Fort Worth Criminal Lawyers
The Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones have unsurpassed skill and experience in DWI, assault, theft, drug related defense cases and jail release. Consisting of former prosecutors and district attorneys, their legal team has valuable experience on both sides of the court room that enables them to build the best defense strategy for your case. They have an excellent record defending against DWI charges that have resulted in the dismissal or reduction of charges for many of their clients.
Perhaps one of the most important things Dunham & Jones can do for their clients is to ensure they are released from jail quickly. Their attorneys have been assisting clients with jail release for years and will work aggressively to start building a solid defense in your case. Instead of waiting in jail for long periods of time for the judge to set bail, Texas law provides that a licensed attorney can get their clients out. In Tarrant County, once a person is arrested, the officer will file an affidavit outlining the criminal allegations. A judge will then review the affidavit and the person’s criminal history before deciding what to set bail at. The defendant’s prior arrest record and the seriousness of their crime can weigh heavily on this decision.
In Tarrant County, a misdemeanor crime can result in bail anywhere between $500 for a bad check or up to $10,000 for a more serious criminal charge. For a first DWI arrest, the defendant could be required to pay $1,500-$3,000 in bail. There are several important factors that can determine the amount such as prior DWI convictions or causing an accident with injury. Having a minor in the vehicle or a high alcohol content can also negatively affect the bail amount.
What Type of Bail is Best for You
Once a bail amount has been established, there are four different ways to be released from jail:
- Cash Bond
- Pre-Trial Release (Personal bond)
- Lawyer assisted bond
- Surety or bail bond
A cash bond requires that someone post the full amount established by the judge but do not let the name deceive you. Tarrant County will only accept a money order or cashier’s check which must be presented at the jail. Also, these funds cannot be retrieved from the cash bond until the criminal case has been resolved which means that the money could be tied up for years.
Pre-Trial Release (Personal Bonds)
Another way to gain jail release is through a personal bond in which a qualified prisoner is released without paying a bond. A pre-trial release is essentially a promise to appear and the Tarrant County pre-release office will review a defendant’s eligibility for this type of bond. A defendant’s eligibility for this type of bond is contingent on the following minimum qualifications:
- Must be a Tarrant or Dallas County resident
- Must be in jail on a Tarrant County offense (first-degree felony charges are excluded)
- Must not be on parole or have any felony convictions
- Must be willing to appear in Tarrant County Courts until the case is completely out of litigation
- Must provide positive identification
- Must not have a history of bond forfeitures
Lawyer Assisted Bonds
The qualified lawyers at Dunham & Jones understand how unpleasant and stressful time spent in jail can be and offer a variety of ways to help their clients gain release. Their attorneys can reduce the amount of time you spend in jail by speeding up the personal bond process. Generally, they can also request a percentage cash deposit bond for approval by the jail and apply that amount to your legal fees, saving you money. Their lawyers are available around the clock to ensure you do not spend more time in jail than you need to.
In some cases, the assistance of a bail bondsman may be more beneficial. Although, they usually charge 15-20% of the bail amount.
An Excellent Record in DWI Defense
DWI charges are very serious and can negatively affect several aspects of your future. The Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones are highly skilled in DWI defense and have achieved reduced and dismissed outcomes for many clients’ cases. They have been defending DWI cases since 1989.
1st DWI Offense
In Texas, a first time DWI offense could result in a fine of up to $2,000 and possible jail time. Generally, most first time offenders are given probation and must participate in several court ordered supervision programs as well. You could be ordered to submit to a Drug or Alcohol Evaluation which examines the probability of another offense or problems with alcohol and drug abuse. You might also be ordered to complete an approved DWI education course within 180 days from the date of conviction. A Victim Impact Panel is another possible requirement where DWI offenders are addressed by victims of drunk driving and warned of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. DWI offenders are also required to carry a suitable job, remain at the same residence, and commit no other crimes while on probation. They also must report to the supervision office on a monthly bases, paying all fines and costs in a timely manner.
