San Antonio Criminal Case

Having to face a criminal case in San Antonio can feel incredibly daunting. You may worry about potential penalties, from time spent in jail to fines, employment difficulties after a criminal conviction, and more. If you find yourself involved in a San Antonio criminal case, working with a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer can help you identify the best course of action to help protect your rights. 

What is San Antonio Criminal Case Law?

In San Antonio, criminal law covers a wide range of issues, including anything that might lead to a police arrest or investigation.  Criminal law can include:

Violent Crimes/Crimes Against a Person

Crimes against a person include any type of crime that acts directly against the physical interests of another party, including things like homicide, assault, sexual assault, and robbery. Domestic violence may also fall into the category of crimes against a person. Crimes against a person often carry severe legal penalties, including substantial jail time, fines, and loss of freedom, so having a lawyer to plead your case can prove essential to protecting your rights during such proceedings. 

Non-Violent Crimes

Non-violent crimes include those that do not include direct violence against another person, but which still break the law. Examples may include:

  • Drug crimes, including drug trafficking
  • Cybercrime
  • Robbery
  • Harassment
  • Mail fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Identity theft

Non-violent crimes may impose stiff legal penalties upon conviction. 

White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes involve nonviolent, criminal activities with the goal of obtaining or avoiding the loss of money, usually through significant deceit. As laid out by the FBI, white-collar crimes may include:

  • Corporate fraud, including false accounting
  • Fraudulent trades
  • Insider trading
  • Money laundering, including money laundering related to human trafficking, health care fraud, or narcotics
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Financial institution fraud
  • Intellectual property theft

Crimes Against Property

Crimes directly against another party’s property can lead to severe damage and long-term ramifications for that individual. Some crimes against property may include:

  • Larceny or burglary
  • Embezzlement
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Trespassing

Who Initiates a Criminal Case?

The government is the only party that can initiate a criminal case. Usually, a criminal case is initiated through a local law enforcement agency. In a criminal case, the government bears the burden of proof. This means that rather than the defendant proving their own innocence, the government must provide enough evidence to clearly establish to the jury that the defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. 

What is an Arraignment?

During an arraignment, the judge will formally read the criminal charges in front of the defendant. It gives a list of all charges against the defendant. This is also an opportunity for the judge to set bail if it has not already been set. Arraignments also offer:

  • A chance to be sure that the defendant was informed of their rights. 
  • An opportunity for the defendant to enter a plea, including “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “guilty of lesser charges.” 
  • A chance for the defendant to be appointed a court-ordered attorney if the accused cannot afford an attorney on their own.

Arraignment is the first step in a criminal proceeding. However, even at that early stage, having a lawyer to represent you can prove critical since you want to make sure that you follow courtroom procedure. 

What are the Parties in a Criminal Case Called?

In a criminal case, there are several parties involved in the process.

The Prosecution

The term prosecution comprises the party that initiates the accusations against the defendant. This will always be a government representative of some kind. 

The Defense

The defense, also known as the defendant, is the party against whom accusations have been levied. 

How are Criminal Cases Tried? 

Criminal proceedings are made up of several steps.

  • Arraignment: when the judge will inform you of the full charges against you and ask for a plea.
  • Pre-trial conferences and hearings: discovery, information sharing, and working with your lawyer to build your case. Honesty with your lawyer at this stage is crucial. 
  • Criminal trial: the information from your case is presented in court. This may take a long time and several appearances in court. 

In some cases, you will be able to either have charges dropped because of a lack of evidence or the opportunity to seek a plea deal. A plea deal allows you to plead guilty to, in some cases, lesser charges. Your lawyer can help walk you through your options for a plea deal and how they may affect you in the future.

What Percentage of Criminal Cases Go to Trial?

Less than 2% of felony criminal charges, and less than 1% of misdemeanor criminal charges end up going to trial. Around 23% of criminal charges end up being dismissed. 

How Can a San Antonio Defense Attorney Help with My Criminal Case?

Working with a San Antonio defense attorney can offer several advantages as your criminal case moves forward. 

Avoid Going to Trial

In many cases, a plea deal can help you face fewer legal consequences than if you had gone to trial. A trial appearance can be incredibly stressful and very public. A defense attorney can help you avoid the trial process, whether by having your case dismissed because of an overall lack of evidence or by helping you work out a plea deal.

Be Trusted with the Honest Details of Your Case

Your defense attorney can help guide you through the entire legal process. Unlike other parties involved in these legal proceedings, your lawyer should have an honest view of exactly what took place. By being absolutely honest with your attorney, you can get comprehensive legal advice based on your specific situation and needs, which may help you manage that situation more effectively.

Work Out a Payment Structure

When facing white-collar crimes, a criminal defense attorney can help work out a payment structure that fits your budget constraints and your ongoing needs. 

Keeping You Informed About Your Rights

Often, while the courts may have to inform you about your rights, they may gloss over them. A lawyer can help focus on your specific rights and help protect them as you move forward with your case.

Following criminal charges, you may have a number of questions. However, by working with a San Antonio defense attorney, you can feel much more confident about overall outcomes and the protection of your rights.

Austin Office
816 Congress Ave, Suite 950
Austin, Texas 78701

San Antonio Office
700 N St Mary’s St, Suite 1457
San Antonio, Texas 78205