Criminal Defense

Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys

Aggressive Defense for All Types of Criminal Charges

If you have been accused and/or arrested for criminal charges in Fort Worth, Texas, you could face a criminal conviction that might include probation, restitution fines, and, in some criminal cases, jail time. To protect yourself from these potential consequences, it is critical you consult with a criminal defense attorney you can trust. 

At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to providing unwavering support and effective legal representation to individuals facing criminal charges. We understand the complexities of the Texas legal system and are committed to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. 

With a relentless pursuit of justice and a compassionate approach, we are here to guide you through every step of the legal process, fighting vigorously to safeguard your freedom and future.

We aggressively defend clients accused of a variety of crimes, including:

  • Assault: Assault involves intentionally causing harm or injury to another person or threatening to do so. It can be categorized as either simple assault, which typically involves minor injuries or threats, or aggravated assault, which involves more severe harm or the use of a weapon.
  • Drug Offenses: Drug offenses involve the illegal possession, distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking of controlled substances such as narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, or prescription drugs. These offenses can range from simple possession to more serious charges related to drug trafficking or manufacturing.
  • Domestic Violence: Domestic violence refers to abusive behavior, whether physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual, perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It can include actions such as physical assault, threats, intimidation, stalking, or coercion within a domestic or familial relationship.
  • DWI: DWI, also known as DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or OUI (Operating Under the Influence), involves operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is considered a serious offense due to the potential risks posed to the driver, passengers, and other road users.
  • Theft: Theft involves unlawfully taking or depriving someone else of their property without permission or consent. This can include various forms of stealing, such as shoplifting, burglary, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, or identity theft.
  • Juvenile Crimes: Juvenile crimes are offenses committed by individuals who are minors (typically under the age of 18). These offenses can range from minor offenses such as truancy or vandalism to more serious crimes such as theft, drug offenses, assault, or even homicide.
  • Weapons Offenses: Weapons offenses involve the unlawful possession, use, or trafficking of firearms or other dangerous weapons. This can include illegally carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, or using a weapon during the commission of another crime.

Call (817) 497-8148 or get in touch with us online today to discuss your legal options.

Texas Criminal Laws

In Texas, crimes are categorized into two main classes: misdemeanors and felonies, each with their own subclasses and associated penalties. The classification of a crime and the severity of the penalties depend on the nature of the offense and other factors, such as prior criminal history.

Misdemeanors are less serious offenses compared to felonies. However, a conviction can still result in serious penalties, including a jail sentence, fines worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, and other harsh consequences.

Misdemeanors in Texas are generally divided into three classes:

  • Class C Misdemeanor: Punishable by a fine of up to $500, no jail time. Common examples include minor traffic violations, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct:
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Carries up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Common examples include first-time DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), and theft of property valued between $100 and $750.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Common examples include assault causing bodily injury, and theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500.

Felonies are more serious crimes. A conviction can result in a state prison sentence, rather than time spent in county jail. Additionally, prison terms can last longer than a year, unlike misdemeanors.

Felonies are categorized into the following classes:

  • State Jail Felony: Carries 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and a fine of up to $10,000. Common examples include forgery, credit card abuse, and possession of a small amount of a controlled substance.
  • Third-Degree Felony: Punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Common examples include indecent exposure to a child, third offense DWI, and theft of property valued between $30,000 and $150,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: Carries 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Common examples include aggravated assault, robbery, sexual assault, and arson.
  • First-Degree Felony: Punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Common examples include aggravated sexual assault, first-degree murder, and large-scale drug trafficking.
  • Capital Felony: Carries life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. A common example includes capital murder with certain aggravating factors.

Common Types of Criminal Penalties Upon Conviction

In Texas, criminal penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, and other factors. Common types of criminal penalties associated with a conviction in Texas include:

  • Jail or Prison Time: For more serious offenses, defendants may be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison. Jail sentences typically apply to misdemeanors, while prison sentences are imposed for felonies. The length of the sentence can vary widely depending on the offense, with some offenses carrying mandatory minimum sentences.
  • Fines: Defendants may be required to pay fines as part of their punishment. The amount of the fine can vary widely depending on the offense and may range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
  • Probation: In some cases, particularly for less serious offenses or first-time offenders, a court may impose probation instead of jail time. Probation typically involves certain conditions that the defendant must meet, such as regularly reporting to a probation officer, attending counseling or treatment programs, and refraining from criminal activity during the probationary period.
  • Community Service: Courts may require defendants to perform community service as part of their sentence. Community service involves performing unpaid work for the benefit of the community, such as cleaning up parks, working in soup kitchens, or performing other types of public service.
  • Restitution: In cases where the victim suffered financial losses as a result of the defendant's actions, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to compensate the victim for those losses. Restitution can include reimbursing the victim for medical expenses, property damage, or other costs incurred as a result of the crime.
  • Driver's License Suspension: For certain offenses, such as DWI or drug offenses involving motor vehicles, the court may suspend the defendant's driver's license as part of the punishment. This can result in significant inconvenience and hardship for the defendant, particularly if they rely on their vehicle for work or other essential activities.
  • Loss of Civil Rights: In addition to criminal penalties, a conviction in Texas can also result in the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote, the right to own firearms, and the right to hold public office. These collateral consequences can have long-lasting effects on the defendant's life even after they have completed their sentence.

The Impact of a Criminal Accusation in Texas

Being accused of a crime can have significant short-term and long-term impacts on various aspects of an individual's life, whether the allegations are true or not. These consequences can extend beyond the immediate legal proceedings and have far-reaching effects on personal, professional, and social spheres. 

