The Law Office of

Samantha “Mandy” Rodriguez

Criminal Defense & Litigation

Being charged with a crime can be an unfamiliar and scary experience. The language and procedures of the Court can be confusing and difficult to understand without the assistance of a criminal law defense lawyer. Knowing how important it is that each client understands their rights and stays informed during each step of the criminal law case is a top priority of this law firm.

Each criminal law case is as different and unique as each client. Because of this, guiding each client through the procedure, investigating the case, exploring all options, and making sure each criminal law client understands their case is what is most important to this law firm. 

Criminal law cases in Texas are placed into one of two categories, felonies and misdemeanors. The seriousness of the crime is what determines if a crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. All criminal law cases are crimes against the State, meaning only the government can pursue a criminal law case, which is filed by a Prosecutor and the person being charged is the Defendant. A private citizen cannot file a criminal charge, nor can criminal charges be dropped at the insistence or direction of a private citizen.

All Defendants facing a possibility of jail time are entitled to be appointed or hire a criminal defense lawyer to put up a vigorous defense.  The right criminal defense lawyer is one who is familiar with criminal procedures, Statutes and laws to research the facts, provide a thorough investigation of the case, review all the evidence, then meet with the Defendant to formulate the best possible resolution and outcome.

What is a criminal defense lawyer?

A criminal defense lawyer is a lawyer who provides legal defense services to people who have been accused of a crime, either a misdemeanor or a felony. In other words, a lawyer who defends people who have been charged with a crime.Some examples of criminal law cases are: driving while under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), theft, drug crimes, violent crimes and burglary just to name a few.


As a criminal defense lawyer, I have three goals in every criminal law case I take.

The first and most important goal is to make sure my clients understand their case. To do this I make sure my clients are informed of all the procedural steps of their criminal law case and that my clients are always informed on the status of their case.

My second goal is to make every attempt to make sure my client avoids a conviction including the preparation of the best defense strategy.

My third goal is to find errors and harm the Prosecutor’s evidence to allow for the best outcome for my client. 

What does a criminal defense lawyer do?

A criminal defense lawyer helps people who have been accused of a crime, get the best defense available for their case. Why? Because every person is innocent until proven guilty and the burden is on the Prosecutor to prove guilt.

A criminal defense lawyer explains what a criminal law case is, what court appearances are required, what is expected to happen during each court appearance, how and what is discovery, and all the steps involved from the time of the alleged crime to the case being resolved. This may include explaining the laws of the State where the crime happened, explaining legal issues that could affect the criminal law case, explain what an indictment is and what happens in a grand jury meeting, explain the evidence or explain the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.

A criminal defense lawyer also investigates the criminal law case, reviews and gathers police reports, interviews witness and reviews their statements, interviews law enforcement, interviews lab employees, reviews or obtains pictures or video of the alleged crime, drafts, files and argues motions to dismiss or motions to suppress evidence, draft grand jury packets and reviews all other information related to the alleged crime. The criminal defense lawyer also explains that the client never has to testify or answer questions by the police or Prosecutor in a criminal law case. Criminal law clients (defendants) have the absolute right to remain silent. Next, the criminal defense lawyer will discuss any and all plea offers that may be presented by the Prosecutor because the client is the only one who can make the decision about how the criminal law case will proceed. 

If the Prosecutor is not willing to dismiss the criminal charge and a fair plea offer cannot be reached, the case may be set for trial. Of course, this decision always belongs to the criminal law client. The criminal defense lawyer’s duty is only to explain all the outcomes and evidence so that the client can make an informed decision about how to proceed with the case.

What types of cases do I accept?

Below is a list of just some of the many types of cases my law firm accepts. If you don’t see a case that fits your criminal law case, call my office, I may be able to refer you to someone who is able to help.

  • Driving while under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Administrative Law hearings, also called ALR hearings
  • Burglary
  • Theft crimes
  • Drug crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • Misdemeanors charges
  • Felonies charges
  • Grand Jury packets
  • Expungement and Non-Disclosure
  • Jail Release/Reduction of Bail
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Property Crimes
  • Public Intoxication
  • Domestic Violence Charges
  • Weapons Crimes
  • Probation
  • Crimes with Immigration Consequences

 The most frequently asked questions:

This answer is as unique as each client. To better answer this question, a consultation would need to take place to gather all the information about the criminal case and background information about the client. Affordable payment arrangements are offered to all clients.

This answer depends on many things, including how fast discovery can be obtained and reviewed, the caseload of the prosecutor, the decision and scheduling of motions to be filed and heard by the court, the court’s caseload, other trials of the court, prosecutor or criminal defense lawyer, availability of witnesses as well as many other factors. It also depends on whether or not the client wants to take a plea and waive reviewing the evidence, or if the client refuses all plea offers and demands a trial. All of this can be discussed during the first consultation.

Misdemeanor

Felony

Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to one year in the local or county jail.

Felonies are crimes that are punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty.

 

Misdemeanors are classified as A, B, or C, with A being the most serious. Most misdemeanors have a two-year Statute of Limitations, meaning the State only has two years, from the date of the crime, to bring charges against a person.

Felonies are classified as State Jail Felony, Capital Felony, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree, with Capital Felony being the most serious. Felonies have different Statue of Limitations depending on the date of the crime the type of crime. Each case should be reviewed by a criminal defense lawyer to make sure the State has filed charges within the Statute of Limitations.

Misdemeanor crimes are not presented to a grand jury for an indictment. Instead, once the police or sheriff’s office submits their investigation to the State, it is up to the Prosecutor to prosecute the case or dismiss it.

 

Felony crimes must be presented to the grand jury to vote for either an indictment (true-bill) or no indictment (no-bill). An indictment means the case moves along to be prosecuted, a no-bill means the case cannot be prosecuted at that time. However, the State may wait and present the same case to another grand jury to try to get an indictment.

 

 

Same Day Appointments Available

Request a Consultation

Call 903-675-2900 or complete the form below to schedule a consultation. After providing some basic information, you will be contacted to schedule a 1-hour consultation. By completing this form, this does not mean that a client-attorney relationship has been established and this law office does not represent you unless you sign a written fee agreement and pay the initial retainer.

The Law Office of

Samantha “Mandy” Rodriguez

Contact Us

Directions

My law office is located on the corner of Highway 19 North and FM 2752. Approximately 2.9 miles from Loop 7 heading towards Canton

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