San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been recently arrested or accused of a crime in San Antonio or Bexar County, Texas, you will benefit from experienced San Antonio criminal defense attorneys who can defend you.
Soyars & Morgan Law’s award-winning San Antonio defense team has over 35 years of combined experience and a history of defending the most complicated and serious criminal defense cases. Our legal team is adept at thinking outside the box, always implementing unique defense strategies for each client’s case to achieve the best results possible in their legal situation.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a serious felony offense, you will benefit tremendously from an experienced San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer to help get your case dismissed or minimize your exposure to both the short and long-term punishments of any criminal conviction.
Types of Cases Our San Antonio Criminal Defense Team Can Handle
Soyars & Morgan Law provides exceptional Texas criminal defense for individuals charged with crimes ranging from DWI (driving while intoxicated) to serious violent crimes and drug cases.
Every criminal accusation against you should be taken seriously. It doesn’t matter whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony — the outcome of any criminal record can affect you for the rest of your life. Soyars & Morgan Law’s legal team of San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers are highly trained and experienced in defending a wide range of criminal cases in the Bexar County courts.
Jodi Soyars – San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer
San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer, Jodi Soyars, specializes in defending those accused of sex crimes, including:
- Child molestation
- Indecency with a child
- Online solicitation of a minor
- Continuous sexual assault of a child
- Sexual assault of a child
- Sexual assault
- Public lewdness
- Indecent assault
Jodi also specializes in defending those involved in family violence cases, including:
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Bodily injury
- Interference with a 911 call
- Violation of bond conditions
- Violation of protective orders
- Family violence second or more
- Injury to a child cases
Jodi Soyars also works on drug crimes, weapon cases, motions to revoke probation and judicial clemency cases. She is board certified in criminal law and known for her zealous advocacy of clients in trial court and appeals courts.
San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney – Ashley Morgan
San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney, Ashley Morgan, focuses primarily on DWI cases, including:
- Intoxication manslaughter
- Intoxication assault
- Felony and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated cases
Ashley Morgan’s DWI clients also receive help with getting occupational driver’s licenses and defending themselves at the administrative license revocation (ALR) hearings.
Ashley Morgan also defends those accused of drug crimes, including:
- Possession of marijuana
- Possession of controlled substances
- Motions to revoke probations
If you are accused of a drug crime or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact Ashley Morgan right away so that she can help save your driver’s license or get it reinstated, and protect you from further legal consequences.
How to Choose a San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney
Choosing the right San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney is vital. If you are unsure how to make that selection, take the first step by picking up the phone and talking to our local San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Our legal team not only walks you through the initial parts of the case, but they will also provide guidance about your court, judge, prosecutors, and all the detailed information that can only be earned through years of experience.
There are many San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorneys in the Bexar County area to choose from. Make sure that you speak with at least three local San Antonio criminal defense attorneys before making a decision.
When speaking to a prospective attorney in San Antonio, you should ask the following questions:
1. How long have you been practicing criminal defense law in San Antonio?
Knowledge of how your particular court and prosecutors operate is critical to success. Also, attorneys who have put in the work to establish relationships with the judge and prosecutors in your court are often in the best position to get your case resolved in the most successful way.
They have seen what works and what does not work and there is no substitute to having boots on the ground experience in your particular court.
2. Have you ever been a prosecutor?
Beware of retaining a prosecutor disguised as a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio. Many prosecutors will leave the district attorney’s office and claim that their experience as a prosecutor gives them special insight into how to get you the best result possible in your case.
In reality, experience shows that many former prosecutors are not able to take off their prosecutorial hats and think like a criminal defense attorney. This can lead to devastating results for the client when the prior prosecutor (now acting as a defense attorney) puts pressure on the defendant to take a plea without implementing all the defense strategies available to obtain a better resolution.
The first sign of a prosecutor disguised as a criminal defense attorney is the inability to work for the dismissal and a resolution that will meet with the client’s objectives in the case.
3. Are you board certified in criminal law?
Not every case requires a board certified attorney. However, attorneys that are board certified in criminal law have proven their credentials to the State of Texas and the government has verified the board certified attorney has the experience and depth of knowledge, in addition to being recommended by their colleagues as an expert in the field.
Also, ask how that attorney came to be board certified. If the attorney became board certified in criminal law through their experience as a prosecutor, it indicates that the attorney is not as experienced on defense strategies and case law as they should perhaps be to obtain the best possible resolution in your case.
If you choose not to use a board certified attorney, make sure that attorney focuses almost exclusively on your type of case. Some areas of criminal defense are so isolated within their own little world, that being board certified is not an indication of how good that attorney actually is at that particular type of case. DWI (driving while intoxicated) cases are a prime example. If you have a DWI case, you want a local San Antonio DWI attorney that handles only DWI and DWI-related cases, like Ashley Morgan.