Short-term Impact:

  • Emotional distress: Being accused of a crime can cause immense stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil. The fear of potential consequences, uncertainty about the outcome, and social stigma associated with the accusation can take a toll on an individual's mental well-being.
  • Damage to reputation: Even before a case reaches a resolution, the mere accusation can tarnish a person's reputation. The news of the accusation may spread among acquaintances, friends, family, and colleagues, potentially leading to strained relationships and social isolation.
  • Financial burden: Defending against criminal charges often comes with a significant financial burden. Legal fees, court costs, and potential loss of income due to missed work or job loss can create immediate financial strain.

Long-term Impact:

  • Criminal record: If convicted, a criminal record can have long-lasting consequences. It can affect employment prospects, professional licenses, housing opportunities, educational opportunities, and even the ability to travel freely. The impact on future opportunities may persist for years or even a lifetime.
  • Reputational damage: Even if an individual is acquitted or the charges are dropped, the shadow of the accusation can linger. The stigma associated with being accused of a crime may continue to affect personal and professional relationships, limiting opportunities and creating barriers to rebuilding one's reputation.
  • Emotional and psychological effects: The experience of being accused of a crime can have long-term emotional and psychological effects. It may lead to feelings of mistrust, anxiety, and a sense of injustice. Coping with the aftermath and rebuilding confidence and emotional well-being can be a challenging process.

It is essential for individuals facing criminal accusations to seek the guidance and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our firm can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and work towards minimizing the short-term and long-term impacts of the accusations you face.

What to Do After Being Accused of a Crime in Texas

The actions you take after you are accused of a crime are crucial to the outcome of your criminal case in Fort Worth. Here are some steps to consider after being accused of criminal charges in the state of Texas: 

  • Know Your Rights. If you have been accused of criminal charges, you may have to deal with the police. Police officers might come to search your house and arrest you. In the event this happens, remember your right to a criminal defense attorney . The best step to take after being arrested is to remain quiet as anything you say could be used against you in your criminal proceeding.
  • Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas. Find an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth who has worked on cases like yours and will fight to protect you. Once that relationship has been established, work with your defense lawyer to build a criminal defense strategy. Be truthful with your Fort Worth defense lawyer and do your best to be patient as you work through your criminal defense strategy with him/her.
  • Determine Your Best Options. Depending on the severity of the crime, criminal defense cases can be resolved within months, or, if a felony trial occurs, over a year. As such, it is important to speak with your lawyer to determine your best course of action after being accused of a crime. In many instances, a defense lawyer can fight for a plea bargain to reduce your sentence.

If you were falsely accused of a crime, our defense lawyer in Fort Worth will help you build a criminal case and determine what actions are in your best interest as you move forward.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can offer several significant benefits if you're facing criminal charges. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Legal Expertise and Experience: Criminal defense attorneys are legal experts with a deep understanding of criminal law, courtroom procedures, and the legal system. They have the experience to assess your case, identify legal issues, and develop a strong defense strategy based on their knowledge of the law.
  • Protection of Your Rights: A defense lawyer's primary role is to protect your legal rights. They will ensure that law enforcement and the prosecution follow proper procedures and do not violate your constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent or the right to an attorney.
  • Legal Counsel and Advice: Your attorney will provide you with knowledgeable and practical advice throughout the legal process. They can explain the charges against you, potential consequences, and available defense options, helping you make informed decisions about your case.
  • Negotiation Skills: Defense attorneys can negotiate on your behalf with the prosecution. They may be able to secure a plea deal that reduces charges, penalties, or potential jail time. Skilled negotiators can often achieve more favorable outcomes than individuals representing themselves.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: A defense lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into your case. They may collect evidence, interview witnesses, and hire experts when necessary to build a strong defense. This can uncover facts that are favorable to your case and help challenge the prosecution's evidence.
  • Courtroom Representation: If your case goes to trial, a defense attorney will represent you in court. They will present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue legal points on your behalf. Having an experienced advocate in the courtroom can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case.
  • Emotional Support: Legal proceedings can be emotionally taxing. Defense attorneys provide emotional support and reassurance to their clients, helping to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with criminal charges.
  • Mitigation Strategies: In the event of a conviction, defense lawyers can work on your behalf during the sentencing phase to minimize the penalties. They may present factors in your favor and advocate for a more lenient sentence.
  • Knowledge of Local Practices: Experienced criminal defense lawyers often have insight into local legal practices, judges, and prosecutors. This knowledge can be valuable in shaping a defense strategy tailored to the local legal environment.
  • Safeguarding Your Future: A criminal conviction can have long-term consequences, such as a criminal record that affects your employment, housing, and other aspects of your life. A defense attorney can work to minimize these consequences, potentially through record expungement or sealing.
  • Preservation of Your Reputation: A skilled defense attorney can work to protect your reputation by minimizing the impact of criminal charges on your personal and professional life.

Consult with a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Whether you have committed a crime or were falsely accused of doing so, consult with a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Worth with professionalism and tact to help you determine your next move. At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, our Fort Worth lawyers strive to deliver our clients the best results possible for their criminal defense case.

Let one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys serving Fort Worth help with your case. Contact our office online today or call us at (817) 497-8148.

The Opinions That Matter Most

  • My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.

    “Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”

  • Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.

    “I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”

  • I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.

    “I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”

  • This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.

    “This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”

Why Choose Us For Your Family Matters?
  • Direct Access To Your Attorney

    Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need. 

  • Transparency
    Honesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
  • Team Oriented

    At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.

  • Personalized Approach
    Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.