Law Office of

Evan Pierce-Jones
 
125 South Washington Street, San Angelo, Texas 76901
Telephone 325.486.1660

Criminal Law

   Evan Pierce-Jones -
   a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer....


   Evan Pierce-Jones has been an attorney since 1978, and has been board certified in criminal law by
   the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
since 1998.  Texas lawyers must have substantial
   experience in criminal law, including both jury trials and appeals, before they can qualify to take the
   certification 
examination.  That exam is six hours long, and is in addition to the bar exam.  Evan has
   handled jury trials for people accused of crimes ranging from DWI to sexual assault to murder, and has  
   been trying criminal cases since 1987.  For more information on what it means to be a board certified 
   Texas lawyer, visit the Texas Board of Legal Specialization website at
http://www.tbls.org/.


RIGHTS OF THE DEFENDANT or "FIRST, STOP TALKING!"...

The right to remain silent. 
The accused has a right to refuse to sign, say, or do anything that would tend to be incriminating.  There are a very few exceptions, so it is always a good idea to exercise the next right, too.

The right to an attorney. 
The accused has a right to consult with an attorney prior to and during any questioning by law enforcement.

The right to an appointed attorney if the defendant cannot afford to hire a lawyer. 
If you are charged with a crime and ask for a lawyer but cannot afford to hire one, an attorney will be appointed to assist you prior to and during any questioning.
  
  
REPRESENTATION FOR...

  
A complete list of all Texas and Federal crimes would go on for many, many pages.  Evan Pierce-Jones is available to defend you no matter what you are charged with in a Texas or Federal court. For example:

      • DWI
      • Possession of Marijuana or Controlled Substances (methamphetamine, cocaine, etc.)
      • Interstate Transportation of Marijuana or Controlled Substances
      • Assaults (simple assault, aggravated assault, etc.)
      • Family Violence / Domestic Assault
      • Forgery, Counterfeiting, and Similar Offenses
      • Homicide
      • Sex Offenses
      • Indecency with Children
      • Child Abuse Crimes
      • Possession, Sale, and Distribution of Child Pornography
      • Computer and Internet Crimes
      • Improper Photography
      • Embezzling
      • Bank Fraud
      • White Collar Crime
      • Appeals in Texas Courts
      • Federal "2255" Actions
      • Probation Revocation Cases
      • Parole Revocation Cases

  
  
SERVICES AVAILABLE INCLUDE...

      • Grand Jury Representation
      • Investigations
      • Jail Release and Bond Reduction Motions
      • Federal Pre-Trial Detention Hearings
      • Trials
      • Appeals (Even if Evan Pierce-Jones was not your trial lawyer)
      • Negotiations
      • Petitions for Expunction
      • Applications for Order of Non-Disclosure under Texas law
      • Applications for Occupational Driver's License
      • Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearings
      • Extradition Hearings

  
WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH A CRIME...


At the Law Office of Evan Pierce-Jones, the goal in any criminal case is to have it dropped, and if that is not possible, to secure the least possible punishment for the client.

If you know that you are being investigated for a crime, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.  Before a charge has been filed, a criminal defense attorney can work to convince the prosecutor that the case should be rejected or that a less serious charge is more appropriate.  When you have been charged, you should expect a warrant to be issued for your arrest. 
If you are not already in jail, you will be subject to arrest wherever law enforcement finds you...even at home or at work.  The best chance you have to avoid the embarrassment that comes with being arrested by surprise is to contact a criminal defense lawyer to arrange for you to surrender yourself.

In Texas courts, your criminal defense attorney can assist you in making arrangements for release on bond.  In federal court, shortly after you are taken into custody, the district judge or a magistrate will hold a "detention hearing".  While the federal system favors pre-trial release, that release is subject to conditions that often include reporting to a supervision officer who may visit you at your home and elsewhere.  However, with some federal crimes there is a presumption that the defendant is a flight risk and a risk to the community.  A criminal defense lawyer can present you in the best light, which may result in less burdensome conditions of release, or release in your case even in the face of a serious charge.

When a person is charged with a crime, there are only a few ways the case can end.  If there is a trial and the defendant is found not guilty, the case is over, and the defendant cannot be tried again for that charge.  If the defendant is convicted, a sentence of jail or prison, or a fine, or both, will be imposed, depending on the nature of the offense.  In many cases, part or all of the sentence may be suspended - in other words, a defendant in many cases may be able to get probation.

In a very few cases, the charges end up being dismissed.



CRIMINAL APPEALS...

If you have been convicted of a crime after a contested trial, you can usually appeal your case.  There are some exceptions to the right to appeal.  For example, if you plead guilty in a Texas court and get the punishment you agreed to, you rarely have a right to appeal.

