Being charged with a drug crime can be one of the most stressful events to ever occur in your life. It's not hard to understand why: a conviction can lead to incarceration, fines, and other collateral consequences. And if you are charged with a drug crime in Houston, the odds are good that you will be facing felony charges. That means you could also lose your right vote or own firearms.
A strong legal defense is your best chance for avoiding these consequences, but not any attorney will do. You need an experienced attorney with a proven track record in defending Houston drug crime cases. One of the most qualified criminal defense attorneys in the Houston area is Doug Murphy. Contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about how an experienced defense attorney can help you and your case.
What makes for a Top-Rated Houston Drug Defense Lawyer?
There are plenty of things to look for when considering a Houston drug defense lawyer. The problem isn't a lack of information either; if you spend any time watching television or surfing the internet, you have probably been inundated with ads for attorneys boasting as the best defense attorney available. But how do you separate the elite attorneys from the pretenders? Here are a few important questions to ask any attorney you consider hiring:
- How much trial experience do you have?
- How did you approach cases similar to mine?
- Are you a Board Certified expert in criminal defense law?
- Do you regularly teach or present to other attorneys at continuing legal education seminars?
- Are you often invited to speak at continuing legal education seminars to teach other lawyers how to successfully handle drug crime cases?
While some of this information is available on an attorney's website, it's best to ask these questions in person. And out of all these factors, arguably the most important is whether or not your attorney is a board-certified expert in criminal defense law.
Why Board Certification is Important
While there are hundreds of self-proclaimed criminal defense attorneys in the Houston area, only a fraction of those are board certified by the State of Texas as an expert in criminal law. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization only certifies attorneys with extensive experience in criminal law and only after they complete an intensive practical skills exam.
With such exacting requirements, it's not hard to see why board certification is a useful metric in hiring an attorney.
What a Top-Rated Houston Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Can Do For You
Above, we covered what makes for a top-rated drug crimes attorney and how to find one. But what can an expert in criminal law specialist do for you and your drug crime case? Read on below for a selection of the many ways your case benefits by hiring the right attorney.
Appear on Your Behalf
If you are able to obtain release on bond pending trial, a condition of that bond will be that you agree to appear at every court date or hearing until the trial has completed. For anyone trying to maintain a normal life or hold on to their employment, this is a major burden. The good news is that your attorney may appear on your behalf for most pre-trial hearings without your presence being necessary.
Answer your Questions about your Case
If this is your first time being arrested, you probably have a lot of questions. Even if you are familiar with the legal system, the prospect of prison time is intimidating for most people. Luckily, an experienced criminal defense attorney has the knowledge base to answer your questions. Whether they involve the law, the criminal justice process, or even what to wear to court, your attorney will know how to put you in the best position to obtain a positive outcome in your case.
Give Examples of How Similar Cases Were Handled
A great tool for learning how your attorney operates and what he is capable of is by asking how he has handled previous cases with similar facts to your case. While no two cases are the same, this is still a useful exercise that will give you some insight on what has worked in the past and what you might expect at trial.
Investigate Your Case Thoroughly
One of the big downfalls with hiring an attorney that is out of their element or is simply too overburdened to spend the necessary time preparing your case is that a proper investigation isn't always done. But with a top rate drug crimes attorney, you can expect that every aspect of the investigation and arrest are reviewed for improprieties.
Be an Impartial Advocate
Sometimes getting honest advice is tough. Your friends and family don't want to be the bearer of bad news, and often times it's easier to just go along than be honest. Your attorney is paid to be honest; brutally so. Your legal jeopardy won't be sugarcoated, and your options won't be downplayed. You can count on your attorney to give you the expert advice you need, even if it isn't what you want to hear.
Develop a Trial Strategy Tailored to the Facts of your Case
While it is helpful to know how an attorney has handled cases similar to yours, the most important thing is that your defense is built around the facts in your case. An expert criminal defense attorney will know its strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
Suppress Evidence that Was Illegally Obtained
During the course of investigating your case, your attorney may discover that some evidence the prosecutor intends to use against you was obtained illegally. This can occur when your vehicle was pulled over without reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed (even so much as a traffic violation) or when your person or home were searched without a warrant.
If the state illegally obtained evidence in your case, your attorney can file motions to prevent the jury from ever hearing any of it.
Potentially Negotiate for Lesser Charges or a Dismissal
One of the positive outcomes that can occur when the evidence against you is suppressed at trial is that it can open the prosecution up for negotiation. In some cases, your attorney may convince them that the most severe charges are no longer warranted. In fact, skilled attorneys are able to convince prosecutors to drop their cases entirely.
Prepare Your Case For Trial Starting on Day One
One of the factors that attorney Doug Murphy points to as part of his success is preparing every case as if it would ultimately go to trial. This is a benefit that you can't get with every attorney, as many are happy to push their clients to accept the first plea offer that comes over from the prosecutor's office. While a quick plea bargain might be what's best for an attorney, many times your interests are best served by rejecting all pleas and taking the case to trial. An expert Houston drug crimes lawyer will always be prepared for the possibility.
Select a Jury that will treat you Fairly
One of the most important factors that goes into a jury trial is selecting the jury itself. In fact, many attorneys believe it is the most important part. When you have an expert in criminal defense law selecting your jury, you can count on them insuring that jurors with any biases, conflicts, or preconceived notions will be kept out of the proceedings.
Hold the State to their Burden of Proof at Trial
When it comes to the day of your trial, it is up to the State of Texas to prove that you have committed a crime. The burden is on the shoulders of the prosecutor, and your attorney will be there to hold them to that burden. That means it's not necessary to prove your innocence, to explain who was actually responsible, or to come up with alternate theories. While those tools can be useful in some cases, your Houston drug crimes attorney will first and foremost hold the state to their burden of proof.
If the State fails to meet that burden, the law requires that you are acquitted of the charges against you.
Discuss Your Case With the Best Drug Crimes Attorney in Houston
Regardless of the severity of your drug crime, it is possible a conviction will carry a life-altering amount of consequences. With a top-rated defense attorney by your side, he can develop a defense that puts you in a position to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
If you were arrested in Houston, don't face these daunting charges alone. Attorney Doug Murphy has been fiercely advocating for his clients in and around Houston for years and his record of success is palpable.
Doug is a Board Certified expert in both criminal law as well as DWI defense law. In fact, he is one of only two attorneys in the State of Texas to hold that distinction. These accolades are part of the reason he is frequently invited to teach other defense attorneys. To discuss your case, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation.