Getting Arrested in Bastrop County, TX: What to Know

Bastrop is a quaint, pleasant place to either live or visit. Two great hangouts or tourist attractions are the Colorado River Winery and the Copper Shot Distillery. The former has excellent wines and the latter has excellent moonshine I'm told. But don't get caught leaving these places and driving. A large percentage of arrests in Bastrop are due to suspicions of driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses. So be careful. The slogan of come on vacation and leave on probation is not funny if you are caught in the crosshairs of law enforcement and arrested in Bastrop County.

But if you do get arrested for DWI or another criminal offense in Bastrop County, contact Doug Murphy. Doug is a Board Certified DWI lawyer and a Board Certified Criminal Defense lawyer -- one of only two lawyers to be Board Certified in both DWI and Criminal Defense in the State of Texas. He has nearly 20 years experience defending his clients' rights and freedom in and outside the courtroom. He is skillful and smart. If your goal is to get your charge dismissed, then you can optimize that chance by retaining a successful and experienced defense lawyer like Doug Murphy. Doug has secured a lasting reputation for his skills and accomplishments in the courtroom.

Questions to Think About If You Have Been Arrested in Bastrop County, TX

If you have been arrested in Bastrop County, whether it was in the City of Bastrop, the City of Smithville, or elsewhere in the county, then you are bound to have questions and concerns about what to do, what's going to happen, and how it will impact your life. Here is a discussion on some of those questions you may have. Here, some of those questions are answered.

Do you need a lawyer at your arraignment?

The U.S. Constitution via the Sixth Amendment guarantees each person the right to be told the charges against him or her. This is basically what we refer to as the arraignment process, where an accused individual stands before a judge and is formally charged with a crime. Most jurisdictions, including Bastrop, require arraignments within a 72-hour period unless a suspect was permitted to post bond. In those cases, an arraignment may be set for a later date but no longer than two weeks. Thus, time is of the essence and so many accused persons wonder if they need an attorney to represent them at the arraignment?

Arraignments are routine hearings, but an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side can be beneficial in many ways.

  • An experienced attorney can identify invalid charges and request that those charges be dismissed.
  • Your attorney will speak to the judge -- rather than you -- and that's important because there is less to no risk that you will say more than what you should say, like something that could be used against you later.
  • Your attorney can give you overall peace of mind and support at a time when you most need it.

So, do you need a lawyer to represent you at your arraignment? In the end, it is up to you, but if you have the time to find an experienced lawyer to represent you, the benefits outweigh the costs.

Should you plead guilty?

Never at the arraignment. Many accused persons think the evidence is stacked against them just because they were arrested. For example, in DWI cases, a suspect knows he failed the sobriety test or breath test, and though he or she may also know that there was another cause for that failed test -- like a health condition -- he or she may still think a failed test means an eventual conviction, so just go ahead and plead guilty to get the thing over.

Pleading guilty could be the worse thing you do. You lose any chance of defending yourself. Plus, you will likely be subjected to a harsher sentence than if you have pleaded not guilty and went through the court process. That said, you will also have collateral consequences to deal with -- a criminal record will impact your life in many ways, including:

  • Denial, revocation, or suspension of a professional license, like a pilot's licensenursing license, or medical license
  • Denial, revocation, or suspension of a security clearance
  • Declined job offer or promotion
  • Denial of some forms of financial aid
  • Denial of admissions to a higher education institution
  • Declined rental application for housing in a safe environment
  • Removal of constitutional rights, like the right to vote or own and use a firearm
  • Problems with custody of your children; or among other things
  • Diminished reputation among family and community.

Pleading not guilty is your best option for getting your case dismissed, the charges dropped, or receiving an acquittal at trial. Doug Murphy believes that everyone should have their day in court. He holds the state accountable to the principle that the defendant is presumed innocent and remains that way unless the state can prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt to a jury. And Doug Murphy will build your defense to weaken the State's case and create that reasonable doubt and shine the light on it for the jury to see and believe -- if not fully proving your innocence.

Can you change lawyers if you are not happy with the one you have?

