When accusing an individual of committing a crime, the state prosecutor handling the case will typically draft a criminal information document, including various details surrounding the alleged crime. Even in cases where the accused individual commits a single crime, the prosecutor might charge the accused with multiple counts for that offense.
In general, a “count” refers to the number of separate charges for a single crime. Therefore, if a prosecutor charges the accused individual with six counts of child pornography, it means that the accused individual engaged in a total of six separate acts of the underlying criminal offense. For example, the accused person’s crime might have involved six separate victims. Alternatively, the same alleged victim might have experienced six separate and distinct types of harm based on the accused’s actions. Also, in the case of child pornography possession, the accused person might have had six separate images that show one or more minors engaging in sexual acts.
If a prosecutor recently charged you with a multi-count criminal offense, you must have a skilled criminal defense lawyer in your corner aggressively advocating for you and your legal interests. Waiting too long to retain an experienced attorney to represent you can have devastating consequences for your case.
The skilled Texas criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of David D. White, PLLC, could enter an appearance as counsel-of-record in your case right away and begin promptly advocating for your legal rights and interests. For example, we could help you formulate one or more legal defenses to your pending criminal charge(s) or work out a favorable plea deal with the attorney who is prosecuting your case. We will do everything we can to help you achieve the most favorable result possible in your criminal matter.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney, contact us today.
To receive penalties in your pending criminal case, such as monetary fines or jail time, the state prosecutor has to establish their legal burden of proof “beyond a doubt that is based upon ordinary reason and common sense.” If the prosecutor fails to successfully prove even one legal element of your pending charge, then your entire criminal case might be subject to dismissal.
Unlike the state prosecutor, the individual who is facing the pending charge(s) – or the defendant – does not need to prove anything in their case or successfully satisfy any legal elements. Moreover, if their case ultimately proceeds to a criminal bench or jury trial, they are under no obligation to take the witness stand and testify in their own defense. This legal right against self-incrimination exists under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
However, to negate one or more legal elements of your pending charge(s), we might be able to raise a strong legal defense on your behalf at trial.
A criminal case does not go to sentencing unless and until the state prosecutor is able to satisfy their legal burden of proof – beyond a reasonable doubt – and obtains a guilty finding or conviction against the accused individual. In those circumstances, the case will proceed to sentencing before a judge.
A judge can only impose penalties within the constructs of the Texas Penal Code. Some crimes have mandatory minimums and maximums according to the statute. When the judge sets a penalty, their decision will likely be based upon various factors, including:
Some of the most common penalties that an accused individual may receive upon conviction of a crime may include:
If your case goes to a sentencing hearing, we can aggressively represent you and argue for the lowest possible penalties in your case. We could also help you reduce or eliminate the collateral life consequences you may ultimately face due to your criminal conviction.
If the state prosecutor in your case has charged you with multiple counts of the same crime, it does not necessarily mean that you will receive a conviction on each count. Instead, the sentencing judge may treat the separate offenses as one single crime. In other situations, however, the accused individual may receive a conviction for each separate count if the offenses were dissimilar, committed with separate intents or motivations, or committed separately.
We could help you determine the likely ramifications of your conviction and aggressively advocate for you during your criminal sentencing hearing.
In some instances, you may have one or more alternatives to taking your case to trial. It is best to pursue a trial in your case if you have a strong legal defense to your pending criminal charge(s). Some of the most common defenses that apply to various criminal charges include:
If you are ultimately successful on one or more of these defenses at trial, the presiding judge may have no choice but to dismiss your entire criminal case. However, at other times you may be able to pursue – and ultimately obtain – a favorable plea deal from the state prosecutor handling your case.
Prosecutors typically put plea deals on the table when they are not confident in their ability to obtain a conviction against the accused in court. They might also offer a plea deal if the accused individual is a first-time offender and does not have any other arrests or convictions on their criminal record.
As part of a plea deal arrangement, the accused individual must typically enter a guilty plea to a specific criminal offense. However, in exchange for their guilty plea, the prosecutor might be willing to offer them a period of probation or, in the alternative, reduce the pending criminal charge from a felony offense down to a misdemeanor offense.
Accepting a plea deal from the state prosecutor comes with certain potential benefits and detriments. One benefit of accepting a plea deal is that it gives the accused individual control over the case and its outcome – and it takes away the relative uncertainty of a jury trial. However, when an accused person accepts a plea deal, they will give up certain legal rights, including their right of appeal, as well as their constitutional right to a trial by jury (i.e., under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution).
Additionally, they will have to appear in court and put their plea deal on the record, stating that they are entering into the deal voluntarily, freely, and willingly and that no one threatened or coerced them into making the deal. The presiding judge may then accept the plea deal on the record.
Our experienced legal team could help you determine whether a plea deal or a trial is right for you, given your pending criminal charge(s), along with the facts and circumstances of your case.
If you are currently pending a criminal charge with multiple counts, you must retain a skilled criminal defense attorney to handle your case as soon as possible. At The Law Office of David D. White, PLLC, we could help you explore potential legal defenses to your criminal charge, along with other important options you might be able to consider in your case. We will do everything possible to help you secure the best possible result in your pending criminal case via a favorable plea deal from the prosecuting attorney or a favorable trial result in court.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Texas, please call us at 512-886-8428 contact us online today to learn more.