How Social Media Can Hurt Your Defense in a Criminal Case

Posted by admin on January 15th, 2018 under Criminal defense, Defense strategies  •  No Comments

When facing an arrest and criminal charges in Texas, you might feel the urge to vent about your situation on your favorite social media channels. After all, your followers are your friends and family, and posting about it couldn’t hurt, right? Wrong. Publishing a post about your recent arrest on Facebook or Instagram in Texas isn’t as harmless as you think. In the new age of social media and technology, police are taking to the web to gather evidence against defendants in criminal cases in Houston.

History Can Come Back to Haunt You

Police officers, prosecutors, and investigators will look for any shred of evidence against you they can find in a criminal case. This includes a simple Google search that will come up with all the social media profiles in your name. There is nothing stopping prosecutors from using the information, posts, photographs, and videos on your social media pages against you in a court of law. In fact, assume this is the case. One survey found 59% of law enforcement agency respondents had contacted social media companies to obtain information to use as evidence.

Social media allows prosecutors to get to know you before you ever step foot in a courtroom. It gives them a broad overview of your history – however many years back you have available online. The other side can search through your words, shares, videos, photos, and conversations with friends to determine facts like possible intent to commit the crime, where you were in the days and hours leading up to the crime, and if you were with any witnesses or accomplices.

Social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn automatically come with timestamps, GPS location tracking, tagged friends, and other information that makes putting the pieces together easy for prosecutors. If you have posted anything incriminating about yourself, your friends, your recent actions, or an arrest, it can come back to haunt you during your criminal trial.

Don’t Let Social Turn into Serious Trouble

As someone under arrest in Texas, do not post anything on any of your social media accounts. Even if you don’t think you’re oversharing, prosecutors can twist what you say or publish, and turn into evidence against you. You may have already posted incriminating evidence, such as photos of you with stolen goods. Further posting will only make your situation worse. Instead, contact a lawyer for advice about what to do next.

Deleting your social media accounts won’t do any good if you’re already under arrest and can actually make your actions appear suspicious. Police can access deleted accounts and information if they want. Instead, simply stay off social media. Don’t post anything, like anything, comment on anything, tag your location, or update your stories. Communicate with your attorney in person or over the phone about how to diffuse the situation. Your lawyer can help you examine how much your social accounts may have already hurt your case and what defense strategies or plea bargains might be available. In the meantime, stay entirely off of social media.

Is Possession of THC Wax a Felony in Texas?

Posted by admin on January 10th, 2018 under Marijuana possession  •  No Comments

Unlike several other states, Texas has stayed stalwart in its strict no-marijuana laws. THC wax is no exception. In fact, the law punishes possession of THC even more harshly than standard marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in marijuana. It is the primary chemical responsible for producing the euphoric feeling, or “high,” of using cannabis. THC wax, also called butane hash oil (BHO), hash, or dabs, is a psychoactive drug that many refer to as a new form of marijuana. Possessing THC wax in Texas can get you into serious trouble – and even result in a felony conviction in the wrong circumstances.

In Texas, THC Wax = Controlled Substance

In Texas, the law groups THC wax not as marijuana, but in a category with more serious drugs such as ecstasy, molly, and PCP. What does this mean for possessors of THC? The state charges most cases of THC possession as felonies – even if it’s your first offense. Getting caught with THC or another form of marijuana concentrate on your person is the same as possessing controlled substances in the eyes of the law in the Lone Star State. It comes with much more severe penalties.

While having two ounces or less of regular marijuana on your person can result in a misdemeanor penalty with up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines, having the same amount of THC is a felony, with up to two years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Possession of one to four grams of THC, hash, or a concentrate can lead to two to ten years in prison. Prison time from there increases all the way to ten years to life in prison for possession of more than 400 grams of THC.

In most circumstances, possession of THC wax in Texas is a felony, not a misdemeanor. Despite the active components of THC wax and marijuana being the same, Texas legislation does not see them as the same substance. THC wax is one of the strongest forms of marijuana available and is much more potent than marijuana leaves. Therefore, the law in Texas sees fit to punish possession of THC wax much more harshly than other forms of the drug.

Possible Defenses for THC Wax Possession

A felony conviction on your record can cause serious, life-long problems for you. It can make it more difficult to find jobs and housing, as well as lead to financial problems from the cost of court fees, fines, and probably losing your job. Furthermore, a felony for possession of drugs in Texas automatically results in suspension of your driver’s license. It’s important to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible after arrest for THC wax or other marijuana concentrate possession, to protect yourself in any way available.

