Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
  1. How Long Does a Criminal Record Last in Texas?

    You can feel the consequences of a criminal record long after your legal troubles are over. It can affect your ability to find employment and housing — all while affecting other parts of your life. So unless it has been sealed or expunged, you will face these consequences for the rest of your life. A criminal record is a comprehensive historical document that’s maintained by the state or federal government. It has detailed information about criminal law violations, arrests, and convictions (which are listed in chronological order).

    criminal background check

    How Long Does a Criminal Record Last in Texas?

    Criminal information will stay on your record forever, and it can be accessed by anyone with the proper authorization. Some states offer a process that’s referred to as “expungement,” which may involve sealing or erasing records. This process can involve removing them from the state database and destroying any physical copies. There is no federal equivalent to record expungement, so the only recourse you can have for these types of crimes is to get a presidential pardon.

    In Texas, someone who has completed a deferred adjudication community supervision can petition the court that put that person on probation for an order of nondisclosure for any records related to the crime. This procedure is listed under Texas Government Code §411.071. An order of nondisclosure prohibits criminal justice agencies from disclosing any criminal records related to a specific offense. This is different from an expungement, because the records don’t “go away.” It’s simply kept from being accessed by the public.

    How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Texas?

    Arrests will stay on your record until they have been expunged. You can ask for an order of nondisclosure, but only in certain circumstances. It won’t erase the arrest from your record because law enforcement agencies can still access it, but it does keep it from being accessed by the public. A qualified attorney will be able to guide you through the nondisclosure process.

    How Long Do Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record?

    Convictions can stay on your criminal record until they’re expunged. You can ask the courts to issue an order of nondisclosure. But like arrest records, it can only be done in certain circumstances. It won’t completely erase the conviction from your record because law enforcement agencies can still access it, but it does keep it from being accessed by the public. Be sure to speak to an attorney for more details about the nondisclosure process.

    How Long Do Juvenile Criminal Records Last in Texas?

    In Texas, juvenile criminal records aren’t automatically confidential and don’t become sealed until that person is 18 years old. Unsealed records can be accessed by different parties, which can include the following:

    • Law enforcement agencies.
    • Probation officers.
    • Juvenile justice officers.
    • Potential employers.
    • Educational institutions.

    According to Family Code §58.25, Texas gives you the option to seal some convictions after a waiting period. A new “automatic sealing” process eliminates the need for applications or petitions and requires the juvenile court to seal them based on specific criteria. Another law allows certain juvenile criminal records to be expunged (such as minor alcohol violations that are handled in municipal or justice courts).

    How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record in Texas?

    While it isn’t as serious as a felony charge, a misdemeanor is still a criminal offense and will stay on your record unless it has been expunged. Except for a few offenses, there’s no predefined expiration date for the presence of a misdemeanor on your record. While they will legally stay on record for life, there may be some limitations with regard to background checks (such as the “seven-year rule”).

    What are the Qualifications for Expungement in Texas?

    If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, your criminal record may qualify for Texas expungement in the following circumstances:

    • You were acquitted of the crime for which you were charged.
    • You were convicted but were later found to be innocent.
    • You were convicted but were pardoned by the governor or president.
    • You were formally charged by indictment or information, the case against you was later dismissed, and the statute of limitations has expired.
    • You were arrested but not formally charged, and you have satisfied a proscribed waiting period.

    If you would like more information about expungement in Texas and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi to help you, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.

  2. How the Mediation Process Can Be Helpful in Resolving Disputes

    Texas mediation is a much less formal process than standard litigation, but the process through which issues are resolved involves several different stages that can help all parties come up with a reasonable compromise. Pursuing a lawsuit can be expensive. But by going through the mediation process, two or more people can resolve a dispute in an informal setting with the help of a neutral party (who is called “the mediator”). This can help everyone involved to avoid the more expensive litigation process.

    conflict resolved with mediation

    The Role of the Mediator

    Most mediators are trained in resolving conflicts, though the level of a mediator’s training and experience can vary widely. The same is also true for the cost of the mediator. Hiring a retired judge to be a private mediator can cost you a steep hourly rate, but a volunteer attorney might be available through a court-sponsored settlement conference program or a local small claims court for free.

    Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator isn’t there to decide the outcome of a case. He or she is there to help the disputants come up with a solution to their problem by encouraging them to:

    • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case.
    • Understand that accepting less than what is expected is part of coming up with a fair settlement.
    • Agree on a reasonable solution.

    The main goal of all involved parties is to come up with a solution that they can live with and trust.  Because the mediator doesn’t have the authority to make a decision, nothing will be decided unless both parties agree to it.

    Types of Issues Resolved Through Mediation

    Almost any type of issue can be resolved through mediation. Many courts will require you to go through some type of informal dispute resolution process (such as mediation or arbitration) before the litigation process can move forward. They do it because it has been proven to work.

    Some of the cases that can be resolved through mediation include the following:

    The time it will take to resolve these disputes will depend on the complexity of each case. If they’re somewhat straightforward, they can usually be resolved in half a day. But more complicated cases will require a full day of mediation, with the negotiation continuing after the mediation has ended. If the mediation process doesn’t settle the case, either side can file a lawsuit or continue with the mediation process.

    The Stages of Mediation

    Texas mediation isn’t as formal as a trial or arbitration, but it does have some sort of structure. It takes place in several stages that are put in place for the purpose of getting results. Most mediation cases take place in the following manner:

    • The mediator’s opening statement — After all the disputants are seated at a table, the mediator introduces everyone, explains the goal and rules of the mediation, and encourages each side to work toward a reasonable settlement.
    • The disputants’ opening statements — Each party is invited to describe the nature of the dispute and its consequences (financial or otherwise). The mediator may also give ideas about how these issues can be resolved.
    • A joint discussion — The mediator might encourage parties to directly respond to the opening statements (depending on their receptivity) so the issues can be further defined.
    • Private caucuses — This will give each party a chance to meet privately with the mediator. Each side will be placed in a separate room, where the mediator will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each position and exchange offers. This stage will continue as needed during the time in which it is allowed and makes up most of the mediation process.
    • Joint negotiation — After the caucuses have been completed, the mediator might bring the parties together so they can negotiate directly. But it doesn’t happen very often. Mediators won’t bring parties back together until a settlement is reached or the amount of allotted time for the mediation has ended.
    • Closure — If the parties have reached an agreement, the mediator will most likely put all the provisions in writing and ask each side to sign a written summary of the agreement. If neither party has reached an agreement, the mediator will help them to determine whether meeting at a later date would be beneficial.

    If you’re looking for someone in Corpus Christi to help you mediate your dispute, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.

  3. 6 Benefits of Choosing Employment Mediation

    If you have been discriminated against at work or have been unfairly terminated, you may decide to file a lawsuit. While the idea of taking your employer to court may seem like the ideal scenario, it may not be your best option. The litigation process for an employment law dispute can be financially and emotionally draining, and it doesn’t guarantee a favorable result. Instead of exhausting your time and energy in court, you may want to learn more about the mediation process.

    Employment mediation is a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is offered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as a way of resolving employment disputes without going through investigative and litigation procedures. It’s an informal process where a trained mediator helps the parties involved to come up with a mutual resolution. The mediator isn’t there to decide who is right or wrong, and he or she has no authority to impose a settlement on any of the involved parties. The mediator is there to help them explore and reconcile their differences.

    benefits of employment mediation

    Here are some of the benefits of employment mediation.

    #1: It Can Avoid Litigation

    Employment mediation will allow you to come up with more valuable and flexible solutions that are tailored to the needs of every party involved. Unlike the courts (who impose their decisions), mediation can give you the ability to address any interests or concerns that may not be recognized or addressed in a traditional legal setting. This kind of flexibility allows both parties to come up with a unique and more satisfying resolution to their dispute.

