Criminal Defense Lawyers in Houston, TX | Gonzalez Law Group
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THE GONZALEZ LAW GROUP

When a person believes he or she might be under investigation or is arrested for allegedly committing a criminal offense, it is extremely important for him or her to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can be vital in protecting the rights of the alleged offender. Any individual arrested with allegedly committing a criminal offense must understand that your arrest is not the end. For the alleged offender to be convicted, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if you have been accused of a crime, making any statement to authorities without proper legal representation can hinder the outcome of your case.

Often, as law enforcement presses you more, you may be more inclined to admit fault even if you are innocent. Do not be pressured. Instead, seek help. Retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the earliest stages can make a big difference in your case.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Houston, TX

Being arrested for an alleged criminal offense should not be taken lightly. Being convicted of a criminal offense, whether it is in State or Federal court, can have a disastrous impact on your life and future goals. If you or a loved one has been arrested or is under investigation for a crime, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain. Nevertheless, it is critical that you take immediate action and acquire an experienced legal professional.

At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, our criminal defense lawyers are committed to protecting your rights. We strive to provide our clients with high-quality legal counsel. We know every second counts in a criminal defense case, so we give our clients our undivided attention each time. When it comes to complicated and serious legal disputes, you can trust the lawyers at The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC because we will go above and beyond for our clients.

If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for an alleged crime in Texas? Let The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC help you. Our Houston criminal defense attorneys aggressively defend clients accused of various criminal offenses throughout Harris County, and the cities of Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown, and many others. Call (832) 530-4070 for a free, confidential consultation or fill out a free case review form at the bottom of the page. One of our criminal defense lawyers can provide an honest evaluation of your case.

Texas Criminal Defense Resources

Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (HCCLA) — The HCCLA identifies itself as the largest local criminal defense bar in the United States with more than 700 active members. On this website, you can learn more about upcoming events, access publications, and read recent press releases. You can also access the HCCLA bylaws.

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) — The TCDLA identifies itself as the largest state association for criminal defense attorneys in the nation, with 3,200 members. Visit this website to learn more about the TCDLA’s purpose, which includes protecting and ensuring by rule of law individual rights guaranteed by the Texas and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases and assisting to promote justice and the common good. You can also find information about the association’s history, past presidents, and boards and committees.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Houston, TX

You may be feeling overwhelmed, fearful, or confused about your charges, penalties, and process. A qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney can ease your concerns by reviewing your case and providing you with a strategy. Our criminal defense lawyers can fight to defend your rights. We take the time to consult with our clients and provide them with the attention and resources they need to get the most favorable outcomes out of their case.

In the case that you are being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies (state and federal officers) for the same criminal offense, retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. An investigation does not necessarily mean that you will be prosecuted by both the state and federal law. Nonetheless, having an experienced and qualified professional at the earliest stages of your case can be of the essence.

At The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC, we represent individuals in the greater Harris County area, including the cities of Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood, and many others. Our criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to our clients, and we will work tirelessly to represent your best interests. Let The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC review your case and answer all of your legal questions. Call (832) 530-4070 or complete an online contact form at the bottom of the page to schedule a free initial consultation

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ACCUSED OF A CRIME?

We have your back! If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, your future is at stake. The Gonzalez Law Group is equiped and ready to defend your rights.
Do not talk to police

Law enforcement officers are trained to use clever tactics to get people to talk. They want you to incriminate yourself to increase the likelihood of a conviction. Do not fall for it. Stay silent. Call us.

Contact an attorney ASAP

Time is of the essence. For a criminal matter, the earlier you get an attorney involved, the more likely you are to avoid charges. You can also gain many advantages in an eventual criminal trial by formulating your defense strategy with an experienced attorney sooner rather than later.

Form a strong defense

Your legal team will work closely with you to formulate the best possible defense to the criminal accusation that you are faced with. We prepare every case as if it will end up going to trial. By doing so, we are able to shift the odds in your favor.

If you or a loved one has arrested, charged, or are under investigation for a criminal offense, it’s imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attoney immediately.

