What is the difference between criminal law and civil law?
Criminal law involves an action initiated by the government against an individual who has committed a crime. The criminal laws of the government are codified into statutes. When an individual allegedly violates a law, as listed in the statutes, then the government can prosecute that individual. The remedies in criminal court may involve a money fine and/or a jail or prison sentence. Civil law is the area of law by which private individuals or businesses resolve their differences with the help of the civil courts. The remedies available in civil courts are generally limited to money damages.
Can some activities be both a criminal and a civil offense?
Yes. For example, if a person decides to walk up and hit another person and causes injuries to that person, the person initiating the contact may be found guilty of assault in a criminal court and liable for their injuries in a civil court.
Am I entitled to a bond?
The general rule, as provided for in both our federal and state constitutions, is that all persons are entitled to “reasonable bail” while their case is pending. There are some circumstances that may entitle the Court to deny you a bond.
Why do I have a “No Bond” in my Case?
If you have received a “No Bond”, in your case this means that you cannot be released out of jail by paying a bond until a bail amount is set by the assigned judge. The bond will not be set until you are taken into formal custody. You may receive a “No Bond” if you have been previously sentenced to prison two or more times. You may receive a “No Bond” if you are on probation or are out on bond for another criminal offense. If you have been charged with a particularly violent crime like abuse or murder, the judge or prosecutor might consider you to be a “flight risk,” and you may be held without bond.
Can I be prosecuted if the police have violated my Miranda rights?
Yes. However, any evidence obtained as a direct result of a statement obtained in violation of Miranda rights, will likewise be excluded from the evidence admissible at trial. While what you say may not be used against you if your Miranda rights are violated, it does not prevent the government from prosecuting you based on evidence obtained from other sources.
If the police forget to read my rights when I am arrested, will the case be thrown out?
Maybe and maybe not, and your answer to this question will depend on many circumstances. The United States Constitution, Texas Constitution, as well as Article 38.22 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, place limits on your interrogation by a police officer. Police officers are not required to read you your Miranda rights prior to placing you under arrest, but once the arrest is made these rights must be read to you prior to any police interrogation. Any statement taken in violation of these provisions may result in suppression of the statement as evidence in trial.
Should I Comply with Police Questioning?
Most Criminal Defense Attorney almost always recommend that you refrain from conversing with a police officer about a crime that you are accused of committing. Even if you are innocent, police investigators are highly skilled at distorting seemingly innocent statements into ammunition that can be used against you in court. It is difficult to overcome the police officer’s predisposed opinion about you, and therefore it is recommended that you seek the help of Experienced Trial Attorney.
I have a felony on my record. Can I own or possess a gun in Texas?
Texas law impose restrictions on gun possession and ownership for individuals who have felony convictions. Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.04 specifically states, (a) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm: (1) after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person’s release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later.
How can a Houston Divorce Attorney help me?
Regardless of your current situation, a divorce can be emotionally draining, financially taxing and stressful for everyone involved including the children. This may be a very difficult time in your life, it is important to understand that an experienced Houston Divorce Attorney can help make a real difference in not only guiding you through the legal process in Texas, but also helping you secure what you deserve.
How long will it take to finalize my divorce?
It can take up to a minimum of sixty (60) days. Texas law requires that the couple wait sixty (60) days after the date the divorce petition is filed to finalize the divorce. There are some factors that may shorten the sixty day requirement. However, how long any individual case takes to resolve depends on many factors.
What is the cost of divorce?
The cost of a divorce depends on whether you and your spouse can reach an agreement regarding the property division and children, how long the case has to be litigated before that agreement is reached, whether temporary orders are necessary, whether a trial is necessary, whether discovery is conducted, and how reasonable your spouse and your spouse’s attorney are (or aren’t) throughout the whole process.
Can I get alimony in Texas?
You may be entitled to get temporary spousal support (while the divorce is pending). However, it is very common and only if you qualify. I recommend that an attorney’s advice would be necessary to see if you qualify.
What should I do if I was arrested, subpoenaed, or charged with a crime?
You should immediately consult Attorney Equator L. Turner. If at all possible, contact our office before talking to ANYONE.
Why do I need an Attorney?
When you are faced with possible jail time, you need to move fast to protect yourself, your family and your future. Attorney Equator L. Turner can help to provide you with the protection you may need. With Criminal Law Matters, having an Experienced Attorney at your side at the earliest state of an investigation can really make a difference.
What should I do if a Police Officer asks to search me, my vehicle, or my home?
Never consent to any searches. Say No. If they ask for permission, then they do not have authority to do so.
What about Payment Plans?
At the conclusion of your consultation, our office will advise you of exactly what we believe the cost of our representation will be. You of course do not need to have any money at the initial meeting. Unlike other law firms, we will not pressure you to sign an agreement that day.
We understand that as a consequence of the demands and rigors of everyday life, it may be easier for some to pay their legal services via a payment plan. That is why we try to work with our clients and offer various payment plans. We accept payments in the form of Cash, Check, Visa®, MasterCard® or American Express® and you can retain our criminal defense attorneys by telephone with a credit card.
Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal and Family Law in Texas. Learn about criminal laws, family and divorce laws that may affect you in Texas.