If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in Dallas, you need an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney. An arrest is a frightening experience, and criminal charges can lead to steep fines, probation, or even prison time. Also, the outcome of your Dallas criminal case can have consequences that can last a lifetime. If you’re convicted of a crime, be it a felony or a misdemeanor, your arrest and conviction will remain on your criminal record for life. Even seemingly minor misdemeanor offenses can prevent you from
ever obtaining certain jobs, and can even keep you from renting an apartment. If you’re convicted of a felony, you can permanently lose certain civil rights, including your ability to lawfully possess a firearm.
When you’re arrested, the first order of business is to seek jail release. You can seek the services of a bail bondsman. Typically, a bail bondsman will charge you a percentage of the cash amount of the bond. For example, if your bond is set at $10,000, a bail bondsman might charge you between $1000 and $1200 to post your bond so that you can then be released from jail. However, a bondsman can only post your bail bond. They can’t give legal advice, or represent you on your criminal case. Also, certain issues may arise regarding your bond that only a Dallas criminal defense attorney can assist you with. For example, if your bond is set as a cash only bond, a bondsman can’t assist you. As the name would suggest, a cash only bond requires you to post the full cash amount of the bond. In other words, using the above example, if your bond is set at $10,000 cash only, a bondsman cannot assist you. Your release can only be obtained if someone posts $10,000, in cash, at the Dallas County Jail. However, under these circumstances, a Dallas criminal defense attorney can ask a judge to change your bond from a cash only bond to a cash or surety bond. In most cases, judges will allow this change to occur. Once a bail bond is a cash or surety bond, an attorney bail bondsman can then post your bond, so that you can be released from jail.
In some cases, the judge doesn’t set a bond. If you find yourself being held on a no bond warrant, no amount of the money in the world, and no bail bondsman in the world, can obtain your release from jail. Frequently, in Dallas, no bond warrants are issued when someone is alleged to have violated their felony probation. In these situations, a Dallas criminal defense attorney can approach the judge assigned to the case, and request that he or she set a reasonable bond. Many times, the judge will agree to do so. Once a reasonable bond is set, an attorney bail bondsman can then post an attorney bail bond, and the person will be released from jail.
Another type of bond that an attorney can obtain for his clients is know as a personal recognizance bond. In Dallas County, P.R. bonds, as they commonly known, can be utilized by Dallas criminal defense attorneys to have outstanding warrants recalled, and, in many cases, it may be possible that the person for whom the warrant has been issued need not ever go to jail. If you have an outstanding warrant on a Dallas County criminal case, it may be possible for a Dallas County criminal defense attorney to obtain a personal recognizance bond on your behalf, without your ever having to book in to the Dallas County Jail.
Once released from jail, you will likely face criminal charges. If you’ve been arrested for a felony, your case will be referred to a grand jury, which will make a determination as to whether probable cause exists for a felony charge to be filed against you in a Dallas County Criminal District Court. If you’re arrested for a misdemeanor offense, the case can filed with a Dallas County Criminal Court without having to be passed upon by the grand jury.
Whether you’re charged with a felony or misdemeanor, you have an absolute right to a jury trial. In Texas felony cases, you have the right to have a jury of twelve Dallas County citizens pass upon whether or not they believe the State can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of the offense with which you are charged. In misdemeanor cases, jury trials are heard before six, rather than twelve. Also, rather than going to trial, it’s possible to strike a plea bargain agreement with the State. A plea bargain is a punishment to which both the State and the defense agree, and can contemplate a probated sentence, or even a reduction of the charges to a lesser offense.