    In many cases, mediation can lead to faster resolutions compared to the litigation process. Because there’s often a backlog of cases, the court system can take a great deal of time to come up with any kind of conclusion. But with employment mediation, both parties can schedule sessions when it’s convenient and come up with a resolution at a suitable pace (which can save them a great deal of time and emotional energy).

    #2: It Can Save Both Time and Money

    The litigation process can come with legal fees, court costs, and other expenses that can add up quickly. Employment mediation is a more cost-effective alternative, because it requires fewer financial resources. Both parties will often share the cost of the mediator — all while avoiding the expenses that come with litigation.

    #3: It’s Fair and Neutral

    The mediator’s role is to facilitate the process and to help both parties to come up with a mutual resolution, so he or she is expected to be fair and neutral. They’re not allowed to take sides or show favoritism toward any particular party. Everyone involved will have an equal opportunity to express their views, concerns, and interests.

    Mediators will approach the process with neutrality, so they don’t have personal interest or stake in the outcome. They don’t advocate for any specific solution, and they don’t impose their opinions on either party. Keeping this kind of neutrality allows mediators to focus on creating an environment that fosters open communication, promotes understanding, and helps both parties look at options that may be acceptable to everyone involved.

    #4: It Improves Relationships

    Employment mediation focuses on resolving conflicts in a manner that’s both collaborative and non-adversarial. It also promotes communication, understanding, and empathy between all of the involved parties. By working together to come up with a mutually acceptable resolution, mediation can preserve relationships that could otherwise be damaged by more confrontational approaches.

    #5: The Process is Confidential

    Employment mediation is a confidential process. It can also provide a safe and private environment for all of the involved parties to openly discuss any specific issues without worrying about public exposure. This kind of confidentiality encourages honesty and openness, which allows all participants to address their concerns more effectively.

    #6: It Can Improve the Reputation of Your Business

    Employment disputes can give people the idea that there’s a serious problem in your business that needs to be addressed. If your company has an environment that’s hostile toward some workers, it can negatively impact all your employees. But with employment mediation, you’ll have a better chance of communicating with the person filing the complaint.

    If you’re looking for one of the best places to find employment mediation in Corpus Christi, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group. We have a team of experienced professionals who would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs.

  4. Should I Mediate My Divorce?

    During divorce mediation in Texas, a neutral third party helps couples talk about and resolve any important issues related to the termination of their marriage. Both parties, their lawyers, and a mediator will get together so they can discuss any important matters.  It can help them to avoid the more time-consuming and expensive traditional court process, because they’ll be able to come up with a mutual agreement.

    Mediators aren’t there to offer legal advice. Their job is to assess the potential risks to both parties and to facilitate the decision-making process. Mediation is part of the litigation process. In most courts, the parties must try to settle their disputes through mediation before the case can go to trial.

    should I mediate my divorce

    Why You Should Mediate You Mediate Your Divorce

    Judges will often order divorcing couples to do mediation before they can go to trial, but you have the freedom to decide if you want to mediate (whether it’s before you file for divorce or any time after the process has been completed). A Texas divorce mediation can be beneficial in many ways. Some of them include the following:

    • Cost — Mediating a divorce is much less expensive than going to trial.
    • Settlement of the Case — Most mediations end in a settlement of all the issues related to the divorce.
    • Confidentiality — There will be no public record of the mediation process, so it’s completely confidential.
    • Freedom — Divorce mediation in Texas will allow you to come up with a resolution that’s based on what you think is fair instead of having something imposed on you because of rigid and impersonal legal principles.
    • Control — Both you and your spouse (not the courts) have control over the divorce process.
    • Communication — The mediation process can create an environment that encourages you and your spouse to communicate with each other, which can help you avoid any future conflicts.

    Successful mediation can make the divorce process easier, because you’ll be able to take care of all the details related to specific issues. This will allow you to file an “uncontested divorce,” which is faster and less expensive than a litigated divorce (where couples battle each other in court).