There are a few possible defenses to THC wax possession in Texas should your attorney suggest you don’t plead guilty. You could potentially allege unlawful search and seizure based on your Fourth Amendment rights, argue the drugs didn’t belong to you, or explain that someone planted them on you. In the event that prosecutors lose the drugs or do not have them available for trial, the court might drop the case against you. THC wax possession defenses are difficult to prove. Retain a skilled Houston criminal defense attorney to help you face a felony drug charge.

What Is the National Johns Suppression Initiative?

Posted by admin on December 18th, 2017 under sex crimes  •  No Comments

In 2011, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, led by Sheriff Tom Dart, began a national push to arrest those attempting to purchase sex, in order to curb sex trafficking in the United States. Originally called the “National Day of Johns Arrests”, and since renamed the “National Johns Suppression Initiative”, this annual event focuses on the johns, rather than the prostitutes, as a way to inhibit the sex industry.

The History of the Sex Industry and Law Enforcement

Until recently, it has been far more common for women to be arrested for prostitution than men. According to a 2012 report from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 43,000 women were arrested for prostitution compared to just 19,000 arrests of men. This has begun to change in recent years and even months. Today, women who are caught in prostitution now are receiving counseling and job training to attempt to persuade them to leave the sex industry.

While some women willingly participate in prostitution, many are forced to work in the sex industry either as slaves or due to financial circumstances beyond their control. Law enforcement, beginning to recognize this problem, has turned to attempting to curb demand for prostitution rather than attacking the supply side of the equation. It was out of this growing determination to put the focus of law enforcement on johns rather than the women who provide the sex services, that the National Johns Suppression Initiative was born.

A Nationwide Effort

Since its inception in 2011, the National Johns Suppression Initiative has grown considerably. This year’s effort included 37 law enforcement agencies across 17 states. This year, the sting took place over a month-long period from June 28th to July 31st. In all, more than 1000 arrests were made across the nation. Additionally, Arizona officials claim over 400 people were discouraged from attempting to buy sex through texts, phone calls, and web browser redirects providing information about the impact of human trafficking and the sex industry.

Harris County Texas, which includes the Houston Metroplex, was the leader in arrests again this year with 161 johns and 9 sex traffickers being arrested during the month. The Seattle area was not far behind with 160 arrests, and in Chicago there were 140 arrests.

Perhaps even better than the arrests are the reports of 81 adults and juveniles rescued from the human trafficking business. By squeezing demand and making it risky to engage in purchasing sex, it is hoped that fewer people will be caught in the tragedy of human trafficking.

The Future of the Initiative

Since its inception in 2011, more than 8,000 Johns and sex traffickers have been arrested as part of the National Johns Suppression Initiative. Sheriff Dart hopes to see even more law enforcement agencies participate in the future, in the attempt to curb this criminal activity. The Cook County Sheriff is also working to compile a national database of johns caught two or more times.The National Johns Suppression Initiative is succeeding in making criminal sex trafficking less profitable and more risky for offenders. If you have been convicted of sex trafficking or sexual charges  for prostitution in Houston, call the Law Offices of David A. Breston today.

What You Should Know About Plea Bargains

Posted by admin on December 2nd, 2017 under plea bargain  •  No Comments

Most criminal cases are settled via the plea bargain process. The plea bargain is an agreement reached between the prosecutor and the defendant during a case in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to the charges in exchange for a lighter sentence or lesser charges. While there are a number of good reasons for both sides to consider entering into a plea bargain, the more informed you are on the process, the better equipped you will be to make a decision on whether to accept or reject a plea bargain offered to you.

Why Prosecutors Offer Plea Bargains

There are a number of reasons why it makes sense for a prosecutor to offer a plea bargain in most cases. The biggest reason is that the current burden on the justice system leads to more cases that need adjudicating than the system can handle in a timely fashion. Prosecutors are motivated to offer plea bargains in order to speed up the process of wrapping up a case and clearing out their workload.

Additionally, a prosecutor can never be certain of the outcome of a trial. There are any number of ways that an otherwise open and shut case can take an unexpected turn during trial, or a jury may return an unexpected verdict. To ensure that the case reaches a conclusion the prosecution is willing to accept, they may offer a plea bargain.

