Waco Criminal Defense Attorneys
Defending the Rights of Our Clients In and Out of Court
If you have been arrested, then you understand the confusion and fear that being accused of a crime can incite. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, criminal charges can affect those accused for their entire lifetime, even if there’s no ultimate conviction.
The Waco criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard provides affordable, award-winning legal services to those facing criminal accusations of every nature. Our case strategies are strengthened by decades of experience both in and out of the courtroom.
Call the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard at (254) 220-4225 to learn more about our criminal defense services in Waco.
What Is the Criminal Process in Waco, TX?
Every state has its own rules for criminal cases, and Texas is no different. The common factor in criminal cases across the U.S. is that they are incredibly complex regardless of the charges against you.
One of the most crucial parts of the criminal process is your rights. Law enforcement officers have a responsibility to inform you of your rights upon arrest. These rights include:
- The right to remain silent;
- The right to speak with an attorney; and
- The right to have an attorney present for police questioning.
What Happens After an Arrest in Waco?
After arrest, the accused attends the first appearance before the court, where they are read the charges against them and their right to a fair trial. The judge will also set bond, a cash amount proportionate to the crime.
The arraignment is a more formal appearance before the court where the accused is informed of the charges. At this point, the defendant can plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against them. You must consult a criminal defense attorney in Waco, TX before making a plea before the court.
Texas trials have two phases: the guilt/innocence phase and the punishment phase. The guilt/innocence phase exists to prove whether the accused is guilty by using evidence and witness statements to persuade the jury. This phase also allows the defense to cross-examine witnesses and call their own witnesses on the defendant’s behalf.
Sentencing for the crime happens during the punishment phase of a trial. The defendant can choose to be sentenced by the jury or accept the final judgment from the court.
What Is the Punishment for a Crime?
There is no “one size fits all” penalty for criminal charges. A general rule to keep in mind is that the more severe the crime, the more severe the penalty. Depending on the charges, fines can be several hundred dollars or even thousands of dollars.
Even misdemeanors often have a fine that increases with the severity of the crime. For example, shoplifting an item with a value less than $50 will likely result in a fine of $500, but stealing property valued at more than $1,000 will result in a fine of $4,000 and jail time. Felonies are more serious charges and often result in jail time for at least two years.
Another cost of a criminal conviction is reputation. Unfortunately, there are few protections for those with a criminal record who are seeking employment. Most employers use background checks to look for criminal charges going back seven years.
For medical professionals, their professional reputation is on the line. Doctors are required by law to report DWIs and other crimes to their hospital and state board whether they were convicted of the crime or only arrested.
Criminal charges can damage the reputation of the accused and affect their relationships. Misdemeanors and felonies leave a lasting impression on your criminal record and your way of life. If you have been accused of a crime, you deserve compassionate legal representation.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Waco, TX – Defending Your Rights
The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard has a unique understanding of both sides of the court – the defense and prosecution. We put our experience to work by evaluating your case, helping you understand your options, and building a solid defense strategy. Our team is passionate about defending the rights of the accused, which is why at the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, we are not just legal professionals – we are advocates.
Contact us today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Waco, TX.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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Killeen, TX 76543