San Antonio Federal Criminal Lawyers
If you are prosecuted for a federal crime in the San Antonio, Texas, area, making the correct choice in a criminal defense attorney is pivotal to the rest of your life. A criminal record and time behind bars can haunt someone for the rest of their lives. Not only does it have the potential to destroy your socio-economic status, but it could also lead to health problems and fatalities. Many prisoners have deteriorated in prisons at a mental and physical level.
The quality of healthcare in prisons is not always satisfactory. Many prison healthcare providers have been sued after cases of gross negligence and deliberate indifference were found in the care practices. For this reason, your life may truly be on the line when you enter a prison. Reducing or avoiding a prison sentence, especially if you suffer serious health problems, is critical.
The Benefits of Hiring a Skilled San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney
Our law firm does not overlook the full spectrum of difficulties that defendants face. If you have serious health problems, we can bring these up to mitigate any potential sentence or to ensure accommodations. But in the first instance, our job is to examine the initiating documents.
The affidavit of probable cause, indictment, or criminal information are documents that must be filed to lay out the cause and nature of the charges. They must inform the accused with certainty of what acts he or she is being charged. Times, places, faces, and the specific statute all come into play. A formulaic recital of the statute itself is not sufficient to provide adequate notice if it is not clarified by a sworn affidavit.
These documents will be presented to you after your arrest to prepare for a hearing regarding the probable cause of your arrest that is held within 10 days of arrest. You will have 72 hours to bail out. Although you may be held in prison for up to 72 hours before you appear before a judge and receive a bail amount to pay for your release, this is usually in a special part of the jail or prison for new intakes.
If you have a skilled defense attorney, they can have some cases thrown out for a lack of probable cause. Although probable cause does not require that the government have evidence to present evidence to prove their case beyond every reasonable doubt, it does require a reasonable certainty that a crime did occur and that the defendant is responsible as charged.
If a defendant is merely placed at the scene of a crime or did some objectionable things that do not amount to crimes, this would be reason to have the case dismissed before trial. If you do not hire a skilled attorney, the prosecutor may try to strengthen their cases with make-weight issues like inflammatory remarks, gross speculation, digressive focus on what could have happened and the tragedy, and how you are just an all-round bad guy with a criminal record or what have you.
Cases that we have experience litigating:
- Computer hacking
- Computer sex crimes
- Public official corruption
- Identity theft
- Bank fraud/robbery
- Drug trafficking
- Gun smuggling
- Mail fraud
- Terroristic threats
- And many others …
In litigating these cases, it is paramount to obtain all the evidence. The prosecution may leave very large holes in their narrative that demonstrate an obvious lack of evidence preservation. For example, if they claim that there was a phone call but fail to produce the actual audio recordings for this chief progression in the case, you can cite a failure to preserve key evidence with an obvious exculpatory value. This evidence may have some element that proves innocence such as in sex sting cases where the undercover agent clearly uses a woman’s voice, and the defendant allegedly thinks it is an underage girl.
These types of evidence violations are serious. When the prosecutor can be shown to have a total disregard for the fairness of trial and acts in an egregious manner, this makes matters even worse. In San Antonio, jurors can be fair when presented with an alternative to convicting you that is reasonable and compelling. The prosecutors can pull every trick in the book to manipulate evidence that makes it impossible for you to prove what happened at a police interrogation, for example, because they deleted the video footage and use a hearsay narrative instead.
Whatever the case may be, our team will be sure to file pre-trial motions that preserve your issues for appeal after you are formerly arraigned. Then, you will prepare for trial if we don’t force a fair plea bargain. In any case, we will work hard to ensure your rights and the best outcome possible as if our own sons were being prosecuted.
San Antonio Federal Appeals Lawyers
If a defendant receives a guilty verdict in a criminal district court trial, the only official option for having the verdict overturned is filing a federal criminal appeal in the circuit court. It officially begins with a notice of appeal that informs the court that a case needs to be opened. All of the official records from the district court are sent up to the circuit court for the appeal. If a defendant wins a federal criminal appeal, this means that the guilty verdict has been overturned. However, the defendant may have to go through a new trial in the district court. This could end up with the defendant receiving another guilty verdict. This is why a federal criminal appeal is not always helpful to the defendant in the end.
What are Some of the Reasons Why a Guilty Verdict Could be Overturned by a Federal Criminal Appeal?
If there was a major mistake during the criminal trial, it may have made it more likely that the defendant was convicted of the crime. Another reason a federal criminal appeal might be successful is that the prosecution did something illegal or unethical during the trial. Some federal criminal appeals are based on a fundamental violation of the defendant’s rights in some way before he was convicted of the crime.
How Does the Circuit Court Decide a Federal Criminal Appeal?
During the federal criminal trial, the government has the burden of proof in showing that the defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is an incredibly high standard that the prosecution must meet in order to secure a conviction. Given that it is so difficult for the government to get a conviction at the district court trial stage, the circuit court defers to the guilty verdict in the district court and the actions of the district court judge while considering a federal criminal appeal. In the end, this makes it more difficult for the defendant to prevail on a federal criminal appeal.
How Might a Defendant Go Forward After a Federal Criminal Appeal?
If the guilty verdict from the district court is reversed, the defendant may have to go through the trial all over again. If the case is remanded to the district court for the immediate reversal of the guilty verdict, then the defendant gains his freedom. When a federal criminal appeal is not successful, the defendant can try to get the appellate court to consider the appeal again, but this is not a probable outcome. The next level of appeal is to the Supreme Court through a petition for a writ of certiorari.
A separate option is to ask the sentencing judge to reduce the prison term that the defendant must serve. This is done through a motion in the district court. It is typically decided much faster than a federal criminal appeal because the process is less involved.
Why is it Recommended that a Defendant Work with an Experienced Lawyer in Filing a Federal Criminal Appeal?
It is extremely difficult to go through a federal criminal appeal without the aid of an attorney. You will encounter many confusing aspects of the federal criminal appeal process, including navigating the deadlines, briefing requirements, rules of federal appellate procedure, detailed legal research and the applicable legal standards. An experienced defense attorney who handles federal criminal appeals on a regular basis will have the resources and skills to analyze your case and help you determine the potential outcomes. Rather than waiting until you have filed the initial paperwork for a federal criminal appeal, you want to meet with a defense lawyer right away because there are details about the timing and required elements that you may not understand without the proper legal training. A trusted defense team is your best tool for securing your freedom.