Facing criminal charges can be a frightening experience as your liberty may be at stake. For this reason, you may need advice from a professional Corpus Christi criminal lawyer who could help guide you through the legal process. Read on to learn more about how an experienced defense attorney could potentially make a difference in your case today.

Different Levels of Charges

Although any crime may come with serious penalties, Corpus Christi’s penal code classifies criminal offenses as misdemeanors and felonies. These charges may include:

  • Assault
  • Sexual offenses
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug offenses
  • Guns and weapons charges

Even misdemeanors may have severe consequences. Class A or B misdemeanors may result in incarceration and/or fines. A Class C misdemeanor may be punishable by up to a fine of $500.

Individuals facing felony charges may be in an even tougher position. Consequences for felony offenses tend to be greater than misdemeanors with even the least serious felonies potentially punishable by two years in prison. The most serious felonies, also known as capital felonies, may be punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Know that a dedicated Corpus Christi criminal lawyer can help to fight against these consequences through aggressive representation in court.

Constitutional Rights in Criminal Cases

The Fourth Amendment protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures. It says that searches must be done in accordance with a warrant that particularly describes the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. For example, if the defendant’s vehicle was stopped, the police must have the necessary probable cause to search the vehicle.

If they did not have a reasonable cause to search a vehicle, the search may be unconstitutional, and any evidence found may be unusable in court. Sometimes, law enforcement agencies make mistakes. If their mistakes are unconstitutional, the court may have to drop their case or at least not admit evidence that was collected unconstitutionally.

Criminal Trials in Corpus Christi

Many criminal trials proceed in stages. The first stage involves a preliminary hearing. Then there is a formal arraignment, a pre-trial conference, and, if necessary, a trial. In some cases, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain. This is a deal where a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge with lesser consequences instead of going to trial and arguing the original charges. This may be a favorable option in some cases.

However, other cases may be better argued at trial. The prosecutors in Corpus Christi must meet an extremely high burden of proof in any criminal case. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual committed a crime. This high burden of proof means that if there is any possible alternative explanation, the court cannot find an individual guilty.

How a Corpus Christi Criminal Lawyer Can Help

A Corpus Christi criminal lawyer could listen to your story without judgment. An experienced attorney could gather evidence critical to your case and use their knowledge to defend your rights. But time is not your ally. If the authorities are already making a case against you, you may need legal advice right away. Do not hesitate to reach out to a qualified Corpus Christi criminal lawyer today for your initial consultation.