Why a Defendant May Accept a Plea Bargain

The uncertainty that the prosecution faces at trial is true for defendants as well. A defendant unwilling to accept the uncertainty of a jury trial may opt to accept a plea bargain that offers the certainty of what the conviction will be, and the sentence that will be imposed.

In lesser cases, the prospect of waiting weeks or months to wrap up the case may be less desirable than simply accepting a plea bargain and putting the matter behind them. This may be especially true if the defendant is fairly certain that they will be convicted on at least one of the charges against them, regardless of how innocent they may believe themselves to be.

In order to reach an agreement, the prosecution is forced to offer a lighter sentence or a lesser charge than they might otherwise receive. For a defendant, it makes sense to try and get the lightest sentence possible, but in many cases a reduction in charges may be even more enticing than the lighter sentence. A felony conviction can carry long-lasting effects beyond just the immediate sentence. The right to vote, the right to own a firearm, and even the ability to be employed at certain jobs can be cut off by a felony conviction. By accepting a plea bargain to a lesser charge, the defendant avoids those consequences and can more easily get on with his or her life.

Accepting a plea bargain may not always be in your best interest, but in most cases, it will result in a better outcome than going to trial. Your Houston criminal defense lawyer will advise you on the best course of action, and with this information in hand, you will make a better decision on whether or not to accept the plea bargain.

Do You Have to Speak to a Detective After the Charges Are Dropped?

Posted by admin on November 17th, 2017 under Criminal defense, Uncategorized  •  No Comments

Anyone arrested for a crime should retain a defense attorney as soon as possible, ideally before they face formal charges. When the police arrest a suspect they must “mirandize” the suspect, and grant a detained or arrested citizen certain other civil rights, which are important to understand, as they may play a part in later proceedings.

An arrest can be a jarring experience, but it’s important for every suspect to keep these rights in mind to avoid self-incrimination. If a suspect knows he or she is guilty of the charges in question, cooperating with the police can sometimes work out in the suspect’s favor when it comes to plea bargains and later sentencing. However, it is always best to consult with a lawyer before speaking with the police, even if the suspect knows he or she is guilty and the prosecution will have a solid case.

My Charges Have Been Dropped. What Do I Do?

The police typically prefer to move quickly from an arrest to formal charges. However, an arrested suspect can avoid unjust charges once more evidence about the situation comes to light, or the police arrest the actual perpetrator. Additionally, the police cannot press formal charges without evidence. If the police arrest someone on suspicion of a crime they may attempt to interrogate the suspect, but the suspect is not legally required to answer any questions. Unfortunately, the police may intimidate some suspects so much that they confess to crimes they did not commit or otherwise give the police cause to suspect them further. This can create problems for the suspect and make it harder for him or her to clear his or her name.

If the police come to the conclusion that they have arrested the wrong suspect, the suspect is typically free to go. However, if the police arrested the suspect at the scene of a crime or in the vicinity of a crime scene, they may come back to the suspect later to ask questions about the crime. Again, the suspect must exercise his or her best judgment in the situation. If the suspect knows there is nothing linking him or her to the criminal activity in question, then it may be possible to speak with the police to help with an investigation. However, if there is any reason for the police to believe the suspect may have been involved with the crime in any way, the suspect should retain a defense attorney before answering any questions.

Some people may think that asking for your lawyer to be present before speaking to the police makes one appear guilty, but this is not so. Ultimately, the best rule of thumb to remember about speaking to the police is to never do so without your attorney present. If you have committed some kind of crime or have knowledge about the allegations in question, your attorney can help you navigate the situation without unduly implicating yourself. If you are completely disconnected from the situation in question, an attorney will help ensure your rights are protected and you offer the police whatever reasonable assistance you can provide.

When to Call the Police for a Domestic Dispute

Posted by admin on November 9th, 2017 under Domestic Violence  •  No Comments

Families and spouses get into arguments and even heated altercations every day. In some situations, a domestic dispute can disturb neighbors to the point where they wonder whether or not to call the police. It’s important to understand the difference between a domestic spat and domestic abuse. The determining factor for anyone wondering whether or not to call the police about a domestic dispute is whether or not there is cause to believe someone is at risk of serious harm.

