Articulate and comprehensive legal defenses for the citizens accused of crimes and licensed professionals throughout Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Robert Hinton looks forward to the opportunity to defend you in federal court, state court, or before your profession's disciplinary committees. Use these frequently asked questions to get a head start on your first consultation.

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What are my state court rights?

  • You have the right to remain silent, to refuse to answer questions without the presence of your attorney. Protect this most important state court right by avoiding conversations about the facts of your case except your attorney.
  • If you face a felony charge, you are entitled to have your case reviewed by a grand jury that determines whether there is enough evidence to indict you. If the grand jury does allow the state to indict, you have a right to an "examination trial" during which a judge determines whether probable cause sustains a reason to try you for a crime.
  • You have the right to representation by attorney. If you cannot afford to pay an attorney, the court is responsible for appointing one to represent you.
  • You have a right to require the state to prove any charge against you "beyond a reasonable doubt." This requires the prosecution to show a jury that there is no room in its case against you for any incomplete evidence.
  • You have the right to a jury trial—
    • Misdemeanor jury—six persons
    • Felony jury—twelve persons
The jury hears the evidence against you and your defense lawyer's case for your defense. They decide your guilt or innocence based on evidence presented for and against you.
  • You have the right to testify on your behalf at a jury trial. You also have the right to refuse to testify. And your refusal to testify cannot be used as evidence against you.
  • You have the right to subpoena any witness to appear in court to testify on your behalf.
  • You have a right to cross-examination. Your lawyer can question any statement made by any witness against you.
  • Should you be found guilty or plead guilty, you have the right to appeal your case. And if you cannot afford to pay a lawyer to represent you during your appeal, the court is responsible for appointing one to represent you.

A state court has offered me a plea bargain. What should I do?

It is impossible to provide a general answer to this question, although most cases are generally resolved through a plea bargain. In deciding whether to accept the plea bargain, the two most important things are to make sure you understand all the consequences of the plea bargain and to make sure you have confidence that your lawyer serves your best interests.

Each case is unique. Never assess a plea bargain without legal counsel. Consider these conditions—

  • What are you admitting guilt for?
  • What is the specific sentence for your plea bargain agreement?
  • What parole guidelines come with the sentence?
  • What provisions for good behavior in jail come with the agreement?
  • What provisions are offered if this is your first jail sentence?
  • Does the agreement require you to attend counseling, community service, submit to drug tests, wear monitoring devices, or register as a sex offender?
  • If you are considering a plea bargain, ask every question you have and make sure that your attorney asks even more.

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What are my federal court rights?

  • You have the right to remain silent, to refuse to answer questions without the presence of your attorney. Protect this most important state court right by avoiding conversations about the facts of your case except your attorney.
  • If you face a felony charge, you are entitled to have your case reviewed by a grand jury that determines whether there is enough evidence to indict you. If the grand jury does allow the state to indict, you have a right to an "examination trial" during which a magistrate determines whether probable cause sustains a reason to try you for a crime.
  • You have the right to representation by attorney. If you cannot afford to pay an attorney, the court is responsible for appointing one to represent you.
  • If the government plans to jail you until your trial, you have a right to a detention hearing.
  • You have the right of discovery; the right to see any of the government's evidence against you.
  • You have a right to require the state to prove any charge against you "beyond a reasonable doubt." This requires the prosecution to show a jury that there is no room in their case against you for any incomplete evidence.
  • You have the right to a jury trial, a speedy trial. In federal court, juries decide guilt or innocence, not sentencing.
  • You have the right to testify on your behalf at a jury trial. You also have the right to refuse to testify. And your refusal to testify cannot be used as evidence against you.
  • You have the right to subpoena any witness to appear in court to testify on your behalf.
  • You have a right to cross-examination. Your lawyer can question any statement made by any witness against you.
  • Should you be found guilty or plead guilty, you have the right to appeal your case. And if you cannot afford to pay a lawyer to represent you during your appeal, the court is responsible for appointing one to represent you.

I have been convicted of a crime. What happens to my professional license?

Most professional licenses are governed by the Texas Occupations Code's Chapter 53. However, some agencies fall outside the jurisdiction of Chapter 53. Physicians, dentists, and pharmacists work under specific rules for their professions. And some agencies are stricter than others even when they apply laws common to other agencies.

The specific facts associated with your situation may influence your professional board's ruling. Convictions call for mandatory suspensions in most cases unless your attorney can show that your continued services serve the best interests of your community. Your most important action is to secure the representation of an attorney with experience in professional disciplinary proceedings.

What is the law of the internet?

Unlike the state and unlike the United States, the internet crosses all civil borders all over the world. So, no single authority can make laws or enforce laws that could be made to govern the internet. However, the federal government and some state governments have enacted statutes that define and regulate illegal transactions and interactions carried out by people within national and state borders. Though a simple rule of thumb can serve as a general guide—what is illegal in the real world is probably illegal on the internet—you can only know with certainty when you have the legal counsel of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with the internet's legalities.

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