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If I Have Not Been Arrested, How Do I Find Out If I Am Charged With A Crime?

If there is reason to believe that you have been charged with a crime, you may wish to have an attorney contact the police or prosecutor to find out if a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Many people who have been charged with criminal offenses do not find out about the charges until they are stopped for traffic violations. The police, while checking their identification, find “outstanding warrants” for the person. Sometimes, the warrants have a “limited pick-up radius,” or the police officer does not believe that an immediate arrest is necessary, and the officer will simply inform the driver that a warrant has been filed and that the driver should report to the police agency that requested the warrant. At other times, the officer will make an immediate arrest, and will take the person into custody.

If you or someone in your family may have a warrant issued for their arrest, you probably aren’t sure where to turn or what to do next. You can do several things right away to gain information and control. A positive first step is to contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm. Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Charles Johnson will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.

What Happens After I Am Arrested?

After being arrested, a person is “booked” by the police. Ordinarily, the police obtain identifying information from the suspect, such as his name, address, telephone number and driver’s license number. The person is checked for outstanding warrants for other offenses. Usually, the police take the suspect’s photograph and fingerprints. They make a record of this information, along with the nature of the crime charged, and usually an assessment of the suspect’s physical condition. If a person is under arrest at the time he is booked, he will ordinarily be thoroughly searched. If the arrest was legal, any evidence found in this search can be used as evidence in court.

If you or someone in your family has been arrested, you probably aren’t sure where to turn or what to do next. While the arrest itself is a daunting situation, you can do several things right away to gain information and control. A positive first step is to contact Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson. Attorney Johnson will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system.  We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.

What Can The Police Charge Me With?

A person who has been stopped by the police may be ticketed for a “civil infraction,” may be ticketed or arrested for a “petty offense” or “misdemeanor,” or may be arrested for a “felony,” or may be released. It is possible for the person to later be charged, when the police complete their investigation.

Sometimes, the person will be informed that charges have been filed, and will be asked to present himself at the police station by a particular date and time.

At other times, a “warrant” for the person’s arrest may be entered into the state’s computer system, informing police officers to arrest the person if they find him. If the charges are serious, the police may go out to arrest the person.

Civil Infractions

A “civil infraction” is not a crime, although it is a charge filed by the state. The state has to prove that you committed a civil infraction by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is to say; that it is more likely than not that you committed the violation. This is a much lower standard than the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in civil cases. The typical civil infraction is decided by a judge or magistrate, without a jury, in what is typically a short proceeding.

Petty Offenses

Some states have a class of “petty offenses,” where the defendant may be tried without a jury before a judge or magistrate. Typically, the only punishment for a “petty offense” is a fine. However, these offenses may be of a criminal nature. If you are not sure whether you are charged with a criminal offense or a civil infraction, consult a lawyer.

Misdemeanors

A “misdemeanor” is a criminal offense, and conviction ordinarily results in a criminal record. Misdemeanors are technically less serious offenses, although the consequences of conviction can nonetheless be quite severe. Possible punishments for misdemeanors include imprisonment, probation, fines, and at times driver’s license sanctions. Some misdemeanors are classified as “sex crimes” and require that a convicted person be registered as a “sex offender”, and keep the police informed of his place of residence — a requirement that may continue for life.

Felonies

Felonies are the most serious offenses that can be charged. Sometimes, the distinction between “felonies” and “misdemeanors” seems arbitrary. However, all of the most serious criminal offenses (such as murder, sexual assault, embezzlement, burglary, robbery, arson, and treason) are felonies.

If you or someone in your family has been arrested, you probably aren’t sure where to turn or what to do next. While the arrest itself is a daunting situation, you can do several things right away to gain information and control. A positive first step is to contact the Charles Johnson Law Firm.  Attorney Johnson will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system.

Welcome to My Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog

On behalf of the Charles Johnson Law Firm:

If you face criminal prosecution, you want an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to protect your constitutional rights. A lot can be at stake. In addition to fines and penalties, you could face the forfeiture of assets or incarceration. If convicted of a felony, you might even risk the loss of certain basic rights, such as the right to vote or to possess a firearm. You want a lawyer who understands the unique aspects of the criminal justice system, who has successfully defended others in cases similar to yours.

At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, I bring over a decade of criminal defense experience to clients throughout the great state of Texas. I have successfully handled many high-profile cases, including federal prosecutions for drug trafficking and importation. I use a skilled staff and team of investigators to prepare and present the best case for your defense.

For a private meeting, contact me by e-mail or call my office at 713-222-7577 (toll free at 877-308-0100).

My Criminal Defense Blog

I set up this blog to provide useful information to people throughout Texas who face criminal investigation or prosecution. I will keep the blog updated, regularly posting articles on a wide range of topics, including:

I represent clients in state and federal prosecutions, as well as international criminal matters.

This blog is intended to be a forum for the exchange of information. Please feel free to post your questions or comments regarding any matter discussed here.

Contact My Office

To set up a meeting, contact my office by e-mail or call me at 713-222-7577 (toll free at 877-308-0100). Se habla español.

Kind regards,

Charles R. Johnson, Jr.

Charles Johnson Law Firm, Superior Criminal Defense

Charles Johnson Law Firm, Superior Criminal Defense

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 
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