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WHAT OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY

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Case Results

This website contains a sample of cases and results we have obtained in our client’s favor. As you read through our results, please be aware that the case results discussed here are not necessarily representative of the results obtained in all cases. Not all results are displayed. Each case is different and must be evaluated and handled on its own merit. your side from beginning to end, guiding you every step of the way. We have faithfully served clients and their families throughout Houston, Texas, for years, so don’t wait another moment to speak with us.
  • No Billed
    Criminal Defense Case
    Continuous Assault of a Family Member
    Harris County  ·  February 2019

    Client was falsely accused of committing domestic violence on several instances. Client had to wait in jail for his case to be resolved because of an immigration hold. With the help of Client and his loved ones, the attorney and criminal department staff were able to strategize and promptly convince a Grand Jury to dismiss the charge. Client’s criminal record remains clean as he now heads to Immigration Court.

  • 42B Approval
    Immigration Case
    Lawful Permanent Resident
    Harris County  ·  June 2018

    Client was arrested for a DWI in 2017 and was later transferred to an immigration detention facility. Client’s prior records showed a previous arrest in 2016 for aggravated assault. The client had an immigration bond hearing in September 2017 but was denied. The client had two underage USC children, one of which had an array of illnesses. 42B for the client was prepared filed with the court. On October 24, 2017, client’s 42B was approved and on June 4, 2018, the client received his Lawful Permanent Resident Card.

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HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE FIRM

Federal vs. State Offenses

Criminal offenses encompass various criminal matters and can be charged as a state crime or a federal crime. State crimes can include offenses such as robbery and traffic violations. Federal crimes can include offenses committed in federal property or actions such as human trafficking. If you are facing criminal charges for a state or federal offense, it is important to understand that they are different procedures that must be followed.

Procedures & Prosecution

Federal crimes are investigated by a federal agent or officer, such as DEA agents. The prosecutors are often U.S. Attorneys, and the president appoints the judges. Furthermore, the procedure for federal cases includes the burden of proof, pretrial, trial, and sentencing. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is on the U.S. Attorney or the government. That is to say that the government must show evidence that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” As a result of the government having to prove that the defendant is guilty, the federal court can have various discoverable material, and they might involve other law enforcement agencies. Due to all the evidence that they have to consider, the prosecution can be lengthy.

On the other hand, in state crimes police officers or county sheriffs are the investigators, the prosecutors are state district or city attorneys, and the judges are typically appointed by governors. In addition, the steps in Texas’ criminal justice system in a criminal case include arrest, indictment, plea bargaining, trial, and post-trial. Generally, prosecutions are quick compared to federal court.

Some criminal offenses are under state prosecutions because they are a violation of state laws. Similarly, some criminal acts are offenses under federal law because it is a federal or national issue (i.e., crimes committed on federal property). Nevertheless, there are criminal offenses that can fall under both federal and state laws, and therefore, the defendant can be prosecuted in either federal or state court.

If a defendant conducts a criminal offense that violates state and federal laws, the defendant can face criminal prosecution in both state and federal courts. Many individuals tend to believe that the Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects them from being charged for the same criminal offense in state and federal court.  However, this is not the case. Although the clause does protect any persons from being tried twice by the same sovereign for the same offense, there is an exception known as the “separate sovereigns doctrine.” This is important because the states and federal government are separate; thus, a person can be tried in both state and federal court for the same criminal offense. See Gamble v. United States, 587 U.S.__(2019)

State Charges

Texas state courts handle criminal and civil cases. Texas’ criminal justice system is meant to protect the people, and that includes the accused. If you are a defendant, the Texas criminal justice system must ensure that you are treated equally in legal matters. Crimes can be categories as felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. A felony is the most serious crime and has severe penalties. Being convicted of a felony can include serving time in jail or state prison. The punishment in a felony charge varies depending on multiple factors, such as the nature of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. Being charged with a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony; however, they should not be taken lightly. Common penalties for misdemeanor offenses can include hefty fines, probation, and/or having to serve jail time if convicted. Infractions are an offense typically done while operating a motor vehicle and are usually punishable with a fine such as receiving a speeding ticket.

State Sentencing

Various factors affect your penalty in a criminal case, for example, the nature of the crime committed. The penal code for a criminal offense can be complicated because there are many variations and exceptions in classifying criminal behavior. For instance, felonies are divided into categories, and misdemeanors are divided into classes such as class A misdemeanor or class B misdemeanor. Usually, punishments for criminal offenses in state court can include having to serve a sentence in prison or state jail, paying a fine, and/or community supervision.

