How to Choose the Right Criminal Attorney in Plano, TX
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, the first thing you need to do is hire a criminal attorney. The prosecution is already busy building a case against you. You need to find the right attorney to represent you and defend your rights in court. Because no matter how ludicrous the charges seem at first, felonies are nothing to take lightly.
Crimes That Are Felonies in Texas
Felonies are the most serious types of crime you can be charged with. Some of the crimes that are considered felonies in Texas are:
- Indecency with a child
- Statutory rape charges stemming from sexual contact with someone under the legal age of consent
- Sexual assault
- Possessing and/or distributing child pornography
- Certain domestic violence-related charges
- Many drug charges, including manufacturing and possession with intent to deliver
The Penalties for Felony Convictions
Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code sets forth the penalties for felonies, which are classified as either first, second, or third degree. First degree felonies carry the harshest penalties. All felony convictions in Texas come with a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, the prison terms are as follows:
- First Degree Felony: Imprisonment “for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years.”
- Second Degree Felony: Imprisonment of “not more than 20 years or less than 2 years.”
- Third Degree Felony: Prison time of “not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.”
According to Section 12.43 of the Penal Code, repeat felony offenders may face stiffer penalties than those listed above.
Imagine being sent to prison and torn from your loved ones, your job—your entire life. A conviction could mean never being able to work in your field again. Certain sex crimes require lifetime registry on both the state and national sex offender registry. Being a registered sex offender can impact not just where you work, but where you live, places you can go, and who you can have contact with.
So much is riding on a felony conviction. You need to be careful and thorough when you choose the attorney who will represent you.
What Qualities to Look For in a Criminal Attorney
There are a lot of criminal attorneys out there, but not everyone will be the right one to represent you and your case. When you’re facing felony charges, there are certain qualities you want in an attorney.
If you’ve been charged with a felony, you want the best possible outcome for you case. This may mean not accepting the first plea bargain tossed your way. You need an attorney who stays in the game, fighting for an outcome like a reduction in charges, less prison time, or even a dismissal. That might very well mean going to trial.
#2. Experience Handling Your Specific Charges
If you’re facing child pornography or domestic violence-related charges, you want someone who is experienced in those areas. You don’t want a DUI-focused attorney who occasionally picks up these types of cases. In addition, you want someone with significant trial experience, because that is where your case may end up.
Court proceedings are public record and available online. You should ask any prospective attorneys to show you the outcomes of similar cases they’ve handled. It will be clear if the attorney played the long game or if they buckled.
#3. Not Easily Intimidated
You want an attorney who is more concerned with you and your best interests, than they are with the District Attorney. Many criminal lawyers out there are intimidated by the DA. They are often the ones who accept a plea bargain, even when it’s not necessarily in their client’s best interest. You want an attorney who is confident enough to represent you under any circumstances. Your reputation and entire life are at stake.
#4. Google Reviews
Yes, you can trust Google reviews. Google backs the integrity of reviews, and will take down any spam or fake reviews that are posted. And businesses themselves cannot remove posts, only Google can through a careful review process.
Take any reviews that are only posted on an attorney’s website with a grain of salt. A law firm will only post the most glowing reviews, never neutral or negative comments.
About Plano Texas Attorney Kent Starr
Mr. Starr has extensive experience with serious felony charges, including going to trial. His Google reviews speak for themselves. At the end of February 2021, Mr. Starr had almost 200 reviews and a 4.9/5.0 rating. Here is an excerpt from a recent review by client Andres Garcia:
“Mr. Starr was the second attorney I hired for this same case and I wish he would’ve been the first one I called… The reason I used Mr. Starr’s services is because he told me what he would have done from the beginning if he was the other attorney… He did more than rectify things, I ended up getting a better outcome than I anticipated. Just meet with this man and you’ll see why he’s the best at what he does.”
And here is another except, from Janet Cross’s review:
“… He is the attorney you want; distinguished and classy. Not only is he very intelligent, he is also kind, thoughtful, reassuring, and very confident. He makes you feel comfortable, and is very easy to talk to. You do not have to worry at all, because if you reach out and need to talk, or have questions, he responds promptly… Kent Starr will fight for you, and will have your back. I consider him a friend. Feeling in the dark, I went for several attorney consultations, and Kent Starr was by far my first choice. I made the perfect decision by hiring Kent. The final outcome was perfect…”
In addition to being a highly reviewed criminal attorney Mr. Starr is also a bail bondman. He will save you time and money. Just one call gets you out of jail and starts your legal representation. Call (214) 982-1408 for a free consultation or contact us online.
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 12. Punishments
Attorney Kent Starr’s Google Reviews
What Happens If You End Up on the Sex Offenders List in Texas?