather than relying upon a written summary of the interview prepared by the police officer.
One danger of giving a statement to the police when you are a criminal suspect is that both you and the police officer will have a tendency to hear what you want to hear. The cop may have already decided that you are guilty and he will focus only on things that confirm his pre-existing opinion, while ignoring facts which point to your innocence. Likewise, the cop might tell a suspect “if you give a confession, I’ll put in a good word for you to the DA.” The suspect takes that to mean “if I give a confession, I will get a lenient sentence or I will get probation,” when the cop never actually said that. All that he said is that he will put in a good word to the DA, but that does not obligate the DA to make you a favorable plea offer and it certainly does not obligate the judge to give you a lenient sentence.
2. I’ve been arrested – What should I do?
Same advice as above. SAY NOTHING – TELL THE POLICE YOU WANT A LAWYER AND WILL NOT SPEAK WITH THEM UNTIL YOUR LAWYER IS PRESENT!!!!!
If you have been arrested, one of the most important things to do – say as little as possible. Tell the police you want an attorney and do not wish to speak with them until you have an attorney present.
Be respectful to the authorities, but do not put yourself in at risk by providing information that may be used against you. Contact a criminal defense attorney a soon as possible.
3. What is arraignment?
An arraignment is when you are formally charged with a crime and are brought before a judge. It is critical to have an experienced lawyer with you at that time. This is when a judge decides whether bail should be set or whether you should be released on your own recognizance (ROR). Having an experienced lawyer there to argue on your behalf is critical – it may make the difference between being released or having bail set.
4. How does bail work – will I be released?
Bail is a process through which an arrested criminal suspect pays a set amount of money to obtain release from jail. As a condition of release, the suspect promises to appear in court for all scheduled criminal proceedings — including arraignment, preliminary hearing, pre-trial Motions, and the trial itself. If the suspect fails to appear in court as scheduled, he or she will be subject to immediate arrest, and any bail amount paid will be forfeited.
How is Bail Set?
At arraignment, a judge will make a bail decision based upon:
If You Cannot Afford Bail: Bonds and Bond Agencies
A suspect (or the suspect’s friends and family) may put up the full bail amount as set by the court, or a “bond” may be posted in lieu of the full amount. A bond is a written guarantee that the full bail amount will be paid in the event that the suspect fails to appear as promised. A bond is usually obtained through a bail bond agency that typically charges a fee in exchange for posting of the bond (usually about ten percent of the bail amount). Bail bond agencies may also demand additional collateral before posting a bond, as the agency will be responsible for paying the full bail if the suspect “jumps bail” and fails to appear as promised.
Contact my office for help in getting bail posted. 347-526-8116 – CALL TODAY!!!!!!!