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Overview of the Criminal Process

Overview of the Criminal Process

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The criminal process in the State of Texas is extremely complex. Consequently, if you are facing criminal charges – no matter what they are – you should seriously consider retaining an experienced attorney to defend you in your case. A lawyer can thoroughly investigate the circumstances which form the basis of your criminal charge(s) and can work to help you put forth a strong defense to that charge.

In addition, your lawyer can represent you at the numerous hearings and other legal proceedings that occur at various points throughout your criminal case and can help you pursue the best possible legal result at those proceedings.

If you are facing one or more Texas criminal charges, the Houston criminal defense lawyers at Turnbull Legal Group are ready to help you handle all aspects of your criminal case. You can call Turnbull Legal Group today at (832) 479-2104 or contact us online to learn more about how we could assist with your legal defense.

Initial Arrest

As part of the arrest process, officers must make sure that they safeguard the accused’s Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination prior to beginning any questioning. Specifically, the accused must be advised that he or she has the right to remain silent, that anything said could potentially be used against him or her in the courtroom, that the accused has the right to the presence of legal counsel, and that if the accused cannot afford a lawyer, then legal counsel will be provided by the court.


During an arraignment, formal charges are brought against the accused. Also, at this time, the court apprises the accused of his or her legal rights. Once the accused is so advised, he or she may be given bail, which is used to guarantee his or her presence at the court date that is set. However, there is no guarantee that the accused will be given bail. In fact, in the case of serious criminal offenses, the accused might be held without bail until his or her court date.

Criminal Indictment

If the accused is facing a felony charge, then the process continues with the indictment. In other words, a Texas grand jury must then determine if sufficient evidence exists to move forward with the pending criminal charge. More specifically, nine out of the 12 total grand jury members must agree to formally indict the accused.

Plea Bargaining

The majority of criminal cases are resolved by way of the plea bargain process. During the process, the state prosecutor and the defendant work to negotiate a deal (such as a charge reduction or a period of probation in exchange for a guilty plea), in order to keep the matter from going to trial.

Trial and Post-trial

A criminal accused has the right to a trial by jury. In the alternative, the accused could waive the jury trial and agree to a bench trial where a judge decides the outcome of the case. In the event the accused is found guilty of the charge, he or she will receive a punishment or rehabilitation, including jail time, parole, probation, fines, and/or house detention.

Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

The legal team at Turnbull Legal Group could assist you throughout the Texas criminal process. To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Houston criminal defense attorney, please call us at (832) 479-2104 or contact us online.

Texas Criminal Law Attorney - Turnbull Legal Group
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