The legal system in the United States is very confusing to the average person because of the way codes are written and the particular language that is used. This is usually the reason why you should hire a Houston Criminal Attorney if you are involved in certain types of legal matters in the state of Texas. Of course, if you don’t know anything about the law, how will you know when you should seek the services of a qualified lawyer? The truth is, there are some basic things that are easy to learn about the legal system that help you determine if you need legal counsel and which type of professional to acquire.
First of all, you need to know that the criminal justice system is based on two things: actus reus and mens rae. Actus reus is the committing of an act of guilt while mens rae is the state of mind when committing the act. This defines a crime as an act of guilt (that breaks a law) committed by a person with the intention of said act. Thus, if you are accused of committing a crime it is because it has been determined that you had the intention of participating in an illegal activity and then committed to the activity. A Houston Criminal Law Attorney can help you better understand the terms.
Secondly, you should know that there are two types of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are crimes that can be punishable by imprisonment for under a year. Misdemeanors include things like:
*Petty theft and larceny
*Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (without incident)
*Minor in possession of alcohol
Felonies, then, are crimes that can be punishable by imprisonment of more than a year. Felonies include things like:
A qualified Houston Criminal Attorney can help you determine what action you should take based on which category of crime in which your case falls.
Determining if a crime has been committed is only part of the criminal law process. It is important to have a Criminal Law Attorney because the other side of criminal law is sentencing, or punishment. Every crime has a set type of punishment that has been determined to be suitable. This punishment can be jail time, fines, community service, or a combination of these. Your attorney can often negotiate these limitations based on your personal employment, financial, and family responsibilities, which is another reason they are a worthy investment.
The bottom line is that if you are considering hiring a professional Houston Criminal Law Attorney then you should at least see if you can get a free consultation. Many lawyers offer this service to help educate potential clients on the complexities of the legal system and to help ease their mind. In fact, the peace of mind you can get from knowing that a qualified professional is handling your case for you is usually worth what they charge.