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THE BLOG

I’ve Been Accused of a Crime in Texas. Now What?

Graham Norris

I founded Norris Legal Group to advocate for people who have been accused of a crime.

Being accused of a crime can be one of the most unsettling experiences in life, throwing you into a world of uncertainty and fear. Suddenly, you find yourself facing the potential for serious repercussions that could affect every aspect of your future.

Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony charge, the situation demands careful handling and a clear understanding of your rights and next steps. In Texas, where legal proceedings can be particularly stringent, navigating this process can feel especially daunting.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this alone. This guide aims to provide you with crucial first steps and practical advice on how to manage the early stages following an accusation.

Tip #1: Be Cautious with Communications

When you’re accused of a crime, every word you say can have significant implications. It’s important to be extremely cautious about how you discuss the situation, not only with law enforcement but with anyone around you.

Conversations that you might consider private or inconsequential can be brought into the legal arena under certain circumstances. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Limit Discussions: Avoid discussing the details of the case with friends and family. These conversations can accidentally lead to admissions or statements that might complicate your defense.
  • Law Enforcement Interactions: If approached by police or detectives, it’s wise to politely decline to speak until you have legal representation. You have the right to remain silent, and it’s important to exercise this right until your attorney advises you otherwise.

Communicating through a lawyer ensures that your statements are measured and legally sound, reducing the risk of inadvertently harming your case.

Tip #2: Avoid Social Media

In today’s digital age, it’s common to share aspects of our lives online. However, when facing criminal charges, social media can become a minefield. Here’s why stepping back from your social channels is crucial:

  • Posts Can Be Evidence: Anything you post can potentially be used as evidence against you. Even seemingly innocent posts or those unrelated to the case can be taken out of context and used to build a narrative by the prosecution.
  • Privacy Isn’t Guaranteed: Even with strong privacy settings, your posts can be accessed through friends or through legal channels. Assume that anything you post could be seen by anyone, including law enforcement and legal professionals.

Tip #3: Seek Legal Representation Immediately

One of the most critical steps to take when accused of a crime is to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Here’s why having an attorney is indispensable:

  • Expert Guidance: An experienced criminal defense attorney can navigate the complexities of the legal system and provide the strategic advice you need.
  • Protection of Rights: Your attorney will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process, from police questioning to court proceedings.
  • Proactive Defense: Early involvement of legal counsel can significantly affect the outcome of your case. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with prosecutors before charges are formally filed, potentially reducing charges or even preventing them altogether.

An attorney not only serves as your advocate but also as your strategist and advisor, helping to manage the legal challenges while you focus on your personal well-being and preparations.

Tip #4: Gather and Preserve Evidence

In criminal defense, evidence is key. Early collection and preservation of evidence can be crucial to your defense strategy. Consider the following:

  • Document Everything: Keep a detailed record of all events and interactions related to the case. Note dates, times, places, and the names of people involved.
  • Secure Physical Evidence: If there are any physical items that could support your innocence or provide context to the situation, make sure they are safely preserved and documented.
  • Collect Digital Evidence: Text messages, emails, GPS data, and call logs can all be pivotal. Ensure this information is backed up and accessible to your legal team.

Your attorney will work with you to identify and collect relevant evidence, but your proactive involvement can be incredibly helpful.

Tip #5: Understand the Charges and Potential Consequences

It’s important to fully understand the charges against you and their potential consequences. This understanding will help you make informed decisions about your defense strategy. Your attorney will explain:

  • The Nature of the Charges: What exactly are you being accused of? Each charge has specific criteria that must be proven for a conviction.
  • Possible Penalties: Depending on the severity of the charges, penalties can range from fines and community service to probation and even prison time.
  • Legal Procedures: Familiarize yourself with the criminal justice process, including arraignments, preliminary hearings, trials, and potential plea agreements.

An informed client is a proactive client. Understanding your situation fully allows you to collaborate more effectively with your legal team.

Worried? Contact Norris Legal Group and Let Us Put Your Mind at Ease

Facing criminal charges can be a life-altering experience, filled with anxiety and uncertainty. However, by taking immediate and informed actions, you can position yourself for the best possible outcome.

Remember, the steps you take immediately after being accused can significantly impact your case. Being cautious with your communications, staying off social media, securing legal representation, preserving evidence, and understanding your charges are all crucial steps in your defense.If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime in Texas, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional legal help. Contact Norris Legal Group for a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights and work tirelessly on your behalf. Your defense starts here.

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Principal Attorney Graham Norris is an award-winning defense attorney and former Tarrant County prosecutor. Graham has earned countless dismissals and not guilty verdicts on charges ranging from misdemeanor assault to felony murder. Over the past decade, Graham has been recognized by Fort Worth Magazine as a Top Attorney, Texas Monthly Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, and named to The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40. 

Kyle Fonville, Attorney Of-Counsel 

Graham Norris, Principal & Founder

Of-counsel Attorney Kyle Fonville is a trial and appellate attorney who graduated first in his class from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law). He is admitted to practice before all Texas courts, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas.

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