Appellate law is very technical and involves complicated rules and short time deadlines.  If you are thinking about an appeal, you should always discuss it with a lawyer as soon as you are convicted, and even if you are convicted after a plea of guilty or no contest.  And, in Texas cases, you should talk to a lawyer about your desire to appeal even if you got deferred adjudication.

Whether your case is a Texas state case or a Federal case, time is of the essence, and you should not delay talking to a lawyer if you think you want to appeal.



TEXAS DWI CASES...

If you are stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Texas, expect to be asked to submit to "field sobriety tests". These tests include things like standing on one foot and walking a straight line heel to toe, and the classic "pen test", more properly called a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test.  The purpose of these tests is to help the officer decide if you have lost the normal use of your mental and physical faculties.  You can also expect to be asked to submit to the taking of a sample of your blood, breath, or urine for testing for alcohol. 

IMPORTANT information about ALR Driver's License Suspensions:  If you refuse to submit to the taking of a sample for testing, or if you submit and the testing shows you had an alcohol level over the legal limit (0.08 in Texas), your driver's license will be suspended.  The officer will give you a yellow paper telling you that your license has been suspended, and that you have 15 calendar days to appeal that suspension.  This is a real deadline with real consequences.  If you do not appeal before the deadline, you are stuck with the suspension.  And, this is a separate suspension from any the court may give you if you are convicted of DWI.  The best course of action is to contact an attorney to advise you about appealing an ALR suspension, and to being early on to prepare your defense to DWI. 

In Texas, a first offense DWI case carries a penalty upon conviction of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2000.00.  After you have one conviction, a Texas DWI is still a misdemeanor, but the penalty is increased to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.00.  And, another DWI charge after two convictions, is a felony in Texas, with a penalty range of from 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10.000.00.

DWI defense demands an understanding of both the law and of the field sobriety testing and alcohol breath test devices often involved.

If you are convicted, your Texas driver's license is also subject to extra fees totaling thousands of dollars over three years.

For all these reasons, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are charged with DWI.



TEXAS DOMESTIC ASSAULT CASES...

First offense assault on a family or household member in Texas is a class "A" misdemeanor, and carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.00.  The second offense is a felony and carries a penalty of from 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00.  And, prosecutors more and more do not hesitate to charge felony domestic violence cases when they can.

If you are accused of assaulting a member of your family or household, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.



TEXAS SEX OFFENSE CASES...

Sex offenses include a broad range of acts, from using a prostitute to date rape to violent sexual assault of a child.  The penalties for sexual offenses can be profoundly life changing.  For example, even a probation without a finding of guilt (deferred adjudication) for a charge of sexual assault of a child carries with it lifetime registration as a sex offender under Texas law.

If you or a loved one are charged with a sex offense, it is important to seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer immediately.  Evan Pierce-Jones has both prosecuted and defended sex offense cases.  He has experience with the sort of issues that can come up regarding false accusations, sexual assault nurse examinations, and interviewing of child victims.



FEDERAL PROSECUTION EVEN AFTER TEXAS PROSECUTION...
  
Even if you have been prosecuted by state authorities, you may still be prosecuted by the federal government.  While this may at first glance appear to be a violation of the prohibition on "double jeopardy" found in the United States Constitution, it is not.  This is because each government, state and federal, is permitted the chance to prosecute conduct that violates its laws.  However, not every case that could be prosecuted both by both the state and federal government is.  Because of this risk, it is always a good idea to speak with a criminal defense lawyer about whether the crime you are accused of puts you at risk of being prosecuted by both the state and federal authorities.


FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES...
  
As with Texas law, each federal crime carries a range of possible punishment.  For most offenses this is a range of time in prison, and a range of possible fines.  However, unlike Texas courts, the full range of punishment for a crime is not truly in play in a federal prosecution.  This is because the federal criminal courts operate under a set of sentencing guidelines mandated by Congress and issued by the United States Sentencing Commission.  Calculating where any particular defendant falls within the statutory range of punishment for an offense is a complicated process taking into account factors such as the defendant's criminal history, the seriousness of the offense, and when and if the defendant takes full responsibility his or her actions.  If you are being prosecuted for a federal crime, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney about you the realities of your case under the federal sentencing guidelines. 


THERE IS MORE TO CRIMINAL LAW THAN ON THIS WEBSITE...


There is far more to criminal law and all its technicalities than on this website.  If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, the best thing to do is to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney without delay.  If you have been asked to come down to the police station to "talk", or to submit to questioning by any law enforcement agency, the best thing to do is to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer.  Remember, don't guess about your rights.



IMPORTANT NOTE: 
The information given on this website is for informational purposes only and is not to be taken or construed as legal advice on any legal matter whatsoever.  For answers to your legal questions, contact an attorney.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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