JUST FIND YOUR ANSWERS BELOW:

Q
Doesn’t it make sense for me to wait to hire an attorney until I am very sure of what I am going to be charged with in a criminal case?
A

Generally, no. The fact is that if you are facing the prospect of being charged with a criminal case, you are best served by retaining the services of a criminal defense lawyer sooner rather than later. The fact is that on many levels the investigatory phase of a criminal case, that part of a case that occurs before actual charges are filed, is crucial. By hiring an attorney as soon as you get wind that you might be charged with a crime you will be able to place yourself in the best possible position to protect your rights and your interests. Because of his extensive experience in the criminal justice system Brian Roberts ideally is positioned to provide you the legal advice and representation that is necessary in this stage of a criminal investigation and potential prosecution.

Q
A few years ago I was involved in a lawsuit because I had a car accident. I did not have to pay my lawyer until she won the case for me. Can I do the same thing with my fees to your office if I hire you?
A

No. A Houston criminal attorney – indeed, any attorney in the State of Texas – is prohibited from taking a contingency fee for a criminal case. The typical, standard arrangement between an experienced criminal lawyer and his or her client is to have the client pay a retainer fee prior to the commencement of services. Of course, Brian Roberts understands that these are challenging economic times for all of us. Therefore, he will be more than happy to visit with you about specific fee arrangements that can be made in your case.

Q
This is my first time to get a DWI. Do I really need to hire an attorney?
A

Yes. The fact is that in the State of Texas, a first time charge of DWI can have grave consequences. You can face significant fines, a suspension of your driving privileges and even possible jail time. You also need to keep in mind that the punishment handed out in DWI cases are cumulative. By this it is meant that if you ever get another DWI charge in the future, you will be facing even more serious consequences, including mandatory jail time. Therefore, although you may have never had a DWI previously, you must hire an attorney promptly to make sure that you end up with the best results in your case. Brian Roberts is an experienced Houston DWI attorney who stands ready to provide you the legal assistance you must have in such a case.

Q
If I ever end up getting arrested, doesn’t it make sense for me to be as up front with the police as possible? To tell them everything I know about the circumstances so that I get the best deal?
A

Absolutely not. It rarely makes any sense at all for a person to make a statement to the police at the time of his or her arrest. Indeed, the rule that you should follow in such circumstances is to never – never – speak with the police without an attorney present. If the police are sincere about the possibility of you getting more favorable treatment through your cooperation in a case, that possibility will exist with equal certainty if you have an attorney working to protect your rights throughout the process. Because he has been both a prosecuting and defense attorney in the State of Texas, Brian Roberts has a keen understanding of how the criminal justice system works. He knows what to do not only to ensure that you get the “best deal” in any given case (if such an arrangement is a realistic alternative for you) but how to fully and completely protect your important rights in the process.

Q
I have been charged with a crime by the state of Texas, in state court. Is it true that I could also face charges in federal court?
A

You are asking a very good question. There is a constitutional prohibition against what is known as “double jeopardy.” Double jeopardy protects you against being prosecuted twice for the same crime. Therefore, you cannot be prosecuted for the same crime in both the state and federal courts. However, with that said, you need to understand that you can be prosecuted in both the state and federal court for different crimes that might arise out of the same general set of circumstances. In some instances, the different prosecutions might seem so similar that you may feel as if you are being prosecuted doubly. For this reason, and because of the complexity of such a situation, it is crucial that you hire a Houston criminal attorney like Brian Roberts who keenly understands how both the state and federal court systems operate.

Q
What are the benefits to pleading to a criminal charge?
A

First of all … Before you ever consider pleading to a criminal charge, you must make sure that you have experienced, qualified and reputable legal representation. Only by engaging the services of a qualified and experienced Houston criminal attorney can you be certain that your rights are fully protected. Through the legal advice and guidance of such a criminal defense attorney you will be best able to ensure that pleading to a criminal charge makes sense. Generally speaking, the most significant and meaningful benefits that can be derived by pleading to a criminal charge are twofold: First, you may be able to plead to reduced charges in such a situation rather than with the more serious crime with which you initially were charged. Second, you may be able to enter into an agreement with a prosecutor that will involve a recommendation to the court for a lesser sentence. Again, before you venture down the path towards entering into a plea agreement, you must have appropriate legal representation. Because of his significant experience as both a prosecuting and as a defense attorney, Brian Roberts ideally is situated to assist you in working your way through the criminal justice system to the best possible resolution of your case.

Q
What are the benefits of taking a case to trial?
A

In the U.S. criminal justice system, a jury of your peers must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if your criminal defense lawyer believes that it will not be possible for a jury to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for one reason or another, a trial may be the appropriate course for you to take. The key here is making absolutely certain that you obtain experienced legal advice and assistance in the first instance. Only by employing a seasoned Houston criminal defense attorney like Brian Roberts will you be in the position to make an educated, informed decision as to the wisdom of taking your case to trial.

