What To Do When your Client is Charged As An Accomplice
How should a lawyer proceed if the client is charged as an accomplice or party under Texas law? First and foremost the criminal attorney must discover all the facts surrounding the offense. As soon as possible there should be a frank discussion with the client regarding their knowledge of what they know about the facts and the other defendants charged.
As quickly as possible the criminal lawyer must determine what the evidence the authorizes have against the client. Some times a criminal attorney can obtain a copy of a police report from the District Attorney’s Office. Each office has a different policy on how early this information can be released. A criminal lawyer can also obtain early discovery by requesting an Examining trial.
Another way to obtain quick information is by contacting the other lawyers who are representing the other parties charged with the crime. Criminal attorney’s often share information they have learned with out violating their own privileged communications with their prospective clients.
At the same time the prosecution is making decisions on how to proceed in their case. If the prosecution has a weak case against the primary defendant then the prosecutor may reach out try use as accomplice as a witness for the prosecution. This always involves plea bargaining and each case is treated differently according to the facts. In some cases the State grants immunity for the testimony of an accomplice. In all cases there is some kind of plea bargain. The accomplice testifies in exchange for more favourable terms in a plea bargain.
In other cases the prosecution may not need testimony from an accomplice. In these cases the State often proceeds first against the primary defendant. Often times there is no real plea bargaining on accomplices cases until after the primary defendant’s case is disposed of.
Finally the prosecution may want to try a primary defendant with all accomplices together. There are different trial strategies employed in these scenarios depending on the facts of each case. In some cases the defendants’ all work in a unified front. In other cases a criminal lawyer can actually defend his client while pointing blame at co-defendants.
If you find your self charged as an accomplice as an accomplice in Texas meet with an experience criminal attorney as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer can advise you as to what your constitutional rights are and how to proceed in the criminal case.