Many of us have preconceptions or vague ideas about the criminal justice system, especially if we have no previous experience with it. We may picture dramatic arrests or tense courtroom conversations, eventually leading to a verdict. When it comes to assault charges in Texas, it’s essential to address the following common misconceptions so that you can better understand what to expect if you’re charged with assault in the Pearland, Brazoria County, or Houston area.
Myth #1: If You’re Not Charged Right Away, You Won’t Face Charges
It’s easy to assume that if the court doesn’t charge you right after the alleged incident, you won’t ever face criminal charges. However, misdemeanor offenses in Texas can be pursued within two years of the incident, meaning that months could go by before you face charges. If Texas prosecutors decide to bring felony assault charges against you, they have three years in which to do so. Sometimes, law enforcement will place you under arrest, release you, and later formally charge you.
Myth #2: The Alleged Victim Can Drop the Charges Against You
While the alleged victim serves as a valuable asset to the prosecution, determining whether to proceed with criminal charges rests in the hands of Texas prosecutors. Even if the victim wants to drop the charges or withdraw their testimony, prosecutors have the final say in the course of the proceedings. Victims can file an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution stating why the prosecution should not proceed, but the decision to move forward with the case is ultimately up to the prosecutors themselves.
Myth #3: Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Makes You Look Guilty
If you’ve been wrongfully accused of an assaultive offense, you may assume that hiring a criminal defense attorney signals that you’re guilty. However, all accused individuals have the right to an attorney—and it’s within their best interest to do so as quickly as possible. Your attorney has a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and can assess the specifics of your case to determine the most strategic path forward. Don’t leave your future in uncertain hands—enlist the guidance of a trusted criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights remain protected.
If you are facing assault charges in the Pearland or surrounding areas, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.