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Attorney and DefendantThis is the second post to our blog series on Handling Criminal Cases Involving Marijuana Charges in Houston, Texas. Our first post functions as a general overview of topics discussed in this Texas marijuana law blog. In this post, we focus on what to expect at your first court appearance for possession of marijuana charges in our courts.

How marijuana charges are handled in Houston Courts will vary depending on the cirumstances

The facts of each marijuana charge are different, each defendant’s criminal background is different, and each Harris County Judge employs different court processes and procedures when handling pot-related charges on their docket. Because of these differences, the course of each case differs, from arrest to final judgment.

For example, some people charged with possession of marijuana may have been given a high bond amount and need a bond reduction hearing, whereas other defendants were given a personal bond and just need to show up for court. Some people facing marijuana charges might have outstanding warrants and could be re-arrested at their first appearance, whereas other defendants have no criminal background. Lastly, some Judges give resets to those who have not yet hired an attorney, whereas other Judges will try to trick unrepresented defendants into giving a plea.

Because of all these variables, it would be hard for an untrained person to know what to expect during a first appearance on a possession charge.  Contact a Houston criminal defense lawyer today. We will review the facts of your case in an effort to help you more effectively understand what to expect from your marijuana charge free of cost.

Deciding whether you should hire a private criminal defense attorney or be represented by private counsel when you are facing drug charges in Houston, Texas

Court appointed attorneys are assigned only to those who are indigent. Therefore, a Court will appoint you an attorney only if it deems you cannot afford to pay for your own. Also, court appointed attorneys tend to have high case loads and tend to have less paralegal assistance to counter the prosecution than those in private practice. And, unfortunately, some court appointed attorneys might not be the most dedicated to their client’s interests. Ultimately, with a court appointed attorney, you will not know the level of dedication you are getting because you do not choose your court appointed attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never plead guilty at your first appearance without first seeking counsel. You are not required to, and may not know the legal consequences of such a plea. Because you have the constitutional right against self-incrimination and to have a lawyer present, you are allowed to assert a plea of not guilty or stand silent. Consult a lawyer prior to pleading any crime.

For more information on Handling Criminal Cases Involving Marijuana Charges in Houston, continue reading my Texas marijuana law blog. Stay tuned for my next post: Options for Handling Possession of Marijuana Charges.