Knowing When to Call the Cops

Married couples and domestic partners get into disagreements all the time. One spouse may feel that the other is acting irrationally, but that does not always justify calling the police. If you find yourself involved in a domestic dispute with another member of your household, it is always best to try and resolve the situation peaceably between yourselves. However, if you suffer an injury or physical abuse, call the police immediately. If you hear your neighbors screaming at one another you can ask them to keep the noise down and carry on their argument at a more acceptable volume, but you shouldn’t call the police unless there has been actual violence or you genuinely suspect that violence has occurred or may occur.

It’s important for those wishing to intervene in a domestic dispute to know the difference between a situation that warrants intervention and a situation best left to those involved to resolve. Actual abuse is reprehensible and intolerable. If you see clear signs of domestic abuse or have suffered such abuse yourself, contact the police immediately. Unfortunately, some people believe that calling the police without justification is a way to teach someone a lesson.

The police report their findings and arrest suspects based on what they observe in a situation. If you call the police on someone knowing that he or she does not actually warrant an arrest, you can create serious problems for those involved that can last a lifetime. Additionally, false or exaggerated accusations draw the police away from other situations that actually demand police intervention. Your desire to teach your spouse a lesson could waste police time and resources when they could have been helping someone who truly needed help.

Penalties for Domestic Abuse

Actual domestic abusers deserve the full force of the justice system. Once the police investigate, they will arrest an aggressor if they believe there is probable cause or available evidence indicating the individual is a danger to his or her spouse or others in the household. If a person makes a bogus or exaggerated claim of domestic abuse, it can be very difficult to take back the claim and prevent undue punishments. Ultimately, the District Attorney will decide whether or not to press charges in a domestic abuse case. If the accuser knows that the accused does not truly deserve an arrest and charges, those investigating the matter may decide otherwise and create serious problems for the family.

Abusers and aggressors may face restraining orders that prevent them from returning to their homes or seeing their children. For domestic abusers, this is a positive thing that prevents harm to innocents. For the wrongly accused, this can be life-shattering and cause irreparable damage among members of a family. To discuss further details of your case, contact a Houston criminal defense lawyer.

Can You Have a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Texas?

Posted by admin on November 1st, 2017 under gun laws in Texas  •  No Comments

The Second Amendment protects Americans’ rights to keep and bear firearms, and state laws vary widely on the restrictions and liberties facing gun owners in each state. Texas has some of the most lenient gun laws in the United States, and gun owners enjoy a wide range of freedoms concerning their Second Amendment rights. However, it is still vital for gun owners in Texas to know and understand the gun laws in the state to prevent legal complications.

One common question among gun owners and potential gun buyers in Texas is whether or not it is legal to carry a loaded gun in a vehicle. The short answer is yes, it is legal to keep a firearm loaded and within reach of the driver in a vehicle under the Motorist Protection Act. Drivers must conceal handguns, but long guns like rifles and shotguns do not require concealment.

Legal Ownership in Texas

Texans may carry loaded firearms in their vehicles, but they must still obtain the proper license for owning and carrying a gun. Texas does not place a waiting period on buying a gun, nor does the state require firearm registration in a state database. There is also no requirement for transferring licenses of inherited or privately purchased firearms. As of January 1, 2016, open carry is legal for licensed gun owners in Texas. This means you can carry a firearm on your person in plain view, such as in a hip or thigh holster.

If you obtain a Concealed Carry Permit, you may keep a concealed handgun or revolver on your person. Long guns such as shotguns and rifles do not require permits and owners may openly carry them in public so long as the owner does so in a manner that does not raise public alarm. For example, keeping the weapon slung over a shoulder is fine, but carrying it in a ready position may be a public disturbance or threat to the public.

Caveats to Texas’ Vehicle Gun Laws

While Texas’ gun laws are quite lenient compared to most other states, there are a few details gun owners should know about carrying firearms in their vehicles. The Motorist Protection Act exists to allow vehicle owners to protect themselves from thieves, carjackers, and armed robbers while driving. Gun owners only require a valid Texas photo ID to purchase a gun in Texas, and a driver does not require a license to carry a loaded firearm in his or her vehicle. However, the driver must keep handguns either holstered on his or her person or concealed from view. As long as the driver owns the vehicle or the vehicle is under his or her control, it is legal in Texas to have a loaded firearm in the vehicle within reach.

Texas law does prohibit knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally carrying a loaded firearm on a school’s or other educational institution’s vehicle. Exceptions apply to concealed carry permit holders as of August 1, 2016, and concealed carry permit holders may keep their firearms in a locked vehicle out of plain view in K-12 establishment parking lots or parking structures. Gun owners have a great deal of freedom when it comes to exercising their Second Amendment rights in Texas, but anyone who has questions about legal gun ownership and carrying practices should reach out to a licensed firearm dealer, a police station, or a Houston criminal defense attorney to verify the legality of their actions.

