When you are arrested on suspicion of a crime in Texas, it does not necessarily mean you did anything wrong. It is also important to remember that you have certain rights. These include the right to stay silent and not to say anything that will incriminate you, and the right to the assistance of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.
Following your arrest, you will be scheduled for a court hearing called an “arraignment.” During the arraignment, you will appear before a judge. The judge will tell you what criminal charge or charges you face. He or she will also inform you of your rights, which include:
- The right to hire an attorney to defend you, or to have one appointed if you cannot afford to hire an attorney of your choice;
- The right to remain silent, and to be informed of the fact that if you decide to talk to police or prosecutors, anything you say can be used against you in court;
- The right to have your attorney present to help you if you decide to talk;
- The right to stop the discussion at any time, if you decide to talk but change your mind; and
- The right to an “examining trial,” or a hearing to establish probable cause for your arrest.
Neither an arrest nor an arraignment proves that you did anything wrong. Hiring an attorney does not prove you did anything wrong either. On the contrary, working with an attorney protects your legal rights and helps you ensure that your side of the story is told, so that you can fight for the best possible outcome in your case.