Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Dear JACUSTOMER - Obviously I cannot tell you why someone else is doing what they are doing unless I ask them. What I don't understand is why you are trying to do this on your own without an attorney? You are entitled to counsel and if you cannot afford an attorney the court will appoint one.
I strongly advise anyone who has been arrested to keep quiet and get an attorney. Everything you say can and will be used against you and nothing you say will help you. I would not talk to the DA or the police or anyone else until you get counsel. Every defense lawyer in America will tell you the same thing and you cannot force the police to do anything at this point. If there are irregularities in the procedure followed then an attorney can object and make certain all of your rights are protected.
Obviously you can plead not guilty if the charges are bogus but you cannot get a "no bill" from a grand jury since you can't present any evidence to a grand jury. Only the DA can present evidence and the more you talk to the DA the more evidence he or she will have. So I urge you to stop trying to get information from the DA or the police and to get an attorney asap.You will be entitled to all discovery at some point in the process.
I was only trying to offer the best advice I could. I have no way of knowing the status of your case from here and many times the charges have not even been prepared or accepted by the DA at the time of the arrest so it is impossible for me to tell you how to force the police or DA to give you anything. Really the best policy is to simply wait, keep your mouth shut and see if you are actually indicted or ask to appear in court. Obviously you can retain an attorney now but I also understand you don't want to waste your money. Nothing you do now will change the facts of the case and, as I said above, anything you say can only hurt you.
If you are actually indicted then you can get an attorney or ask the court to appoint one. At this point the court will not appoint counsel if you are not under arrest or have not been required to appear in court. If all the rules have not been followed with respect to your charges it can only work in your favor when the time comes to enter a plea and fight the case.
None that I know of until after formal charges or an indictment has been issued. Then there is a right to discovery. Many small communities do not post everything on line as do large communities. Even if there were a law you would have to file a complicated legal writ of mandamus to force the DA to do anything so it really won't matter since he will probably have taken the case to the grand jury long before you would get a court date. The reason I suggested getting a lawyer was because a lawyer would probably have some relationship with the DA and the DA may talk to the lawyer informally about the case whereas he can "stonewall" you and there's just nothing you can do.
I know in my experience in criminal law I have been able to call up the prosecutor or DA and simply ask about a case and see if there is something that can be worked out etc. When trying to act on a pro se basis the DA is going to ignore a defendant knowing the defendant has no recourse. Acting pro se is fairly common in civil cases but in criminal matters, especially felonies, everyone is represented by counsel so the DA simply ignores anything from the defendant personally.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?Are you saying it has been 6 months since you were arrested or that you think it will take that long to go to a grand jury?
When you were arrested did anyone tell you why you were being arrested?
Was there an arrest warrant and were you given a copy?
No problem. Just remember that the absolute worst thing you can do is to talk to the police or the DA. They just love to get you talking and hope you will slip up and say something against your interest so be very careful, especially considering the type of people you have indicated they are.
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The law is that you have a right to discovery in any case where charges have been filed. The fact that you were arrested does not mean charges have been filed since people are mistakenly arrest all the time. Therefore there is no right to discovery until there are charges filed. You obviously know why you were arrested and I presume you know some of the false allegations that have been made against you which is essentially all that would be on an arrest warrant.
As a criminal defense attorney that would be all I would need to know at this point and frankly what I would tell you is exactly what I said above. Keep quiet and wait to see what happens. Even an attorney, while he or she may be able to talk to the prosecutor, cannot actually do much until charges are filed unless the DA wants to offer a plea bargain. Since you have said the charges are bogus I have assumed you do not want to consider pleading to anything.
Therefore, unless there is an indictment there's nothing you can do. The DA could very well decline to pursue the case.
The defense DOES NOT present evidence at a grand jury session, only the DA. If a "no bill" is rendered it is by the grand jury because the DA didn't present sufficient evidence of probable cause and not because the defense attorney did anything. The defense attorney is not even permitted to enter the grand jury hearing so your information is incorrect and that may be the problem in all of this. You are assuming things that aren't true, either from information you have received from non attorneys or TV or simply misunderstanding the system.
You should NEVER testify before a grand jury or try to present any evidence. It is simply a hearing to determine whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that you committed it. It is not a finding of guilt or innocence and is only a matter of finding probable cause.
I have really spent a lot of time on this and I just can't keep going around in circles with the same information. You can contact the Bar Association for an attorney and if you think you know the grand jury system in TX that's fine but testifying to a grand jury is something no lawyer would advise you to do. Of course there are persons accused of murder that get "no bills" but not because they present any evidence.
I tried to offer the best information I could based on my nearly 30 years experience but if you want to take a different approach that is your choice. Representing yourself in any criminal court action is very risky business, especially when the court will appoint free attorneys.
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