So, you hired an attorney -- maybe it was a rash decision because time was limited or maybe you did thorough research and had initially thought you found “the one” -- but now you know he or she is not right for you. Maybe the attorney wants to strike a deal with the prosecution and you do not want to. Maybe the attorney is not fighting as hard as you believe he or she should be. Maybe the attorney never communicates or responds to your queries. Whatever the case may be, you have the constitutional right to a lawyer of your choosing.

At the time you hire an attorney, that attorney files a notice with the court to state the same. When you want to change your lawyer, a motion to substitute the attorney must be filed. That motion will most likely be granted, but in some cases, it could be denied. For instance, if you decide to hire a new attorney on the eve of trial or at some other late date in the process. Doug Murphy is routinely retained at the 11th hour of a case, and even after a jury trial waiver has been granted. Doug has a history of setting aside jury waivers, reinstating the fundamental right to a jury trial, and fighting to obtain the best possible result for his clients.

What are your rights?

Unfortunately, many people think they have no rights when it comes to being suspected of a crime or after being arrested under the suspicion of committing a crime. But you do have rights. A summary of these rights follows:

  • You have the right not to have your property and your person illegally searched and/or seized. Police officers must follow strict guidelines and rules when it comes to an arrest. An officer can only legally search and seize in three scenarios: (1) you consented; (2) the thing is in plain sight (e.g., an open bottle of alcohol is on the passenger seat); and (3) the police legally obtained a warrant.
  • You have the right to remain silent, even when in custody -- custody occurs when a reasonable person feel as though he or she is not free to leave, even if you have not been arrested and read your rights. You should always remain silent to prevent disclosing information that could be manipulated and used against you later. The police may first try to chat you up to get you to talk, and then when that doesn't work, they may get aggressive. Hold tight, and keep your lips pursed.
  • You have the right to speak to and/or retain counsel. Once you retain legal counsel, you can relax and begin to talk.
  • You have the right to a speedy trial. The U.S. Constitution guarantees that you should have a speedy trial and not be forced to wait.
  • You have the right to a trial by a jury. This right is also guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. If you are accused and the crime is punishable by more than six months in jail, then you can invoke this right. You can waive this right, but trial by jury is in many cases a suspect's best means to the best outcome. In Texas, you have the constitutional right to a jury trial in any criminal accusation, even a class C misdemeanor.

Criminal Cases Represented by Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. in Bastrop County

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. represents DWI and other criminal offenses that occur in the great Houston metropolitan area, including surrounding counties, like Bastrop County. Below is a summary of the types of cases Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. represents.

DWI Offenses

Criminal Offenses

Bastrop County Court System

In Bastrop County, the county court system consists of three district courts, one county court at law, and one county court to hear probate cases. The district courts hear felony matters while the county court at law has jurisdiction over misdemeanors, mostly Class A and Class B misdemeanor crimes.

County Court at Law of Bastrop County, TX

There are two county courts in Bastrop County, but one is designated for probate matters. Criminal matters are heard at the county court at law. Case records and the court calendar are regularly updated for anyone looking up information about themselves or others.

Bastrop County Court at Law
Judge Benton Eskew
804 Pecan Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-581-4277

Judge Benton Eskew is a member of the Democratic Party. He has been on the bench for eight terms. The most recent term, which he won unopposed in November 2014 is set to expire on December 31, 2018.

Judicial District Courts of Bastrop County, TX

District courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction and have original jurisdiction in felony criminal matters. There are three District Courts that have jurisdiction in Bastrop County: the 21st District, the 335th District, and the 423rd District.

21st District Court

Judge Carson Campbell
804 Pecan Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-581-4037

The 21st District Court has jurisdiction in Bastrop County, Burleson County, Lee County, and Washington County, Texas. The judge, Carson T. Campbell, is a member of the Republican Party and a graduate of South Texas College of Law. He won the general election in November 2016 unopposed. His term does not expire until December 31, 2020.

335th District Court

Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett
804 Pecan Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-581-4037

The 335th District Court has jurisdiction in Bastrop County, Burleson County, Lee County, and Washington County, Texas. The Court's judge, Reva Towslee-Corbett, is a member of the Republican Party. She was first elected in 2004 and re-elected every four years thereafter. Her time as a judge at the 335th Judicial District Court has not been without controversy.

