If you’ve been accused of a serious crime, hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney is the first step you should take. Even if you believe you’re innocent, law enforcement will do everything in its power to build a case against you. Protecting your constitutional rights and proving your innocence falls on you and your Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.
As a former prosecutor with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer Kyle Whitaker knows how the police operate and what tactics the DA’s office and federal prosecutors use against accused criminals. With over two decades of experience as a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Whitaker is the lawyer you want by your side from the moment police ask to interrogate you through every phase of your criminal trial.
Whether you’re facing DWI charges or have been accused of murder, you can rely on The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker to take your case very seriously, tell it to you straight and treat you with compassion, dignity, and respect. When you entrust Kyle Whitaker with your life, livelihood, and reputation, he honestly views that as an honor and will fight aggressively for a just outcome in your case.
Nothing is cut-and-dried when you’re facing criminal charges
As much as you may want to believe otherwise, juries typically don’t believe accused criminals are innocent until proven guilty. Like most Americans, jurors deciding the fate of a person charged with a serious crime—murder, assault, theft, fraud, etc.—usually come into a case believing the judge should lock up the accused party and throw away the key.
Mr. Whitaker believes otherwise. He knows every defendant has the right to a strong, vigorous defense and that underlying circumstances and questionable evidence often come into play when alleged crimes occur. As your Tarrant County criminal defense lawyers, our firm will thoroughly research and examine the evidence involved in your case, as well as life experiences, psychological issues, and events leading up to the crime.
Aggressive legal defense for all types of criminal cases
Our Fort Worth criminal lawyers handle a wide variety of criminal cases, from traffic violations to violent felonies and murder. We defend clients who need a criminal defense attorney Fort Worth TX to help fight:
DWI charges. Texas takes a serious stance on driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses. A Texas DWI conviction can result in the loss of driving privileges, fines, probation and jail time.
Drug offenses. Texas maintains strict drug laws, with offenders subject to charges for possession, possession with the intent to distribute or manufacture, paraphernalia, trafficking, and more. Drug charges often qualify as felonies, resulting in hefty fines and prison time.
Assault charges. “Assault” covers several offenses, including simple assault, aggravated assault, and domestic violence. All of these crimes can result in harsh consequences.
Theft charges. People accused of taking money or property (including shoplifting) to deprive the rightful owner of such, may be charged with theft. Penalties typically depend on the value of money or property stolen.
Fraud charges. Fraud is a theft crime where the accused uses deception to wrongfully obtain money or information from others or to pass off fake documents for wrongful gain. Fraud crimes can also result in harsh punishment.
Weapons offenses. While Texas stands behind the right of its citizens to possess and carry firearms, regulations and limitations on gun ownership do exist. Violations of Texas gun laws can result in criminal charges.
Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney FAQs
What services can a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney provide?
Criminal defense lawyers can support you in several ways, such as:
- Represent you during police communications.
- Explain all possible defense options to fight charges against you.
- Identify whether your rights were violated, in order to suppress evidence in your case.
- Negotiate a favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor.
- Advise you on the implications of a guilty plea.
- Challenge the prosecutor’s case and create reasonable doubt.
- Represent you at trial.
- Take steps to expunge dropped charges from your record.
What happens when you get arrested?
Once you are detained or arrested, police officers will likely try to question you at the scene or transport you to the police department or another location for questioning. They might say they need information to clear you or identify another person— do not believe them. Police officers want to obtain statements from you to use as evidence against you in your criminal case. Don’t answer questions without an attorney present.
What happens next depends on the alleged crime and whether the police have the evidence the prosecutor needs to file charges against you. Once you are booked, law enforcement may release you with a summons to appear in court or arrange for you to appear in front of a judge for a bail hearing.
Your criminal case may require several different court appearances, including an arraignment, where you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, then on to trial. You should never plead guilty to an offense without speaking with a lawyer first—even if you committed the crime. Forgoing legal representation often results in much harsher penalties.
How does bail work in a criminal case?
If the judge orders you to post bail in order to be released, you will need to pay a certain amount of money to the court, which is intended to help ensure you will appear for your court date. The court will return bail funds to you at the end of your case —or to the bondsman who posted bail on your behalf—if you appear in court as the judge has ordered. In many cases, our Tarrant County criminal defense lawyers can help get bail reduced or eliminated at a bail hearing.
What happens if I refuse to answer questions from the police?
You do have the right to remain silent and the right to be represented by an attorney—these rights are known as Miranda Rights. Invoking your Miranda Rights and calling an attorney cannot be held against you or construed as an admittance of guilt.
When should I contact a criminal lawyer Fort Worth TX?
As mentioned above, you have the right to call an attorney before you answer any questions from the police. The police are notorious for skewing information to prove guilt—even when the accused has done nothing wrong. If the police are asking questions, it’s time to contact a defense lawyer, so you don’t provide information that could jeopardize your case—and your life.
In addition, the earlier you contact an attorney, the sooner he or she can begin investigating your case and protecting your rights. Evidence of a crime or to prove your innocence can dissipate quickly. This includes proof of an alibi, witness memories, surveillance footage (which frequently isn’t retained long-term) or proof that the police violated your constitutional rights. If you contact an attorney early on in your case, your criminal defense lawyer Fort Worth will have a better chance of obtaining evidence to support your defense and challenge the prosecutor’s case against you.
When is it too late to hire a criminal defense attorney?
While it’s best to retain legal representation as early as possible, “better late than never” definitely applies in this case. Experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers can improve the odds of winning your case when possible and be your best bet for minimizing the potential fines and prison time you face.
Will my arrest for a criminal offense stay on my record?
While criminal convictions remain on your record permanently, the arrest could continue to show up in background checks—even if your lawyer arranged to have the charges dropped. To avoid this, you must take certain steps to clear the arrest from your record, and our Fort Worth criminal attorneys can assist you with the expungement process. This step is often essential in order to more easily obtain jobs and housing in the future.
What possible outcomes can result in a criminal case in Texas?
Generally, criminal cases are usually resolved in three different ways, including:
- Your defense attorney convinces the prosecutor to drop the charges.
- You accept a plea bargain from the prosecutor and plead guilty.
- You fight against your charges at trial.
If you are acquitted at trial, your case is over, and you can walk free. Conversely, should your trial result in a conviction or you plead guilty, the judge or jury will determine your sentence. This may include fines, probation, imprisonment and other penalties.
Keep in mind, even a minor criminal conviction could impact your life for years. A criminal record can make it challenging to find a job or even housing. You might not qualify for public benefits and could lose a professional license. Hiring an experienced criminal attorney Fort Worth TX is the best way to minimize the fallout from a criminal charge.
We will fight for your life, livelihood and reputation
Just because you have been accused of a serious crime doesn’t mean your life is over. After defending clients in the criminal courts for over two decades, Fort Worth criminal defense attorney Kyle Whitaker and his legal team know what it takes to prevail against county and federal prosecutors.
As a criminal defendant, the cards may be stacked against you but we’ve got your back. To schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer Fort Worth, call our office at (817) 332-7703 or contact us online.