A Criminal Defense Lawyer with the Reputation and Experience You Need
A criminal record can prevent you from getting the job you want, getting a loan, earning a professional license or certification, owning a gun, holding public office, or even working with children. In Texas, criminal convictions can impact an entire lifetime of opportunities.
You need a lawyer who knows how the prosecution works.
Fort Worth criminal attorney, Brandon Fulgham is not just a defense lawyer, he comes with the unique perspective of having served as a Texas prosecutor in Tarrant and Collin Counties. So Brandon knows the strategies and tactics the prosecution will likely use to attempt to get your conviction.
Brandon has won the respect of many peers through hard work as a grand jury prosecutor, misdemeanor prosecutor, and misdemeanor court chief prosecutor (Collin County). Brandon tried over 75 jury trials in district and county courts while working for Tarrant and Collin Counties District Attorney’s offices. Brandon defends clients aggressively, backed by years of hard earned experience that sets him apart as a formidable opponent.
What Do I do if I’ve Been Arrested?
If you’ve been arrested or anticipate that you will be, realize first and foremost that talking to the police is not likely going to help your case. You will have to answer to questions of your identity and address to avoid further charges. However, there is a reason that you are given the right to remain silent. If possible, speak with a defense attorney before answering further questions.
Police know how to bend the rules to obtain evidence against you. Without an attorney, you could easily make a seemingly innocent remark that ruins your chances of avoiding conviction.
The best advice? Stay calm and only speak to your attorney. Brandon Fulgham will competently defend your rights and make sure the police do not harm your chances of getting through this as best as possible.
How do Bail and Bonds Work?
When you are arrested, you’ll be put in jail and later have bail set by a judge. Bail allows you to leave jail while you await your trial. A bond is a guarantee that bail will be paid. There are cash bonds and surety bonds. A cash bond usually involves paying a full amount of bail to the court which will hold those funds until your case is over and assuming you cooperate with the court, will be refunded after. A surety bond involves a third party bondsman who will assume the risk of your bail amount. A bondsman will require you to pay a percentage of the bond amount and will require you to stay in close contact. If you fail to appear in court on your trial date, a bondsman has the right to hire a bounty hunter to pursue you. They can also sue you for the amount paid to the court for bail.
How Does Criminal Prosecution Work?
- An Investigation
If police believe you have committed a criminal offense, they will collect evidence and document witness statements sufficient to get a judge to issue a warrant for your arrest. After being booked in jail, you’ll be taken before a judge and you’ll enter your plea (guilty or not guilty). The bond amount set by the judge will be decided based on how severe the charges are and what the facts surrounding your case come into play.
- A Preliminary Hearing
In a preliminary hearing, a prosecutor will submit that evidence shows you should face trail. There will be procedures to obtain evidence. At this point we will be in a position to help you decide if you should fight your charges in front of a jury at trial or if you should enter into a plea bargain. In either case, we’ll make sure that you totally understand the consequences and potential upside and downside of each decision.
- Trial Date or Grand Jury Indictment
If there is no plea bargain then a date for trail will be set and if a serious felony is faced, a jury will be called to determine if evidence warrants a trail.
All criminal cases involve a jury in Texas. In misdemeanor cases there are 6 jurors. Felony trials involve 12 jurors. To be found guilty, the jury must unanimously decide on the verdict “beyond reasonable doubt” of innocence.
What are the Punishments for Misdemeanor Charges in Texas?
Texas has three classes of misdemeanor offenses labeled A, B, and C.
Misdemeanors of Class A have a max penalty of one year in prison and $4,000 in fines. Class A is the most serious misdemeanor. Class B will carry no more than a six-month prison term and no more than $2,000 in fines. Class C carry a fine of no more than $500
What are the Punishments for Felony Charges in Texas?
There are five degrees of felony in Texas. Capitol felonies are the most serious and offer no allowance for parole and will result in life in prison or death penalty. Here are the non-capitol categories of felony and their prison terms:
- 1st Degree: 5-99 years
- 2nd Degree: 2-20 years
- 3rd Degree: 2-10 years
- State Jail: 180 days – 2 years
No matter how serious or minimal the charges you are facing, Brandon Fulgham is armed with the experience to defend you regardless how aggressive the prosecution.
What is the Difference Between a Court Appointed Attorney and a Retained Criminal Attorney?
If you cannot pay for a lawyer, the court will assign an attorney for you. Contrary to popular belief, a court appointed lawyer (public defender) is not necessarily free. Often, a judge will require you to make payments to the county to help pay for the court appointed attorney. Taking this into account, hiring a private defense attorney makes sense for most people. Often a payment schedule can be arranged for your private attorney’s fees as well.
Preparing an effective defense takes a great deal of time, strategy, and preparation. Privately retained attorneys can simply provide more resources and attention to developing the best defense possible. Additionally, public defenders typically do not have the same level of experience as private defense attorneys such as Brandon.
The difference between a public defender and private defense from someone with the track record that Brandon Fulgham has earned is notable. Why not call Brandon to discuss your options and next steps? The call is free and in the very least, you’ll come away from it with confidence in your best next steps.
ABOUT BRANDON FULGHAM
After attending college at Texas Christian University, I attended South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas (US News and World Reports frequently ranks it as a top 10 school in the specialty of teaching trial advocacy skills). While in law school, I interned at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, as well as at the First Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas. Once out of law school, I began my legal career at the District Attorney’s Office in Collin County. After approximately a year and a half, I moved to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in Fort Worth, Texas. In Tarrant County, I was a felony prosecutor and tried over 75 cases to a jury in both County and District Courts. I have also tried numerous cases to a judge, and presented hundreds of cases to the grand jury.