Q
My friend and I both have been charged in the same case. Is it okay for us to be represented by the same attorney?
A

This depends entirely on the circumstances of your case and the relationship between you and your friend. In some instances, it may be okay to have the same attorney represent the both of you. However, if you are facing serious charges, odds are that a joint representation such as this may not work well in the long run. Therefore, even though there might be some financial savings if you hire the same attorney, this may not prove to be in your best interests. A qualified and reputable attorney will be able to evaluate your circumstances and make an appropriate determination as to whether a joint representation arrangement will ensure the protection of your rights and an advancement of your objectives in a criminal case. Having been deeply involved in the Texas criminal justice system, Brian Roberts is a Houston criminal attorney who will be able to assist you in this decision making process – and in representing you more generally in any criminal case.

Q
I just got charged with a fairly minor criminal case. I have used the same lawyer for years to handle my business affairs. He normally doesn’t work on criminal cases. But, because I know him so well – and he knows me – doesn’t it make sense for me to hire him to help me with this criminal case? Do I really need a lawyer to help me with plea negotiations? I think I can handle that myself.
A

You may be a very skilled, educated and resourceful individual. However, you need to keep in mind that when you are facing criminal charges, you are not in the best possible position emotionally and otherwise. You may not be in the best position to make the wisest choices for yourself and your family when it comes to plea negotiations in a criminal case. In the end, people who take this course and do not obtain legal advice and assistance prove the truth of the old adage: A person who has himself as a lawyer has a fool for a client. Your best course is to consider engaging a qualified Houston criminal defense lawyer like Brian Roberts. Brian is a lawyer with the depth of experience necessary to provide to you the full array of legal assistance that you must have to obtain the most favorable result in a criminal case.

Q
I am facing charges in federal court. I just heard that there is no parole in the federal system. Does that mean if I get convicted and sentenced I will have to serve the entire sentence?
A

You are correct in your understanding that there is no parole in the federal prison system. (In the state prison system in Texas, parole does exist. You can be released on parole prior to the end of your sentence if you are imprisoned in the state system in Texas.) If you are sentenced to serve time in the federal system, you will qualify for at least some time off for “good behavior.” However, the maximum that you can earn through good time is a 15% reduction in your sentence. Therefore, you will serve at least 85% of your sentence in most cases. There is one other exception in the federal system. The Federal Bureau of Prisons offers a program called Residential Drug Alcohol Program. If you have a drug or alcohol problem (and a good number of people charged with crimes seem to have such issues) you can qualify for this program. If you successfully complete this program, you are eligible for an up to 12 month reduction in your sentence and an additional 6 months of your sentence served in a halfway house. In any case, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney like Brian Roberts to fully understand your options.

Q
I understand that Brian Roberts has been a prosecuting attorney. Is that beneficial to me if I hire him to assist me in a criminal case?
A

It is very beneficial. Because of his experiences on “both sides of the fence,” Brian Roberts has a very unique understanding of how the criminal justice system works on both the state and federal levels. He is best situated to provide to you the most effective representation possible.

Q
There is a warrant out for my arrest. Can an attorney assist me?
A

The specific circumstances surrounding the warrant will dictate what an attorney can and cannot do for you. However, if there is a warrant out for your arrest, you need legal advice and representation. As was mentioned previously in these FAQs, it is important for a person in your shoes to obtain legal help sooner rather than later. Brian Roberts, a Houston criminal defense attorney, is in the best position to assist you in dealing with a pending or outstanding warrant for your arrest.

Q
Is there any way that an attorney can help me avoid being charged for a crime?
A

Sometimes. For example, if the potential charge is not particularly serious and if you have no criminal record, there may be such a possibility. The key here is to obtain legal advice and assistance from a qualified criminal defense attorney right away. Brian Roberts, who has been both a prosecuting and defense attorney, is situated in a unique position to be able to thoughtfully evaluate your case.

Q
I am dissatisfied with my current criminal lawyer. Can I fire him and hire another attorney?
A

You have the constitutional right to have the advice and assistance of capable, effective counsel. Depending on the status of your criminal case and the reasons you want to get a new lawyer, you likely will not have a difficult time making such a change. However, there are instances in which you will need to get court approval for such a change of counsel. In either situation, Brian Roberts is a qualified and experienced Houston criminal defense attorney who has experience handling not only situations such as this but all aspects of a criminal prosecution.

Q
If I enter into a plea agreement, isn’t it true that the judge will have to follow the sentence recommendation made by the prosecuting attorney?
A

Generally speaking a judge will follow such a recommendation. However, you need to keep in mind that the final decision regarding sentencing completely rests with the judge. She does not have to follow such a recommendation if she has a reason of her own not to do so. If you have questions regarding sentencing or a criminal case more generally, you are best served by engaging the services of an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney like Brian Roberts. Having been both a prosecuting and a defense attorney, Brian is positioned perfectly to provide you the effective representation that you must have in your case.