In 2007, Anthony Graves was released from prison after his capital murder conviction was overturned in 2006 by a federal appeals court. He attempted to claim compensation for wrongful conviction by the state comptroller's office but was denied because Judge Towslee-Corbett didn't provide the proper language in the order to do so. As it turns out, the Judge's father was a former judge of the same court who actually heard Graves' original trial. As it also turns out, the elder judge was a former law partner with the prosecutor, Charles Sebesta, who prosecuted Anthony Graves, using false testimony and manufactured evidence to do so. Coincidence or not, Anthony Graves was never able to get the compensation he deserved for his wrongful conviction.

423rd District Court

Judge Christopher D. Duggan
804 Pecan Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-581-4037

The 423rd District Court has jurisdiction in Bastrop and Washington Counties. The judge, Christopher D. Duggan, has been the elected judge since 2008. His current term expires on December 31, 2018. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Bastrop County Adult Probation

If you are placed on probation or parole, your program will be supervised through the Bastrop County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, otherwise known as the Adult Probation.

Bastrop County Adult Probation
104 TX-150 Loop
Bastrop, TX 78602

Bastrop County Jail & Prison Facilities

If you are convicted and sentenced to serve time in an incarceration facility, that sentence could be to the county jail, state jail, state prison -- depending on the crime.

  • A Class A or B misdemeanor will result in a sentence at the Bastrop County jail.
  • A state jail felony will result in a sentence at a state jail outside of Bastrop County.
  • A felony will result in a sentence at a state prison outside of Bastrop County.

In Bastrop County, there is only one incarceration facility: the county jail. You can look up an offender at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facility by using their online offender search tool.

Bastrop County Jail

The Bastrop County Jail is a medium security level facility. It houses both males and females in separate units, who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes resulting in incarceration for less than one year or else are persons awaiting trial and have either not been able to post bail yet or can't post bail.

Bastrop County Jail
200 Jackson Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-549-5100

Bastrop County Law Enforcement Agencies

There are a number of law enforcement agencies throughout Bastrop County, but three that you are most likely to encounter is Patrol, the Sheriff, or local police officers.

Bastrop County Sheriff's Office

Bastrop Sheriff Department
Chief Maurice Cook
200 Jackson Street
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-549-5100

Currently, there are 46 peace officers assigned to work in the Patrol Division. They patrol 896 square miles of Bastrop County. This is a busy unit, generating approximately 500 - 600 offense reports each month and investigating another 400+ vehicle accidents.

Local Police

The local police supervise all crimes that occur locally. In Bastrop County, there are a handful of police departments located in the larger cities of the county.

City of Bastrop Police Department
104 Grady Tuck Land
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512-332-8600

The Bastrop Police Department includes a patrol and investigations division. There are 15 full-time patrol officers.

City of Smithville Police Department
Chief of Police Michael Maugere
PO Box 449
Smithville, TX 78957
Phone: 512-237-3282

There is one Detective, one Sergeant, one Cpl./Senior Officer, and 6 full-time peace officers. The police department has a patrol and investigative unit.

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. Representation

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is based in Houston, Texas, but it provides legal services throughout the region. If you live in any of the following cities or any surrounding area throughout Bastrop County, Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. will provide criminal defense.

Experienced DWI Defense & Criminal Defense Lawyers in Bastrop County, Texas

You are innocent unless the state can prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt -- that's a fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed principle that Doug Murphy stands by and that's a principle Doug Murphy holds any prosecutor, judge, and jury accountable to. Doug Murphy and his legal team understand that for many of you, you want your innocence to be proven or you want a second chance to redeem yourself. At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., that's what you get. Doug Murphy has obtained many not guilty verdicts from juries and judges alike on all types of criminal charges.

If you have been charged with a DWI or another criminal offense and want to fight it, retain a top-notch DWI and criminal defense attorney committed to the same. At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., you get commitment and results. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today at (713) 229-8333 for a consultation.

Contact Us Today

If you are facing DWI or other criminal charges in Texas, contact our office today to discuss your case, so we can begin working on your defense. Please provide only your personal email and cell phone number so that we can immediately and confidentially communicate with you.

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