What to Expect at Trial
Jan. 26, 2023
Being charged with a crime in Texas can be an overwhelming experience, but understanding what needs to be done before, during, and after trial takes some of the stress out of it. If you are facing criminal charges and await trial, seek the legal counsel of our criminal defense lawyers at Madson Castello Law.
Having tried more than 300 criminal cases to a jury, we pride ourselves on our extensive trial experience. Our attorneys offer highly personalized attention to people facing criminal charges in Dallas, Texas, and throughout North Texas. We can work every angle of your case to determine your best defense strategy. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can start developing a strong defense strategy.
Understanding the Criminal Process
If you are facing a criminal charge in the state of Texas, it can be overwhelming to consider what is ahead of you. Understanding the process and familiarizing yourself with each step can help alleviate a few of your worries.
Arrest. The first step in any criminal process is an arrest. Once you have been arrested, police officers will read you your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It is important to remember that anything you say during this time can be used against you later in court. After being arrested, bail will be set and discussed with a judge or magistrate at an arraignment hearing. If you cannot afford bail, then it may be possible for someone else to pay on your behalf or for a bondsman to post bail on your behalf.
Trial. The next step is trial, where evidence and testimony will be presented by both sides before a jury delivers its verdict. During trial proceedings, there are several different types of motions that may be filed by either side, such as motions to suppress evidence or motions for discovery. Additionally, plea bargains may also be reached between parties if both sides agree upon it. Plea bargains can reduce sentencing or even dismiss charges if accepted by a judge or magistrate.
Sentencing/appeals. If found guilty during trial proceedings, sentencing will follow shortly thereafter. Sentencing typically involves fines and/or jail time depending on the severity of the crime committed as well as other mitigating factors such as prior criminal history or extenuating circumstances surrounding the crime itself. If convicted, individuals have the right to appeal their sentence within 30 days after the conviction. However, appeals must meet certain criteria in order to be accepted (e.g., errors made within trial proceedings). According to the Texas Courts website, Texas has 14 courts of appeals with intermediate appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases.
If you have been arrested, contact an attorney as soon as possible after the arrest and before the trial. Getting a criminal defense attorney involved early in the process can greatly improve the outcome of your case.
Steps to Take Before Your Trial
If you have been charged with a crime in Texas, it is crucial to understand the steps necessary to prepare for trial and what needs to be done afterward.
The first step is to ensure that you speak with an experienced attorney who focuses on criminal defense. It is essential that you have legal representation from someone who understands the specific laws pertaining to your case as well as the potential consequences of a conviction. Your attorney can provide advice on how best to proceed with your case before the trial date.
Once you have consulted with a lawyer, it is vital that, together with your attorney, you do your due diligence by researching all applicable laws and regulations related to your case. You and your attorney should also review any prior court decisions or precedents that may be relevant. This research can help identify potential defenses or strategies that can be used during the trial. Additionally, make sure to keep a log of all conversations between yourself, your attorney, and any other parties involved in the trial process.
What to Expect at Your Trial
During a criminal trial in Texas, the accused will be expected to appear in court alongside their defense attorney. The trial usually consists of several stages, including opening statements from both the prosecution and defense, questioning of witnesses and the presentation of evidence, closing arguments from each side, jury instructions, deliberations by the jury, and the announcement of a verdict.
It is essential that you are aware of all of these steps in order to adequately prepare and protect your rights. Preparing for a criminal trial in Texas can be daunting, but understanding the crucial steps needed before and after the trial can help ensure that everything runs smoothly.
While there are many potential outcomes and repercussions associated with criminal trials in Texas, understanding your rights throughout each stage can help ensure that justice is served accordingly.
Steps to Take Following Your Trial
Once the trial has concluded, it is important that you follow up with your attorney regarding any next steps, such as filing appeals or motions for reconsideration if necessary. Additionally, make sure that all paperwork related to the trial has been properly filed and submitted so that there are no delays in getting a resolution on your case.
Legal Aid When You Need It Most
It is important to understand each step of the trial process in Texas so that you can make informed decisions throughout this difficult journey. With more than 30 years of combined trial experience, our criminal defense attorneys at Madson Castello Law can assist with your case and help you prepare for what’s to come. Contact our office in Dallas, Texas, to request a consultation and tell us more about your situation.