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, you could also face additional requirements while on probation such as:
- An Ignition Interlock device
- Alcohol Treatment
- Enhanced Penalties
- Consume no alcohol
Second DWI Offense
Texas law now requires that anyone arrested or accused of a second DWI or greater offense be ordered a Condition of Release from jail on bond. This means that the person would be required to install a Deep lung air device on the car they drive and maintain it while charges are pending. To ensure sobriety, these devices require that the person submit a breath sample before driving and periodic samples while driving. They are also user sensitive which ensures that no other person blow into the device other than the driver. Texas law also requires that second time offenders pay a fine not exceeding $4,000 and confinement in the county jail for no less than 72 hours and no more than 1 year. Second offenders can also face no less than 80 hours or no more than 200 hours of community service. If convicted of a second DWI, you could also face a suspension of your driver’s license for no less than 180 days or no more than two years.
Third DWI Offense
Typically, third time offenders face even higher fines and longer jail time. A fine for a third DWI could be as high as but not exceed $10,000. They could also face a term no less than 2 years or no more than 10 years in jail. Texas law also requires that should a judge order community service, it be between 160-600 hours. Once again, a third time offender could face the suspension of their license for no less than 180 days and be required to submit to a Deep lung air device as a condition of bond.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a third DWI offense, the court may conclude that the defendant has a significant alcohol problem which could lead to confinement in a penitentiary or a rehabilitative facility. If jail time is to be avoided, the judge may order the defendant to participate in an in-patient incarceration program also known as Substance Abuse Felony Probation. This kind of program must be completed at a state facility for alcohol rehabilitation and once complete, the person is usually placed on probation for a term not exceeding 10 years. Many third time offenders are often treated with a prescription drug called Antabuse which causes a person to become seriously ill should they consume alcohol. This also accounts for alcohol marinated into foods or hygiene products like mouthwash.
Since Texas law does not contain any increased punishment for a DWI offense exceeding a third, punishment is typically confinement in a penitentiary for 2-10 years without probation. Depending on the case, a judge may grant Substance Abuse Felony Probation upon request and if it is deemed appropriate.
Tarrant County does offer a unique program where a person being charged with a felony DWI can opt for treatment as opposed to a lengthy court battle. The program is called the Felony Alcohol Intervention Project (FAIP) and can provide the defendant with intensive treatment over a period of approximately 4 years instead of a longer probationary period or time served in a penitentiary. While prior felony DWI charges do not necessarily disqualify an individual from participating in FAIP, there are restrictions on admission and the application must be made within 60 days of the arrest date. The Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones are highly skilled in DWI defense and will use their years of experience and in depth knowledge to help you attain a positive outcome in your case.
An Excellent Record of Defending
and Winning Assault Cases
Not only do the Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones have an excellent history defending assault cases, they also have former Assistant District Attorneys and Board Certified attorneys to help defend your case. Facing assault charges can be scary and stressful because of the negative effects they could have on your job status or ability to attain any prospective jobs. The criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones make it their number one priority and goal to see your charges dismissed, ensuring that your future is safe.
In Texas, a person can be charged with assault for simply threatening another person or causing bodily injury. Sometimes, a heated conversation can turn into aggression and result in physical contact by one or both people involved. The lawyers at Dunham & Jones know that these cases can be difficult for prosecutors to try because they require proof that you acted violently first and are often one person’s word versus another. Assault charges can fall into 3 different categories:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person.
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with bodily injury.
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact in an offensive or provocative manner.
Class A misdemeanor charges are considered simple assaults resulting in minor injuries. This kind of assault could result in fines up to $4,000 and a year spent in jail.
Class C misdemeanor charges only pertain to threatening or touching another person. These assault charges could result in a fine of up to $500. Although, should the defendant threaten an elderly person, it would be considered a Class A misdemeanor.
