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Texas is notoriously strict on criminal offenders and has the highest prison population in the country.
Likewise, our incarceration rate consistently ranks among the country’s highest.
Simply put, if you commit a crime in Texas, you are more likely to end up in jail than you would be in most other states.
Kyle Law Firm can help. Based in New Braunfels, and serving throughout Central Texas, our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined experience protecting clients against criminal allegations. The Firm’s criminal defense team has litigated more than 100 jury trials to verdict in all types of cases. We are not afraid of the courtroom.
Our attorneys are skilled in defending individuals against a full array of charges, including:
There are well over 100,000 lawyers in Texas. Fewer than 2 percent of them, however, are board-certified.
The senior trial lawyers at the Kyle Law Firm are certified. We are proud of our ability to define ourselves as specialists.
In personal injury cases and criminal defense matters, we are committed to raising the bar of excellence in our field.
You need trial lawyers, not ‘plea agreement’ lawyers. Mr. Harkins and Mr. Kyle have over fifty years experience in criminal defense and well over 100 jury trials between them.
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It is wise to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with a crime. A common misconception is that you’ll “look guilty” if you ask for an attorney before speaking to police or investigators. Don’t risk incriminating yourself by giving any kind of statement without a defense attorney present.
A good criminal defense attorney will communicate with investigators on your behalf skillfully without saying anything that is admissible in court. They will also be able to collect information that may be used to get your charges reduced or even dropped.
Regardless of what crime you or a loved one have been charged with, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial. It’s your fundamental right and in your best interest to hire one that can skillfully navigate the legal process and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you understand the details of the charges filed against you, your best defense and plea agreement strategies, and prepare you for the legal proceedings to come.
A public defender will be appointed to your case if you cannot afford to hire a criminal defense attorney. However, it’s important to be aware that if the court later determines you financially fit to have hired your own attorney, you will be required to pay for the public defender’s services.
An arraignment is a defendant’s first appearance in court, whether or not they’ve been taken into custody. During the arraignment, a defendant is formally presented with the charges against them and asked how they plead to these charges. It’s also when a judge determines whether or not the defendant should be detained or released until their trial. If the court chooses to detain the defendant, they must also set bail.
Bail is an amount of money the court sets which can be paid for the conditional release of the detained defendant. It grants temporary freedom to the defendant so that they can adequately prepare for their case, and ensures they return to court to appear for their trial.
A defendant may hire a bail bond company to post their bail, and will get their money back after they appear in court (minus a premium for this service of up to 10 percent). If the defendant fails to appear for their trial, the bond company will revoke the bond and hire a bounty hunter to locate and seize the defendant.
Criminal defense attorneys work with the court on behalf of their defendant to lower or waive their bail amount. Attorneys can also negotiate with bail bond companies for a lower premium rate.
A preliminary hearing is a pre-trial proceeding for felony charges where the judge determines whether there is probable cause to justify pursuing a criminal case and, if so, whether the prosecution has enough evidence to charge the defendant with the crime.
This stage gives your attorney the chance to examine the case against you and build your defense accordingly. During the preliminary hearing, your attorney may dispute evidence, toss out witness testimonies, and spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
A preliminary hearing typically takes place shortly after charges have been filed against the defendant. It must be held no later than 30 days after the defendant has been arrested, however defendants have the right to delay the preliminary hearing in order to prepare their case.
A pretrial conference is a legal proceeding that takes place before the trial begins. Its purpose is to ensure a “fair and expeditious trial.” During the pretrial conference, both parties meet before the judge to determine which evidence and witness testimonies will be admissible in court.
At the pretrial conference, the defense attorney may discuss a plea bargain with the District Attorney. The majority of criminal cases end with a plea agreement during the pretrial conference, and never reach the trial phase.
If a plea agreement is not reached during the pretrial conference, a trial date will be set. In some cases, it behooves a defendant to go to trial rather than take a plea bargain. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to determine your best course of action.
At trial, the prosecution and defense make their cases, present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Once closing statements are given, the jury (or the judge, if no jury has been appointed) deliberates and returns with a verdict: guilty or not guilty. In Texas, the jury’s verdict must be unanimous in order to convict the defendant. A mistrial is declared if a unanimous vote cannot be reached.
Criminal case durations vary between two months and two years on average. However, the duration of each criminal case depends on many factors. As the defendant, it is important to allow your defense attorney ample time to prepare your defense to deliver the best possible outcome for your case.
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