People get arrested in Texas for all kinds of offenses, from reckless driving and drug possession to domestic violence and theft. Some of the people who get arrested did not commit the crime that law enforcement officers accuse them of. Others may have made mistakes but may not have had any kind of criminal intent.
Regardless of the circumstance of your arrest, it's important to educate yourself about the potential consequences of an arrest so that you can try to contain the fallout from affecting much of your life.
You may or may not get charged with a crime
Sometimes, people wind up arrested and may spend a night or even a weekend in jail without facing criminal charges later on. Not every arrest necessarily leads to criminal charges, let alone a conviction.
If you will face charges, you may have to go to an arraignment before you can seek release. However, with the exception of rare cases, you can typically seek bond or bail so that you don't have to wait for trial in jail.
You have the right to fight any criminal charges you face
If the state does decide to charge you with a crime, the good news is that your constitutional rights specifically protect the ability to defend yourself. You have an opportunity in the future to explain the circumstances to a judge or jury. You will also have the opportunity to strategize for ways to defend yourself before you head to court.
You have the right to be free from internet blackmail
In recent years, some insidious websites have popped up online that seek to profit off the previous mistakes of individuals. These websites typically build massive backlogs of arrest records and mugshots with the intention of embarrassing individuals into paying to have the pictures taken down from the internet.
Thankfully, Texas is one of a handful of states that specifically prohibits this practice. A website may not publish your arrest photograph and then demand payment for its removal from the web. They have to remove your image if you send a request that they do so.
You have the right to defend your professional licensing
Depending on your occupation and the circumstances of your arrest, you may face a hearing regarding professional licensing. In some cases, the state will wait until after a conviction. Other times, if the arrest happened while you were at work or if the offense potentially impacts your job, you may have to defend yourself before the licensing board prior to going to court.
An attorney can help you through the entire process, from getting out of jail or making it through arraignment to planning for court and protecting your career.