    Being able to file an uncontested divorce will save you money on attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with going to trial. Most courts tend to “fast track” uncontested cases, because everything has been settled in advance. The judge will be able to finalize your divorce much more quickly than if you had gone to trial.

    When You Shouldn’t Mediate Your Divorce

    Texas divorce mediation can work for many (if not most) couples who want to terminate their marriage, even if they have hard feelings and a lot of issues that need to be resolved. While it’s worth a try for most couples, it’s not a great option in every single case. Divorce mediation in Texas may not be right for you if:

    • You have been a victim of domestic abuse — If you have experienced domestic abuse or have recently fallen victim to or are under the threat of domestic violence, mediation won’t be a good option for you. You should get the help of a lawyer or some other qualified source.
    • You believe the power or dynamics of intimidation are too great — In these types of situations, people may choose to have a lawyer do all the negotiating for them. Some mediators won’t even take cases that involve domestic violence.
    • Your spouse has a history of being deceitful or untrustworthy — If you believe your spouse may be hiding assets, wasting funds, or lying, mediation will most likely be a waste of time. You won’t be able to negotiate with someone who isn’t being honest, won’t make full disclosures, or play by the rules.
    • You believe your spouse wants to delay the divorce process — The mediator can’t order either of you to do anything. So if your spouse is trying to delay the process or is taking steps to avoid paying child support, he or she can take advantage of the situation by agreeing to mediation before stalling the process.
    • One of you is claiming fault or has hired a lawyer — If one spouse is claiming that the other is legally at fault for ending the marriage (which you can’t do in every single state), you’re not likely to have a successful mediation.  But it’s not impossible. If your spouse has already hired a lawyer, you should think about hiring one as well. This person can help you to decide if mediation is worth it.

    If you’re looking for a qualified divorce attorney in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.

  5. The Process of Mediation and the Role of an Attorney

    Mediation in Texas involves a neutral person (called a “mediator”) who guides both disputing parties through the communication process while also promoting a compromise, settlement, or understanding. Mediators aren’t allowed to express their views or make decisions about the issue being discussed. Their main job is to help both parties come up with an agreement. They’re also not allowed to tell the other party what you have discussed with them unless you permit them to do so.

    This process is different than arbitration, which is where each party and their attorneys present their case to a neutral person (who is called the “arbitrator”). This person will then make a decision about the case based on his or her judgment about the facts being presented. A mediator won’t make a decision, but he or she can help both parties reach an agreement on their own.

    attorney business mediation

    Types of Cases That Can be Mediated

    Most civil cases can be mediated. Some of them can include the following:

    • Family law cases.
    • Cases between a tenant and a landlord.
    • Probate cases.
    • Consumer protection cases.

    If it’s possible for both parties to come up with some type of reconciliation, the courts will encourage them to go through the mediation process before filing a lawsuit. It’s a much less formal setting than the court system. It can also save both time and money. In most cases, mediation can provide a legally enforceable outcome if it’s agreed upon by both parties. So in that sense, it’s similar to going to court.

    How to Prepare for the Mediation Process

    Before going into Texas mediation, you will need to prepare for the session. You can get advice from someone you trust (such as a lawyer) about what you want to accomplish, as well as on what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. You also want to bring any relevant materials that you need to show the mediator, so he or she can help you communicate with the other party about what you want.

    You want to follow all the requirements that have been set by the courts. But within ten days of getting notice of an order for mediation, you can file a written objection to the mediation requirement. If the court has determined that there are reasonable grounds for your objection, you won’t be required to attend the mediation session.

    Mediation in Texas can be helpful if both parties have equal power. They must be able to say what they want without feeling afraid or pressured, but threats and control are common in relationships where one person is abusive. If the abuser is used to being in charge and making all the decisions, there’s a good chance that mediation won’t work. It can also be a problem in divorce or custody cases where the other parent has abused you and you don’t have a lawyer. You are legally allowed to object to mediation in these circumstances.

    The Role of an Attorney in the Mediation Process

    You’re not required to have a lawyer for mediation in Texas, but it would be in your best interests to hire one to “play the game” on your behalf so you can get the best possible result. When you’re thinking about mediation, picture a chess game. The main objective is to make all the right moves to get the best possible outcome, and lawyers can play many valuable roles throughout the process.

    Attorneys won’t speak for their clients in the way they would in a courtroom. They are there to offer guidance and information while also setting a tone that will work toward your benefit. Their job is to support their clients while making sure they understand the risks, benefits, and circumstances of each step in the negotiation process. Attorneys can also help clients manage any opportunities for breaks and private meetings with the mediator while also creating an at-ease environment for their clients.

    It’s up to you to decide if you want to hire an attorney for the Texas mediation process, but doing so will only benefit you in the long run. Having an attorney to help you with the mediation process will give you access to a support system, an advocate, and someone who understands “the game.” So if you want to maximize your chances of resolving your case on the best possible terms, it’s important to get an attorney.

    If you’re looking for a qualified attorney to help you with your mediation in Texas, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.

  6. When Should You Consider Mediation as a Possible Solution?

    If you have been involved in a dispute for a long time and are having trouble coming up with an agreement, mediation can help find a solution. A mediator can help both parties to focus on specific issues that need to be resolved, so they can find some common ground. If you’re dissolving a business and have a situation where neither you nor your partner can agree on how the company’s assets should be divided, a mediator can help you come up with an equitable agreement.

    When Mediation is Appropriate

    For the mediation process to work, both parties must be able to openly and honestly communicate with each other. It’s an appropriate solution if the relationship between each party is strained but they must find some way to keep going. Poor communication is often the cause of these disputes, which is why a neutral third party is needed. It can change the dynamics of their interactions. In many cases, both parties are interested in keeping their control over the outcome.

    Mediation in Texas can be appropriate in the following circumstances:

    • Both parties are having trouble with resolving their dispute because they lack the skills necessary to resolve conflicts.
    • Both parties have a resistance to confronting or being confronted by the other party.
    • There are strong psychological or relationship barriers to negotiating a resolution, which is where mediators can play an intermediary and conciliatory role.
    • Neither party would be otherwise unwitting to meet in person to discuss the nature of their dispute.

    The mediation process can clarify any productive steps for solving the problem and can provide a neutral, non-threatening environment through which the discussion can take place. They’re trained to handle any emotional barriers for settlement, problems of misperception, or poor communication. Finding a mutual agreement to a dispute (where both parties agree to keep control of the outcome) is always better than having one imposed on them by a third party, which is why it often repairs relationships that are important to the success of ongoing work.

    Reasons to Pursue Mediation in Texas

    Some of the reasons why you should pursue Texas mediation include the following:

    • Parties will have an equal say in the process and will be able to decide on the terms of the settlement. There is also no determination of guilt or innocence.
    • It saves time and money.
    • It often happens early in the charge process, and a lot of mediations are completed in one meeting.
    • It’s confidential.
    • All of the involved parties will sign a confidentiality agreement on any information that’s disclosed during the process.
    • It avoids litigation.
    • It costs less than a lawsuit and avoids the uncertainty that comes with a judicial outcome.
    • It fosters cooperation.
    • It takes a problem-solving approach to disputes.
    • Parties can share information, which can lead to a better understanding of issues.
    • It allows you to come up with your own solution.
    • A neutral party is there to help both parties to come up with a voluntary, mutually beneficial resolution.
    • It can help to resolve any issues that are important to each party (not just the underlying legal dispute).

    An independent survey showed that 96% of all respondents and 91% of all charging parties who used mediation would use it again.

    When to Avoid Texas Mediation

    Mediation in Texas can be a great option for resolving civil and divorce disputes, but it doesn’t work in every single situation. Cases of domestic violence, trauma, dominance and control issues, as well as other power imbalances can turn it into a traumatic experience. That’s why every mediation session needs to start with a one-on-one domestic violence screening between the mediator and each party.

    This screening will allow you to tell the mediator what you need to feel safe. It will also give the mediator a chance to determine whether you will be able to voice your opinions as well as your needs and wants. So if you have been the victim of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse (or if you have a hard time saying “no” to your partner), be sure to tell the mediator so he or she can respond appropriately.

    Mediation won’t work if the parties are too far apart on some issues. If one party is demanding to have his or her “day in court” or has decided to take an “all or nothing” approach, mediation is sure to fail. It can only be successful when both parties can give a little on issues that may not be their top priority.

    If you have a case that needs mediation in Texas, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.

  7. ADA Kristi Britt files retaliation, discrimination lawsuit against new DA James Granberry

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Former Nueces County District Attorney’s Office Felony Chief Kristi Britt filed a lawsuit against recently appointed district attorney James “Jimmy” Granberry and the D.A.’s office Sunday, claiming retaliation and discrimination.

    Britt said Granberry demoted her because she is running against him in the 2024 race for the D.A.’s office, creating a “hostile work environment,” in the petition.

    Read The Full Article Here

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  8. What Are Miranda Rights?

    An important part of being an American citizen is understanding your constitutional rights, which includes what’s under the fifth and sixth amendments. Both of them include the Miranda rights warning, which makes sure that law enforcement officers are respecting your rights. While it’s unfortunate, it doesn’t always happen. But if this kind of error has occurred, it may be your ticket out of any legal charges.

    There are few principles within the complex web of criminal law that are as important as Miranda rights, because they protect the rights of people who are being arrested or interrogated. Understanding the importance of Miranda rights is important, especially within the context of Texas criminal cases.

    Miranda Rights

    What is the Miranda Warning?

    The Miranda Warning is under the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution, and it guarantees your right to a grand jury. It protects you from being tried twice for the same crime and from making any incriminating statements against yourself. The Miranda Warning also includes the sixth amendment, which gives you the right to an attorney.

    The Miranda Warning has its origins from a Supreme Court case in 1966, which is referred to as “Miranda vs. Arizona.” The case centered around Ernesto Miranda, who was arrested in Arizona three years earlier. The Supreme Court made a landmark decision, which required suspects to be informed of their rights listed under the Fifth Amendment (specifically about the one that protects you from self-incrimination). Before this decision was made, a lot of people weren’t aware of their rights during police interrogations. This resulted in a number of coerced confessions and constitutional violations..

    These rights must be read to you before you’re taken in for interrogation. If you have ever heard of “pleading the fifth,” these are rights that are referenced in the Miranda Warning. It means that you’re exercising your right to remain silent, and it can be used during your initial interaction with law enforcement up to the time that you’re formally questioned.

    What is Required in the Miranda Warning?

    The Miranda rights were put in place so you can be protected from making any self-incriminating statements during an interrogation. This gives you the right to not answer questions or to wait until your attorney is present. In Texas, this warning can be broken into the following parts:

    • You have the right to remain silent — While it doesn’t mean your charges will be dismissed or can skip the trial, your silence can’t be used against you in court. However, anything you say can and will be used against you. This means that if you choose to answer questions and make self-incriminating statements, anything you say is considered fair game and can be used in court.
    • You have the right to have an attorney present — If you requested the presence of an attorney during the interrogation, it must be stopped. If you’re not able to afford one, an attorney will be provided for you at no cost.

    If you weren’t read the Miranda Warning before you were formally questioned and there wasn’t a valid waiver of these rights, any statements or confessions you made during the interrogations are considered “involuntary” and can’t be used against you in court. The same is also true for any evidence that was collected because of those statements or confessions.

    When is the Miranda Warning Not Required?

    Police officers in Texas don’t have to read your Miranda rights before they arrest you or when they’re questioning you after they have stopped you based on reasonable suspicion, but they must be read to you before you’re taken into custody for formal interrogation. There are five other situations where the Miranda warning isn’t required, which include the following:

    • Public safety issues.
    • Standard booking questions.
    • Traffic stops and violations.
    • Statements obtained through a jailhouse informant.
    • Questioning someone who is not in police custody.

    If you were pulled over for swerving, the police officer doesn’t have to read you the Miranda Warning before asking you if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But if you answered “yes” while admitting to drinking and driving, this statement can still be used against you (even if the Miranda rights weren’t read to you before being questioned).

    If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi to help you come up with an effective strategy for your case, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group. We have a team of people who would be happy to speak with you!

  9. 5 Common Misconceptions About Criminal Defense

    Being charged with a crime can be a terrifying experience. A lot of people feel some uncertainty about what to expect from the criminal justice system and how to navigate the process. It often creates a number of misconceptions and myths about the criminal defense process and criminal defense lawyers, which are often perpetuated by inaccurate depictions of the legal system and a lack of understanding about the details. The criminal justice system consists of a complicated set of laws, procedures, and institutions. So, misconceptions about the system can lead to confusion, fear, and even injustice.

    criminal defense misconceptions

    Here are some of the common misconceptions and myths that people have about criminal defense.

    #1: All Criminal Defense Attorneys are the Same

    A lot of people believe that all criminal defense attorneys are the same, but they come from diverse backgrounds. They will also have varying levels of expertise and experience, which is why finding the right attorney for your case can make a huge difference when it comes to your success.

    Experienced criminal defense attorneys will specialize in different areas (such as DUI cases, drug offenses, or white-collar crimes). They will also have knowledge of specific laws, legal strategies, and negotiating skills so they can advocate for their clients. It’s important for you to find a lawyer with the experience and understanding of criminal law, so you can have the right representation.

    #2: Guilty People Should Not Hire a Defense Attorney

    It’s a common belief that only innocent people should hire a defense attorney, but it doesn’t consider the fact that everyone (regardless of their guilt or innocence) has the right to a fair trial and legal representation. Even if you believe you’re guilty, an experienced defense attorney can help you to navigate the criminal defense system, negotiate plea bargains, and present any “mitigating factors” that can reduce the severity of the charges or the resulting penalties.

    Defense attorneys can also act as “safeguards” that can protect you from a wrongful conviction. They can scrutinize the evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and make sure your constitutional rights are being protected. So regardless of your guilt or innocence, you need to have a qualified attorney by your side. That way, you can get fair treatment within the criminal justice system.

    #3: Defense Attorneys Try to Manipulate the System to Free Criminals

    Another common myth is that defense attorneys are completely focused on manipulating the legal system to help criminals evade justice, but they play an important role in upholding its principles and protecting the rights of their clients. Defense attorneys serve as “advocates” for the interests of their clients. They will also make sure the prosecution follows due process, respects constitutional rights, and presents evidence that follows the right legal standards.

    Their main goal is to make sure the process is fair, that evidence is put to proper scrutiny, and that any mitigating circumstances are taken into consideration while the sentence is given. By making sure the rights of defendants are being protected, defense attorneys can keep the integrity of the criminal justice system intact by making sure justice is served for everyone involved.

    #4: A Public Defender is Less Effective Than a Private Defense Attorney

    A lot of people believe that public defenders (who are appointed to defendants who aren’t able to afford private attorneys) aren’t as effective. While they often have to deal with heavy caseloads and limited resources, it doesn’t mean they’re less competent or effective. Public defenders are skilled professionals with a solid understanding of the criminal justice system, and they often have a great deal of trial experience. So, they can provide competent representation for their clients.

    Private attorneys may have access to more resources, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have a better outcome. Public defenders are motivated by a genuine commitment to justice, and their work plays an important role in making sure people have access to legal representation (especially if they can’t afford private counsel). Effective representation isn’t just determined by the attorney’s employment status. Their skills, experience, and dedication to their clients are just as important.

    #5: Good Lawyers Always Win Cases

    A lot of people believe that good lawyers always win cases, but it’s an oversimplification of the legal process. The success of a case can depend on a number of factors, which can include the following:

    • The strength of the evidence.
    • The strategies being used.
    • The judge’s ruling.

    There can also be a number of other unpredictable circumstances that can affect the outcome of the case. While criminal defense lawyers do what they can to get the best possible outcome for their clients, winning every single case isn’t always feasible because of the complexities within the legal system.

    If you’re looking for a criminal attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas to help you with your case, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.

  10. 8 Mistakes to Avoid After an Arrest

    If you have been arrested, it’s normal to worry about the possibility of a criminal conviction. But most people don’t worry about their immediate future. Anyone who has been arrested is presumed innocent until he or she has been proven guilty. But if you want to improve your chance of getting a favorable outcome, you need to avoid making certain mistakes.

    You may think you know what to do after you have been arrested and that you can continue with your normal activities. You may even have some ideas on how to avoid the legal process, but the consequences of some of these mistakes can make your situation worse.

    woman being arrested

    Here are some mistakes you should avoid once you have been arrested.

    #1: Not Keeping Quiet

    When the arresting officer tells you that “you have the right to remain silent,” you should take it seriously. You have a legal obligation to answer any questions being asked from police officers about personal details (such as you name), but you don’t have to give them any information about the criminal charges of which you have been suspected. As the Miranda line says, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” So no matter what the police ask you about the case, exercising your right to remain silent will always be in your best interest.

    #2: Not Getting a Lawyer Immediately After Your Arrest

    In the 24 hours that the police are legally allowed to keep you in custody without filing criminal charges, you will most likely be questioned because that’s what cops do. Not saying anything at all will be your best strategy, but the police are trained in getting you to say something that they can use against you. That’s why you should never talk to them without having a lawyer present. That way, you’ll have someone to give you advice on the questions you should answer and the ones you should ignore. A lawyer can also question or block any attempt to get you to submit to breath, blood, or DNA tests without a court order. You should never agree to any of these tests unless your lawyer says it’s okay.

    #3: Representing Yourself in Court

    While everyone has the right to represent themselves in court, most people don’t because their knowledge of the law would be superficial at best. If you want to get the best possible outcome, you will need to hire a criminal defense attorney (preferably someone who has experience in cases similar to yours).

    #4: Missing Court Dates

    You should never forget or intentionally miss a court date. You may be out on bail, but a judge can make any immediate order for your re-arrest if you don’t show up, which can hurt your case.

    #5: Showing Any Kind of Disrespect to the Court

    One of the best ways to sabotage your case is to disrespect the court that has been assigned to hear it. There are many forms of disrespect, and being impolite or discourteous to the judge is one of them. Showing up badly groomed and in shabby clothing is another one. If you show any kind of hostility toward the judge, you’ll be charged with contempt of court. You always want to look presentable and be on your best behavior when you’re in front of a judge.

    #6: Saying Too Much on Social Media

    You can post whatever you want on social media, but anything you post on Facebook and Twitter will be used against you. The judge can order you to show any public posts and private messages that may be relevant to your case. It’s a good idea to stay off of social media until your case has been closed.

    #7: Contacting Your Accuser

    You should never call or visit your accuser, because it could be seen as an attempt to intimidate the person who is putting the crime on you. And it can be used against you.

    #8: Getting Arrested Again

    There aren’t too many things that are worse than getting arrested while you’re on trial for another criminal charge. Your most recent arrest may not have anything to do with your current case. But if you’re convicted on the first charge, the judge may consider your second arrest while drawing up your sentence. You may end up missing out on some more lenient penalties (such as diversion programs for first-time DUI offenders), because the judge may not feel compelled to give them to you.

    If you have been arrested for an alleged crime and you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with the Gale Law Group.