Another type of assault charge is a 3rd degree felony assault and is considered so if it is committed against:
- a public servant or government official
- a security guard or emergency services worker
- a family member or person you have a domestic relationship with and have had previous domestic violence or assault convictions
The penalty for a 3rd degree felony assault could be a maximum of 10 years served in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A Domestic family violence assault charge is considered a class A misdemeanor and could result in a year spent in jail along with a fine up to $4,000. If convicted of domestic family assault, you could lose your right to carry a firearm or ammunition. A second domestic family assault charge is considered a felony with a possible jail sentence of up to 10 years.
If serious injury is caused or a weapon is used while committing the assault, this is considered an aggravated assault. Generally, aggravated assaults are 2nd degree felonies and are punishable by 2-20 years in prison and fines as high as $10,000. Although, there are certain factors that could result in more severe punishments like assaulting a public official, police officer, emergency worker, security guard, witness, informant or a person with whom you have a domestic relationship. If this is the case, you could face a penalty of 5 years to life in prison and the charge becomes a 1st degree felony.
Dunham & Jones, Representing Tarrant County Theft Crimes
Theft is a serious charge and can leave you or a loved one with a damaging criminal record. The Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones have over 20 years of experience defending theft crimes with a winning record. Their former prosecutors have an inside knowledge that has enabled them to build a defense for their clients in the pursuit of a positive outcome. Sometimes, peer pressure, money problems and desperation can lead a person to committing a theft crime and the consequences can be severe. In addition to the possibility of monetary fines and jail time, theft crimes can leave a person with a criminal record that could prevent them from living a full, rewarding life. People with a past theft conviction may be subject to stereotypes and future mistrust from possible employers.
In Texas, a person can be charged with theft for taking property not belonging to them without consent by physically stealing it or by means of deception. In order to be charged with theft, law enforcement must show that you acted with criminal intent which means taking something you knew did not belong to you. They also have to prove you had possession of the property which they usually attain by examining security camera footage or witness and accomplice accounts. Let the Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones defend you in court and protect your future now.
Punishments for theft crimes are usually directly related to the value of the item or items stolen. If the value of the item stolen is very high, the penalty can also be very high. Should a person steal several different items, their total value is usually taken into account when deciding an appropriate punishment, which could be a fine or time spent in jail.
Drug crimes such as possession or distribution are also considered very serious crimes in the State of Texas and carry strict legal consequences. If convicted of drug possession, you could face probation, fines, a 6 month suspension of your driver’s license or worse, jail time. There are several factors that are taken into account in drug crime cases that determine the severity of punishment. Depending on the charges, a person could be charged with a minor misdemeanor or severe felony. Texas law imposes these penalties depending on factors such as:
- Quantity of drugs
- Large amount of money found with drugs
- How the drug was stored or concealed
- Possession of drug with any paraphernalia
- Past convictions
Possession of Marijuana, if found to be less than 2 oz may have a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail, however, the Fort Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones may be able to negotiate probation in exchange for a drug treatment program. Completion of these types of programs could result in the charges being dropped. Should a person be convicted of possession of more than 2 oz of marijuana, they could face a jail sentence anywhere from 180 days to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana would be considered a felony and could result in a life sentence in jail.
Possession of drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines could result in a minimum sentence of 2 years in jail and fines up to $10,000. Depending on the facts surrounding the case and the quantity of drugs, the jail sentence could increase or possibly be a life sentence. Possession of the hallucinogen LSD also carries severe penalties like a fine of up to $250,000 or a jail sentence anywhere between 2 years to life.
Dunham & Jones Have an Extensive Knowledge of Criminal Law Cases
Criminal charges are stressful and can leave you feeling anxious about the negative effects they may have on your future. A criminal record will only create unnecessary obstacles between you and some of life’s greatest pleasures like getting a great job, going to school and owning a home. The Forth Worth criminal lawyers at Dunham & Jones want to help set your mind at ease with their combined 200 years of experience and first class representation.
If you or someone you know is in need of jail release, DWI or criminal law assistance, call the attorneys at Dunham & Jones at (817) 888-8888
They treat all their clients with respect and make it their number one priority to see their charges dismissed or reduced. They let their winning history speak for them and always make time for present and prospective clients.