Criminal Charges for Looting and Burglary During Hurricane Harvey

Posted by admin on September 12th, 2017 under Burglary  •  No Comments

Hurricane Harvey may have passed, but its repercussions are still affecting thousands throughout Texas. It is a sad reality that some people will use a natural disaster for their own personal gain. Cases of looting and burglary in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are proof that some people have no boundaries when it comes to committing crimes. The State of Texas takes looting and burglarizing of a disaster area extremely seriously, imposing heavy fines and penalties on anyone police convict of looting after Harvey.

Texas is Cracking Down on Looters

When residences are the most vulnerable, criminals will pounce. While people are too busy evacuating, taking shelter, and staying out of harm’s way, others take the opportunity to loot and burglarize abandoned properties. Texas lawmakers have vowed to harshly penalize anyone caught looting or robbing businesses or homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They’ve adopted a zero tolerance policy on these crimes, with Houston’s police chief promising to “do whatever it takes” to protect citizens. Part of the solution has been to impose strict penalties on those caught looting, including:

  • Mandatory jail and prison time
  • Zero eligibility for probation
  • Prosecution to the fullest extent of the law
  • Enhanced punishments and sentences
  • Potential life in prison for burglarizing a home

Texas laws allow harsher punishments for crimes people commit in times of natural disaster. Police chiefs and District Attorneys’ offices have vowed to work hard to make jail or prison time mandatory for every offender guilty of looting disaster areas or similar crimes. They state that these offenders will not have access to probation and other forms of leniency that might normally apply in robbery situations. Police will treat crimes committed while Texas is a disaster area much more seriously than typical offenses.

Other Types of Crimes After Hurricane Harvey

Price gouging is another problem that Hurricane Harvey victims are facing in Texas. Businesses from contractors to hotels have taken to price gouging to take advantage of vulnerable people in need. Texas is serious about people and businesses that try to take advantage of disaster during or after the storm. The law will not allow these practices to take place without consequences.

There are fines of up to $25,000 per occurrence of price gouging – a penalty that increases to $250,000 if the victim is over the age of 65. Companies can potentially go out of business from price gouging victims on gas, water, lodging, food, and other necessities. Armed robbery has also been an issue after Hurricane Harvey. Reports of armed robbers threatening business owners and evacuees have circulated throughout the state, as have stories of alleged gunshot damage to an Apple store. Anyone convicted of armed robbery during this time could face years in prison.

In an effort to stop looting, armed robbery, and burglarizing, Houston imposed a curfew from midnight until 5:00 a.m. The city also brought in additional police officers from other regions. In times of trouble, Texas stands by its citizens. The law will not go easy on criminals who are taking advantage of vulnerable home and business owners who are simply trying to pick up the pieces after a terrible storm. If you’ve been accused of a crime in the midst of Hurricane Harvey, know that you should seek all legal options available to you.

Can a Felon Own a Gun in Texas?

Posted by admin on August 14th, 2017 under Felony offenses  •  No Comments

Gun ownership is one of the many rights an individual gives up when he or she becomes a convicted felon in Texas. Texans must comply with federal and state gun laws when it comes to purchasing a rifle or handgun in the state. These laws restrict ownership rights according to rules by the Texas Department of Public Safety. One of the eligibility requirements for owning a gun in the Lone Star State is that the individual has not had a felony conviction, according to Government Code §411.172-a-3.

State Gun Laws

“Felons can’t own guns in Texas” is an overarching statement that comes with several exceptions and stipulations. State laws only apply to “convicted” felons. This does not include felony convictions the courts have subsequently expunged, pardoned, annulled, invalidated, voided, or sealed. A state or federal judge must have issued these orders for the felon to be able to own a gun. The law doesn’t see an individual as “convicted” if the court ordered a deferred adjudication against the person at least 10 years prior to the date of the individual’s gun license application. There are exceptions to this rule for certain types of felony offenses, including:

  • Capital felony
  • Kidnapping/unlawful restraint
  • Criminal homicide
  • Sexual offenses
  • Robbery
  • Felony theft
  • Family violence
  • Stalking
  • Trafficking

There are certain violent crimes and felonies that bar a convicted individual from ever being able to own a gun in Texas, except in the event of an expunged or pardoned conviction. The law also bars individuals with Class A or Class B misdemeanors or equivalent offenses in the last five years preceding the date of the application from gun ownership. Conviction of an offense according to Section 42.01, Penal Code or a felony under an indictment or information also eliminates the right to gun ownership. Finally, fugitives from justice for these crimes may not legally own guns of any kind.

