San Marcos Criminal Defense Attorneys
We Seek the Truth in Criminal Cases
If you have been charged with a crime in San Marcos, TX, turn to Smith & Vinson Law Firm for your defense. Our team understands the seriousness of criminal accusations and recognizes the debilitating effects a conviction can have on your life. That is why we deliver aggressive legal representation throughout every stage of a criminal case. We have handled numerous matters of varying complexity and have steadfastly stood by our clients, maintaining their innocence and fighting to protect their rights and futures. Our San Marcos criminal defense lawyers have secured several victories for past clients, getting charges dropped or reduced and even securing case dismissals. We know that previous successes do not guarantee future results, but we are ready to put our knowledge, skills, and resources to work to seek an optimal outcome on your behalf.
Fighting a criminal charge is not about applying the same strategy to all cases. It is about getting to know the person behind the charges – their needs and goals – and building a defense tailored just for them. Our talented and bold criminal attorneys in San Marcos will provide the personalized attention you need and deserve. We recognize that there are two sides to every story, and we want to listen to your account of the events leading up to your arrest. By getting your perspective and conducting a thorough investigation, we obtain a clearer picture of what happened and can develop a legal strategy aimed at revealing the holes in the prosecutor's case.
Types of Cases Smith & Vinson Law Firm Handles
Texas classifies criminal offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies. The level is determined by the seriousness of the crime, with felonies making up the most severe offenses. Regardless of the level of charge a person is facing, they could be hit with significant penalties if found guilty. For instance, a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor can result in up to 1 year of incarceration and/or up to $1,000 in fines. A first-degree felony is punishable by a maximum of 99 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $10,000. Capital felonies can be penalized by life without parole or death.
Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, retain legal representation right away. Building a case to seek to avoid or minimize penalties takes time. Our criminal lawyers in San Marcos are ready to get started on your case and begin defending you against criminal accusations.
We provide vigorous defense for a range of criminal matters, including:
- DWI and BWI: Charges for these offenses arise when a person operates a motor vehicle or boat with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher or while normal faculties are impaired because of the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Domestic violence: A person may be accused of a domestic violence offense if they harm or threaten to harm a family or household member.
- Violent crimes: These offenses involve violent acts against another person, such as assault, armed robbery, battery, or murder.
- Theft crimes: If a person unlawfully appropriates another's property, they could be accused of a theft crime. The level of charge and punishments levied depend on the value of the property involved in the offense.
- Drug crimes: The Texas Health and Safety Code enumerates several different controlled substances offenses, including drug possession, possession of marijuana, drug manufacturing, and drug trafficking.
- Sex crimes: Sexually related offenses include, but are not limited to, prostitution, rape, possession of child pornography, and indecent exposure. They carry harsh penalties and may result in a requirement to register as a sex offender.
- Traffic offenses: Although many traffic violations may result in only a fine, that does not mean they are not serious. Accusations for offenses such as speeding or driving without a license must be aggressively defended.
- Weapons charges: In this country, we have the right to bear arms, but many laws and regulations exist concerning that right. A person may be charged with a weapons offense if they illegally possess a firearm, unlawfully sell a gun, improperly discharge a firearm, or use a deadly weapon while committing a crime, among other conduct.
- Juvenile crimes: Minors who engage in behaviors prohibited by law must still answer for the alleged offense. However, their cases are handled differently from adult criminal matters, and it is crucial to hire a defense attorney who understands the juvenile justice system.
- Probation violations: When a person is placed on probation, the court imposes various conditions on them. Failing to abide by these terms can result in sanctions, including revocation of probation.
- Parole defense: During parole hearings, the Board will decide whether an inmate is eligible for parole. A skilled attorney can provide counsel for the hearing and work to seek a favorable vote.
- Protective order defense: Generally, violating the conditions of a protective order is a misdemeanor, punishable by incarceration and/or fines. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight to protect their client's rights.
- Expunctions/record sealing: Having a criminal record can make reintegration into society challenging. Through an expunction or record sealing, a person's criminal history can be made confidential and accessible only under limited circumstances.
At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we know that every case is serious. That is why our hardworking San Marcos criminal defense attorneys are relentless in pursuing the best possible results for our clients.
Steps in a San Marcos Criminal Case
A criminal case involves various stages.
Below is an overview of the criminal justice process:
- Investigation: A case will begin with an investigation to determine what crime has been committed and identify a suspect. Law enforcement officials will question witnesses, record their observations of the scene, and gather physical evidence.
- Arrest: Following an investigation, a suspect may be arrested. Police officers may arrest the individual at the scene if they have probable cause to believe the person committed the offense and one of the warrant exceptions exists. Otherwise, officers must obtain an arrest warrant to take someone into custody.
- Charges filed: Law enforcement officials will turn the case over to a prosecuting attorney. The prosecutor will examine the information to determine whether the arrest was lawful and evidence was legally obtained. Depending on their findings, they may proceed with the case with the charges presented, file charges for lesser or greater crimes, request a further investigation, or reject prosecution.
- Initial appearance: If a suspect is arrested and the prosecutor decides to move forward with the case, the individual (referred to as the defendant) will be scheduled for their first court hearing, which must occur within 48 hours of their arrest. During the initial appearance, a judge will inform the defendant of the charges against them and their rights. The defendant also has an opportunity to enter a plea.
- Pre-trial hearings: Several hearings may take place before trial. These can include a bond hearing, where a judge will decide whether the defendant can be released on bail, and a suppression hearing, where the defense may challenge the legality of a search or seizure.
- Discovery: During this phase, the prosecutor and defense exchange information they have about the case. This allows each side to prepare their arguments.
- Plea bargain: Many criminal cases are settled out of court through negotiations between the prosecutor and defense. With a plea bargain, the prosecutor may agree to drop or reduce charges in exchange for a guilty plea. It is important to note that although the two sides may come to an agreement, the judge does not have to allow the deal.
- Trial: If the case is not resolved through negotiations, the defendant has the right to trial by jury. However, they can waive this right and have their case heard by a judge. During the trial, the judge or jury will hear evidence presented by the prosecutor and defense and determine whether the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Sentencing: If the defendant is convicted, they will be sentenced. A judge will determine what penalties to impose.
During each stage, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer. It is beneficial to hire our criminal attorneys in San Marcos early on. We deliver sound legal advice on how to proceed, helping avoid any missteps that could hurt your case later.
Providing Experienced Criminal Defense in San Marcos
At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, our San Marcos criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience defending the accused against various charges. Our team consists of a pair of prosecutors, giving us invaluable insight into how the other side prepares for cases. We are ready to leverage our resources to aggressively fight for you.
2nd DWI Not Guilty
2nd DWI Not Guilty
2nd DWI Case Dismissed
Aggravated Assault & Tampering with Evidence Deferred Adjudication
Aggravated Assault Family Violence w/ Serious Bodily Injury Deferred Adjudication
Aggravated Assault w/ Deadly Weapon Case Dismissed
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Case Dismissed
Aggravated Robbery Case Dismissed
Assault Family Violence Case Dismissed
Assault Family Violence Case Dismissed
Exceptional Legal Strategies- Mike
Top Notch Lawyers- Arion
Highly recommended!- Jeffrey
The absolute A-Team for DWI Defense. Period!- John
Exceptionally versed in the intricacies of Texas criminal law- Michael