The offense I've been accused of is pretty minor and I think I should be fine. Do I still need a lawyer?

It depends what you consider to be "minor," but there's a very good chance that you still need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Most attorneys, including our office, will offer free consultations—so you have nothing to lose by talking to a lawyer to find out how serious your case could actually be.

It's easy to say you're going to represent yourself in court because you know you are innocent or because you think it's going to be quick and pretty cut-and-dried. However, when you actually set foot in that courtroom and your heart starts to pound, your palms get sweaty, and your mind starts to race, you begin to wonder why you thought it was a good idea to do this alone. Remember this: lawyers do this almost every single day. This is their job. Being convicted of a crime is stressful enough—don't put the entire weight of a trial on your own shoulders.

We've met with people who say that if they go to court they will "just" be convicted of a misdemeanor. Yes, a misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have a harsh impact on your life. Misdemeanors can carry fines and jail time; you could lose your license and ruin future job prospects.

Did you know that in Texas, your first DWI conviction can carry many penalties, including a $1,000 per year surcharge that you have to pay for three years? Did you know that some drug cases also carry license suspensions? Or that a conviction for assault of family violence carries federal firearm restrictions?

The point is, don't assume your crime isn't a big deal. An experienced criminal defense attorney on your side will make sure things go smoothly by fighting on your behalf.

If you've been accused of a crime in the Waco area, contact Texas criminal defense attorney Walter Reaves at 254-296-0020‚Äč for a free consultation.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 30 years.