  • Felony – Generally, felonies are more serious crimes, and if the defendant is found guilty of committing a felony, he or she may have to serve time in either county jail or state prison. However, with some state felony convictions, the defendant would only serve half their actual sentence in state prison.
  • Misdemeanor –A person who is found guilty of a misdemeanor, he or she can be fined or sentenced to serve up to one year in jail (depending on the offense), or both. In some cases, the defendant can be offered community service and/or probation.
  • Infractions – The least serious crime and is punishable with a fine.

Federal Charges

Generally, most crimes are violations of state laws, and the state has jurisdiction. If the crime is a state offense, the state has the power to decide the case, and it can be tried in state court. Likewise, if the criminal offense falls under the federal jurisdiction, then the federal government has the power to decide the case.

If you are facing federal or state criminal charges, it is imperative that you retain professional legal assistance. The federal justice system has an abundance of resources and highly qualified, knowledgeable prosecutors. It is crucial to act immediately if you are under investigation or facing federal charges because your future depends on it. In federal criminal cases, there is always the potential of various problems arising, therefore the sooner you are able to obtain an attorney, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.

Below are instances in which the federal government would have jurisdiction on a criminal offense:

  • Crime that takes place on federal property – For instance, murdering a person in a government-owned building.
  • Any crime that involves federal agents/officers – A criminal act against a federal agent such as assaulting a DEA agent falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
  • Committing a criminal offense that crosses state lines – This can include kidnapping a person and crossing state lines.
  • A criminal offense where the criminal act crosses state lines – For example, when a person commits internet fraud, many people are affected throughout multiple states.
  • Custom violations – This can include smuggling (e.g., drugs, weapons), violating importing duties (e.g., canceling the origin of the import and value to evade paying import taxed, importing child pornography), violating exporting regulations (i.e., many products are subject to limitations and restrictions), and making false statements during custom provisions.

Below are a few potential problems that can arise in a federal criminal case:

  • Obtained Evidence Illegally – When a federal agent violates the constitutional rights of a suspect or defendant, any evidence that was obtained as a result of a violation is illegally-obtained. Furthermore, evidence that has been illegally-obtained is inadmissible in federal court; however, there are limitations and exceptions. (See Exclusionary Rule)
  • Conspiracy Against the United States – If a person conspires to either commit any offense against or to defraud the United States, they can be fined or imprisoned. In other words, if a federal prosecutor can argue that you were part (formally or informally) of an agreement to a federal crime or that there is “proof of an overt act,” the case can be prosecuted in federal court (See 18 U.S.C. § 371).
  • Multiple Charges for Related & Unrelated Crimes – Some federal statutes have severe penalties for acts that are done in conjunction with specific criminal conduct or further the activities of specific criminal behavior (See Kellett v Superior Court (1966) 63 Cal.2d 822).

Federal Sentencing

A sentence for a criminal offense can include one or some of the following: having to serve time in federal prison, paying a fine, and/or restitution to be paid to the victim of the offense. Moreover, the court enforces conditions as part of the sentence, for example, having the offenders attend substance abuse treatment programs, job counseling, or having mandatory substance abuse test and alternative detention options such as being confined at home.

The following federal law enforcement agencies are responsible for investigating federal crimes: The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, and the Secret Service. If a federal law enforcement agency investigates the offense or if the offense falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the case will fall within the federal court’s jurisdiction. In addition, if the verdict is guilty, federal judges consider several sources to make the sentence for the defendant. The judge considers the U.S. Sentencing Commissions guidelines, which establishes the maximum and minimum punishment for certain crimes (See 2018 Guidelines). Other sources the judge takes into consideration are the evidence produced during the trial, relevant information provided by the U.S. Attorney, the defense attorney, the pretrial service officer, and statements from the victims, and defendant. Moreover, the judge may also consider a variety of other factors, for example, prior criminal offenses, if the defendant expresses remorse or regret for their crime, and the crime that was committed.

In a federal court case, many factors can negatively impact the outcome of your case, such as having multiple charges for related or unrelated offenses. Therefore, the penalties for an offense can increase. For instance, in the case of child pornography possession, the defendant is already facing severe punishment. Nevertheless, the sentence can increase for various reasons that are part of the underlying offense. The relationship between the defendant and the child in the case can affect the defendant’s final sentencing. If convicted of a federal offense, the defendant will have to serve their sentence in federal prison.

Regardless of the situation, retaining an attorney should be your first choice. Federal sentencing and penalties are much harsher and sever. Having an experienced, qualified, and assertive lawyer represent you is in your best interest.

Type of Criminal Offenses

The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC represents people facing misdemeanor or felony charges for such criminal offenses as: