The Texas vs. Federal Criminal Trial Process

  • When you get charged with a crime in Texas, your crime may be a state crime or a federal crime. Depending on the type of crime you’re charged with, the criminal trial process that awaits you will be different. 

    If you’ve never been in legal trouble before, then you may not have experience dealing with either state or federal law; however, a federal criminal defense lawyer in Dallas from Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. can provide you with the knowledge you need to move forward and fight your charges. Knowing what to expect in the trial process will make it easier for you to build a strong defense after your arrest. 

    Arrested on a Texas State Charge

    If you were arrested on a Texas state charge, then you may be brought to state jail, where you’ll remain until your initial appearance at your arraignment. Your arraignment must occur within 48 hours of when you were arrested. An arraignment is a hearing in front of a Texas magistrate.

    During the arraignment, official charges will be filed against you, a bond will be set for your bail, and you’ll enter a plea, which will usually be not guilty if you hope to fight your charges. You have the right to legal representation during your arraignment, and you can also consult with your attorney before your arraignment.

    During your arraignment, the Texas magistrate will inform you of the following:

    • The charges you’re accused of
    • Your right to legal representation
    • Your right to remain silent
    • Your right to have an attorney present during any interviews with prosecutors
    • Your right to terminate an interview at any time
    • Your right to request an appointed attorney
    • An explanation of the procedures for requesting an appointed attorney
    • Your right to have an examining trial
    • A notice that any statement you make can be used against you

    All felony charges must then go through an indictment where the grand jury determines whether there’s probable cause and sufficient evidence to prosecute the case. If there’s probable cause, then the case proceeds to trial. 

    Arrest on a Federal Charge in Texas

    When arrested on a federal charge in Texas, you’ll be brought directly to a U.S. magistrate judge for your initial appearance. During the initial appearance, you’ll receive a copy of the federal charges filed against you, and the judge will appoint an attorney for you if you don’t have your own. 

    A bail hearing occurs during the initial appearance for federal charges. The magistrate judge determines whether the defendant should be eligible for bail and sets the bond amount. With a strong defense lawyer supporting you, you may be able to get your bail hearing delayed so you can buy time and come up with reasons to grant bail. 

    Reach Out to a Dallas Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

    The main differences in state and federal arrests in Texas are the pretrial procedures. It’s important to have a strong legal team by your side no matter what charges you face. To speak with a Dallas federal criminal defense lawyer from Chris Lewis & Associates P.C., call 214-522-9404 to schedule a free consultation, or visit our website for more information.