Belton Criminal Defense Attorneys
Serving Our Clients for Over Two Decades
Criminal cases can involve many different types of offenses. In Texas, DWIs and drug offenses made up the most criminal case filings in 2019. Many people accused of a crime may feel uncertain about the the process before them and fearful about what those charges could mean for their future. If you have been charged with a crime, you need a robust legal defense on your side as soon as possible.
That’s where we come in. At the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, we aggressively advocate for our clients and our team has the skills necessary to provide top-of-the-line legal representation for those accused of a crime.
If you are looking for an experienced attorney to advocate for you, call the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard at (254) 220-4225 today.
How Do Criminal Cases Work in Texas?
After the Arrest
When an individual is charged with a crime, the process usually begins with the arrest. Law enforcement officers cannot arrest someone unless they have observed the individual committing the crime, have reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed, or an arrest warrant. If you have been arrested without a warrant or probable cause, contact an attorney immediately to fully assess your rights.
After arrest, the judge sets the bail amount. When the suspect has bail, they can pay the amount and be released from police custody as long as they appear in court on their scheduled arraignment or bail hearing. The bail amount is based on the severity of the crime, and can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The judge will either set bail after the arrest or wait to determine the appropriate bail amount at the court hearing.
The first court appearance is called an arraignment. At this hearing, the judge reads the charges and allows the defendant to plead “guilty” or “not guilty” to the charges against them. After that, the judge reviews the bail amount and makes necessary changes as they see fit.
The Preliminary Hearing
After the arraignment, the court will hold a preliminary hearing. Preliminary hearings are different from arraignments in that evidence will be presented to the court at the hearing. Usually, witnesses are included in the preliminary hearing as well. The judge evaluates the evidence to determine probable cause, also known as grounds, for the criminal charge. A jury may also be present at a preliminary hearing to evaluate whether the evidence proves that the defendant is innocent or guilty.
In some situations, the court may dismiss or cancel the charges if there is insufficient evidence. Cases can also end pursuant to a plea bargain. When this happens, the case does not go to trial.
Once the preliminary hearing is over, the next step in the process is the trial, which will serve as the final opportunity for the prosecution to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. At this time, the jury and judge make their final decision on the case. In rare cases, the jury may not reach a unanimous verdict. When this happens, the judge may dismiss the case, declare a mistrial, or select a new jury. If the defendant is found guilty, the court will sentence the defendant.
Thankfully, a guilty sentence isn’t always the end of the road. Individuals convicted of a crime can ask for a case review in an appeal. That said, this process is complex and requires the counsel of an experienced attorney. If you find yourself in need of an appeal for your case, we encourage you to reach out to our team today.
Criminal Cases We Defend
We understand that no two cases are exactly alike, which is why we provide each of our clients with personalized, one-on-one attention. Our attorneys can evaluate your unique situation to build a strong case in your defense. The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard has helped defend thousands of cases in Belton and the surrounding areas, and we’re prepared to help you as well.
We defend the following offenses:
- Drug offenses
- Juvenile crimes
- And more
If you have been convicted of any of the crimes listed above, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Our Belton criminal defense attorneys understand how overwhelming the legal process can be, especially when you’re facing jail time, fines, loss of your professional license, and more. For that reason, we are passionate about serving our community and defending those in need of zealous legal representation.
Defending Your Case
Our firm has the unique advantage of understanding both sides of a criminal case: the prosecution and defense. Attorney Brett Prichard is a former prosecutor with a passion for advocating for those who have been accused of a crime. If you have a case, our team wants to hear from you.
We defend those facing criminal charges in Belton. Please contact our firm to learn more about how we can help you.
Brett H. PritchardOur lead lawyer, Brett H. Pritchard, is a graduate from Brigham Young University and Texas Tech University. Earning an exemplary reputation as an aggressive and formidable trial lawyer, Attorney Pritchard is ultimately passionate about protecting his clients' rights.
Andrew ThompsonIn 2016 Andrew was licensed to practice law in Texas and opened his own solo practice. His practice focused primarily on Child Protective Services and Criminal Law. Andrew has been working with the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard since 2017. Andrew is passionate about fighting for his client’s rights and serving the military community.
Brent T. SykoraAttorney Brent T. Sykora has a wealth of experience in the legal realm, stemming firstly from his First Chair litigation experience in both federal and state courts, administrative hearings, and ADR proceedings.
Danah WoodsDanah Woods has a broad range of state and federal civil litigation experience including trial, discovery, and mediation and has practiced throughout the State of Texas. Danah began her career working in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster and ...
Darmeisha SlayAfter graduating from St. Mary’s University, she practiced as a Paralegal at the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard until her acceptance into the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. While at TMSL, Darmeisha was accepted to practice in the pro bono Family Law Clinic where she represented indigent clients in uncontested and contested divorces.
Jeff LinickWith a background in business and finance prior to going to law school, Mr. Linick worked for several years in the insurance industry with USAA, a company closely associated with the armed services.
- Thousands of Clients Helped
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Killeen, TX 76543