Federal Gun Laws

Convicted felons must obey federal gun laws on top of Texas state restrictions. There are significant penalties included in the federal law for felons who possess weapons, unless they’ve received restoration of rights by the convicting state. Federal law 18 U.S.C. 922(g) states that anyone “convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for longer than one year” may not possess any firearms or ammunition. Federal law makes it illegal for anyone with a felony conviction to own a firearm or possess one inside or outside the home.

Breaking the federal gun law can result in up to 10 years in prison. Conviction of certain misdemeanor charges also bars a person from gun ownership under federal law. For example, a misdemeanor for domestic violence or for Firearms and Explosives automatically restricts gun ownership for those convicted. There are exceptions to these federal rules, just as the Texas state gun laws have exceptions. If the state that convicted the person restores the individual’s rights, federal law will permit gun ownership.

Gun laws can be highly complex. In basic terms, a felon cannot own a gun in Texas. However, there are several exceptions to the state and federal laws. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand whether your felony conviction qualifies as an exception to all applicable gun laws in Texas.

Your Guide to Facing Murder Charges in Texas

Posted by admin on June 5th, 2017 under Criminal defense, Murder  •  No Comments

Investigations into murders and murder charges can feel overwhelming for the suspect and close family and friends. If you know what to expect, you can face the charges as an informed citizen. This is what you should know about murder charges in Texas.

How Texas Defines Murder

Texas recognizes four types of criminal homicide: capital murder, murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.

  • Capital murder. The state may escalate murder charges to capital murder charges if it believes a person accepted payment to kill, killed during the commission of certain felonies, killed inside of jail/prison or while trying to escape, killed multiple people, killed a child, or killed certain public servants/officials. If convicted, a person may face the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.
  • If a person kills intentionally with malice aforethought, causes a blatantly life-threatening bodily injury, or kills someone during the commission of a felony, the state can charge the individual with murder. For murder, an individual may face several years in prison, life in prison, or the death penalty.
  • Reckless behavior that proximally causes a person’s death can result in manslaughter charges. A person need not intend to kill someone to face these charges. If convicted, someone could spend up to 20 years in prison.
  • Criminally negligent homicide. If someone fails to use a prescribed duty of care and that inattention leads to another person’s death, the state may pursue criminally negligent homicide charges. Maximum sentencing in these cases is two years in jail.

How Murder Charges Work

Murder charges can begin with an arrest or with an investigation into a crime. Either way, the prosecutor will evaluate the facts of the case and determine whether to move forward with murder or murder-related charges. The state can move forward with criminal charges if it presents enough evidence in a preliminary hearing or in a grand jury proceeding. Prosecutors will move quickly to file the charges, and the entire process from arrest to arraignment may only take a few days.

What Suspects and Loved Ones Should Know About Murder Charges

From the moment an investigator makes an introduction until the last day in court, the state will scrutinize the suspect and possibly his or her loved ones. What you say and how you behave can help or hurt the outcome of the case. A defense attorney will help you prepare for questioning and help you understand your rights. In general, those facing such serious charges should:

  • Invoke their Fifth Amendment rights. Watch what you say in person and through electronic mediums. Never talk or write about the facts of a case in jail communications (officials can read your mail and listen in on your conversations). Avoid making comments on social media, in emails, and in text messages. If you’re innocent or guilty, the best way you can protect yourself and your loved ones is to stay silent. Some language can be misconstrued.
  • Comply with the process. From the moment the state takes a person into custody, it can make life easy or hard for everyone involved. Remain polite and compliant, even when you feel overwhelmed, angry, and frustrated.
  • Do not waive your right to an attorney. A defense attorney is your most powerful ally in a murder case. Talk candidly with your attorney, focus on the end goal, and keep realistic expectations.

Facing murder charges is often one of the scariest events a person can face. Regardless of guilt, the charges will turn your life upside down. A murder case can drag on for months or years. Go into the process with open eyes and lean on a skilled defense attorney to get through this difficult time.