The Law Offices of Gary Churak P.C.

San Antonio

14310 Northbrook Drive #210
San Antonio, Texas 78232
San Antonio TX Criminal Defense Attorney

Video FAQs on San Antonio, TX Criminal Defense

Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions and Video Answers

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The benefit of a private attorney versus a court-appointed attorney is that the private attorney has more experience in representing defendants in criminal cases. He or she has more resources than the court-appointed attorney. Basically, a court-appointed attorney is going to be paid a set amount by the county to represent the defendant. It could be as little as 100 dollars in misdemeanor cases to 400 dollars in felony cases. So bottom line is you get what you pay for. That is not to say that all court-appointed attorneys are unqualified. But some of them are young unexperienced lawyers; some of them are lawyers that feel they have an obligation to do court appointments. The bottom line is usually with a retained attorney, you’re going to receive a more thorough defense of your case.

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Probation is a court-ordered supervision by a probation officer of the terms and conditions of your probation. Usually you’re required to report to your probation officer. It can be a weekly basis or it can be a monthly basis. There usually are urine analysis’ taken for drug and alcohol use. You have to do community service. You’ll pay fines, court costs, and supervisory fees, and of course, stay out of trouble. Any violations of your terms and conditions of your probation can cause your probation to be revoked, a warrant issued for your arrest, and potentially you could wind up in jail or prison.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer San Antonio

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What will happen if the Risk Manager in the store or a manager would come up to you, and tap on you on the shoulder, and say, “Follow me,” and they’ll take you a little room in the back of the store, and they’ll basically begin questioning you about what you took and how you took it? Most times, they actually have you on videos taking the item. At that point in time, they will decide what they want to do with you. Some stores, if the amount is minimal and they really don’t want to deal with the police, will just let you go and tell you don’t ever come back. A lot of stores will basically call the local police department. They will come down and depending on the amount of the items taken will either issue a citation if it’s under $50 to appear in a municipal or JP court; or if it’s over $50, they have two options. They can either put you in handcuffs and take you down to the county jail, or they can issue you a citation to appear in county court at law or county court in a later date. At that point in time, you have a serious problem. You have been arrested for theft which is considered a crime of moral turpitude and could have tremendous effects on your ability to earn a living, get an apartment, and basically live a life.

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You will get a court date. Once again, it depends on the amount that you’re charged with is where you’ll be. You could be in municipal or JP court, you could be in county court, or you could be in district court charged with a felony. You will have usually a number of court dates. The first court date would be your arraignment. That’s where you’d come in and enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. You could have some pretrial dates and eventually a trial date. You can decide to take the case to trial. Often on shoplifting cases, we set those for trial because a lot of the stores just simply do not send their people down, spend all day in court to testify in shoplifting cases. They’re more valuable working in the store than they are in the courtroom. As a matter of course, they basically don’t send a witness down to testify. After a couple of times, you make a speedy trial motion and if you’re lucky, your case gets dismissed. Once again, if the case is dismissed, you are eligible for an expunction to seal the case from your criminal record.

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Criminal Defense Attorney In San Antonio

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Talk. If you are being questioned by any law enforcement or any kind of governmental agency, do not volunteer information because eventually you will say something that can be used against you.

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What usually happens is the probation officer will send a report to the district attorney’s office. The district attorney or county attorney will prepare a motion to adjudicate or a motion to revoke probation that is submitted to the judge. The judge will sign an arrest warrant for your arrest, and depending on the situation, you may have a bond set or you may not have a bond set. Eventually you will be arrested and taken to jail. It is a very good idea that if you have an inkling your probation’s going to be revoked, you should contact an attorney. The attorney can begin to make arrangements to have you possibly bond out of jail. It is important to have legal representation as soon as possible in the event of your probation being revoked.

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After somebody is arrested on a criminal offense case, they usually are brought before a magistrate. A magistrate is a minor judge who sets bail. Bail is basically an obligation of the defendant that he or she will appear in court at the time designated. Often people receive what are called surety bonds. These are insurance policies guaranteed by bail bondsmen that indicate you will show up in court. If you don’t show up in court, the bail, the amount of money set by the court, will be forfeited to the county.
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