Criminal Defense Law FAQs
How do I get someone out of jail in Williamson County?
In Williamson County, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of an attorney because bond companies in most cases will give a discount, of 10% vs. 20% of the bond, if the client is represented by an attorney. In addition, often a Waiver of Magistration is required for a person to get out of jail if the Magistrate has left for the day. I can execute the waiver (explain your rights to you) and arrange for a walkthrough, where the accused can check into jail at their own convenience and be released within a couple of hours of incarceration.
How do I choose the right lawyer?
The following are things you should consider when deciding which criminal lawyer in to hire:
- You need to seek a lawyer with experience. Specifically, experience as a Williamson County Criminal Lawyer.
- Not only should your lawyer be experienced in Williamson County, he should also have a good relationship with the judges and prosecutors in the county.
- You want a lawyer that can show you his track record.
- You want a lawyer that will be accessible to you and will keep you informed.
- You should seek a lawyer who will fight for you like you’re his own family.
How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
MISDEMEANOR: When a person is released from jail on a misdemeanor, they will receive a court date in approximately 2 to 4 weeks . If an attorney is retained before that time, the person will not have to appear at the first date. Generally speaking, a client will then have 1 to 2 announcement settings where the client and his attorney decide what will happen on the case and announce to the court that a plea bargain has been reached or they are ready for trial. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months and even up to 6 months or longer if the case goes to trial. However, it is not uncommon for a case to get dismissed quickly or to reach a plea bargain early in the process which would expedite the case.
FELONY: Because a person accused of a crime will often have his or her case presented before a grand jury, Felony cases can take much longer to resolve than misdemeanor cases. While it is certainly possible to resolve the case with the prosecutor prior to indictment, often times a person’s case is indicted which only means that a grand jury found that there was sufficient evidence to believe that the person may have committed the offense. After indictment the accused will be formally charged and will receive a court date. From start to finish, Felonies generally take 3 to 6 months and possibly up to a year if it goes to trial.
What kind of punishment should I expect for a misdemeanor conviction?
Misdemeanors come in several categories:
- Class A Misdemeanors – carry a punishment range of up to a year in jail and up to a $4000 fine. Examples of Class A’s are DWI 2nd offense, Assault with Bodily Injury (family violence) and Possession of Marijuana over 4oz
- Class B Misdemeanors – punishable with up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2000 fine which include Theft under $500 and DWI and Possession of Marijuana under 4oz
Remember that with quality representation, there is always a chance of getting your case dismissed or reduced; furthermore, you should not spend another day in jail.
Do I even need a lawyer if I just want to go to court and plead guilty and won’t that save me time and money?
Anyone accused of a crime can enter into a plea agreement with the judge or prosecutor without an attorney; however, it is usually not in your best interest to do so. First, an attorney can determine if you should even enter into a plea. Second, a skilled attorney can usually get your fines and probation time significantly reduced, thereby saving you time and money.
How much do your services cost?
The initial consultation is free. During that consultation Mr. Morales will discuss the fee arrangement with you. In most cases, payment plans are available and all major credit cards are accepted.
Immigration Law FAQs
I just got married, but my spouse does not have legal status? What can we do about this?
If your spouse is abroad, we can represent you both in a K-3 or immigrant visa application. Choosing the immigrant visa process will allow your spouse to enter as a lawful permanent resident. If your spouse is already in the U.S., adjustment of status in the U.S. may be possible. Attorney Sparks can quickly assess your case and determine the best options.
I got my green card through marriage, but now we are getting divorced. How will that affect me?
If you have conditional residency, or a two-year green card, a divorce will impact your process and options. For example, you must timely file your I-751 petition, but USCIS will not approve your case if a divorce is pending. Julie Sparks can help ensure that your legal status is not placed at risk simply because you are divorcing. She can contact USCIS with an explanation about your unique case and, if necessary, obtain more time to finalize your divorce and pursue a pathway to citizenship.
I am undocumented, but my children are citizens. Can I be petitioned by them?
U.S. citizen children may petition their parents after they turn 21 years of age. However, filing the petition is only one part of the process. The parents must also be eligible to receive a green card (adjust status). To find out if you are eligible to adjust status so that you can obtain a green card, contact Julie Sparks.
I have lived in the U.S. for more than twenty years. Am I eligible for a green card?
Some people who have lived in the U.S. since the early 70’s can obtain a green card based on the length of time they’ve lived here. For those who came later, current laws require more than just being physically present in the U.S. To find out if you qualify to receive a green card or work permit, contact Julie Sparks for a consultation and assessment of your unique situation.
I have a conviction for possession of drugs, but it was a long time ago. Will this affect my green card?
Drug convictions have very serious consequences on immigrants. A skilled attorney can argue that some older drug convictions should not cause someone to be deported. Not only does the date of the conviction matter, it is also important for the attorney to know when the immigrant received their green card. Everyone who has a drug conviction needs to have their case carefully assessed before applying for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen to ensure that they don’t end up in removal or deportation proceedings. Contact Julie Sparks if you are concerned about a prior criminal conviction.
I was deported before, but now I am married to a U.S. citizen. Can I apply for residency?
Sometimes people believe they were deported when, in fact, they were simply returned to their country. The difference is important legally. A skilled attorney can research one’s background to determine what happened and what is on their immigration record. This will allow everyone to understand what is possible before beginning the process. If the person returned to the U.S., the attorney will also need to know when and how the person returned.
My spouse was very abusive and never petitioned for me to get my green card. Is there anything I can do?
If your spouse was a permanent resident or citizen, you may be eligible to petition for legal status under VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act. This law can benefit both male and female survivors of domestic physical and verbal abuse. Contact Attorney Julie Sparks to find out if you qualify to seek benefits through VAWA.
I was robbed at gunpoint and I called the police, but I don’t have legal status in the U.S. Am I at risk of being deported? What can I do?
Calling the police is a very frightening thing to do when you’re undocumented. But the law recognizes that we need to live in communities where anyone can call the police to report a crime without being afraid. If you reported a crime, you may be eligible to apply for a U visa. To find out if you meet all of the requirements for a U visa, contact Julie Sparks.
I came to the U.S. as a tourist, but I want to stay here because of violence in my country. What can I do?
Julie Sparks has had many clients over the years who came to the U.S. on tourist visas, but truly came out of fear that they would be harmed or killed if they remained in their country. Asylum is sometimes the best legal solution. Asylum cases can be extremely complicated and need to be assessed by someone with a lot of experience in this particular area. Contact Julie Sparks to find out if filing for asylum is the best option for you.
I have my green card already, but my parents also want to live in the U.S. How can I bring them?
Only U.S. citizens are allowed to petition their parents so that the parents can enter the U.S. with green cards. Contact Julie Sparks to find out how to first obtain U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process so that your parents’ cases can then be filed.
Family Law FAQs
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