4. Do you handle other types of legal cases?
Attorneys that practice more than one type of law tend to be less knowledgeable about the special nuances in helping defend against a criminal accusation. Do not assume that any attorney can do the job. Look for a specialized, local San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney and not a general practitioner.
5. Have you handled cases like mine before?
If the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer has not handled cases like yours, you need to know that going in.
You do not want someone learning at your expense. Ask about their prior experiences and what the outcomes were in those cases. Also, ask about whether or not those cases had similar fact patterns as yours. If they didn’t, ask what the differences were that would stand out when trying to prepare the best defense for your case.
6. What results would I be likely to expect?
It is important for any San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer to be able to explain to the defendant what is likely to happen.
Many times defendants are focused solely on whether they will serve time in prison or jail. However, a good criminal defense attorney will often be able to put the situation into more realistic concerns.
For instance, in first time family violence cases in San Antonio, defendants rarely see jail time. So in those cases, a San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney should be calming the accused’s fears and focusing their attention on the long term consequences of a finding of family violence and how to avoid those consequences (rather than flaming fears of serving jail or prison time).
7. What can you tell me about my court, judge, prosecutor or general case facts that I would need to know?
Finally, don’t forget to ask about your case specifically. You will want to know as many factors that might affect the outcome in your case. It is important for you to locate a criminal defense attorney that is able to see not just the problems in your case but also potential solutions.
Potential solutions are based on experience in your court and with your prosecutors and the defense attorney’s knowledge of the law.
What happens when you’re accused of a crime in San Antonio?
When you are accused of a crime in San Antonio, you will generally be arrested at the scene, taken to the jail where you will be magistrated.
The magistrate will tell you what you have been charged with, inform you of any ordered bond conditions (geographic restrictions, no contact orders, etc.) and set a bond in the case.
If you can not make bond, the courts have set up a system to allow certain types of cases to receive a PR Bond (personal recognizance bond). The PR Bond can be problematic in that it comes along with a geographic restriction and other restrictions that were not necessarily ordered by the magistrate initially.
We advise clients to avoid PR Bonds if at all possible. If you can not post your bond and are not granted a PR Bond, your attorney would need to file a motion to reduce bond or work the case as promptly as possible to obtain your release.
Some individuals that are accused of a crime in San Antonio, however, are not arrested at the scene.
Their cases are filed “at large” with the Bexar County District Attorney’s office and a warrant is issued for the accused’s arrest months after the actual alleged criminal act took place.
These “at large” cases are often the most troublesome for the accused because they may be completely unaware that there is a warrant for their arrest or that they have even been accused of a crime.
If you are accused of an “at large” crime, contact our offices immediately so we can help walk you through the process you will need to use in order to address the warrant and get released without going into the jail.
Possible Sentences for Crimes in Texas
Texas has 3 levels of misdemeanors and 4 levels of felony offenses.
- Class C Misdemeanors are the lowest level misdemeanor offenses that an accused can be charged. Class C misdemeanors can not receive jail time as a punishment. However, you can be arrested for certain Class C misdemeanors and held in jail while you wait to be magistrated and released. Examples of Class C offenses that often result in arrest and detention are public intoxication and assault by offensive contact-family violence. Class C Misdemeanors are only punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $2000 and up to 180 days in jail. Examples of class B misdemeanors are possession of marijuana and theft and first time DWI offenses.
- Class A Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $4000 and up to 1 year in jail. Examples of Class A Misdemeanors are assault bodily injury (family violence) cases and DWI with a BAC of over .15.
- State Jail Felonies are the lowest level of felony offense and are punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a minimum of 180 days state jail up to a maximum of 2 years state jail. Crimes often associated with state jail felony punishment ranges are possession of the lowest levels of a controlled substance, prostitution (payor), credit card/debit card abuse and DWI with a child. Certain State Jail felony offenses require that the accused receive an opportunity to successfully complete community supervision before the accused can be sentenced to serve any state jail time. Also, unlike higher level felony punishment ranges, state jail felony jail time must be served day for day with no credit for good time behavior or option for parole.
- Third Degree Felonies are punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and a minimum of 2 years in prison up to 10 years in prison. Examples of third degree felony offenses include DWI 3rd or more offenses, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and possession of controlled substances 1 to 4 grams and assault family violence 2nd or more cases.
- Second Degree Felonies are punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and a minimum of 2 years in prison up to 20 years in prison. Examples of second degree felony cases are aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, solicitation of a minor, sexual assault, indecency with a child, etc.)
- First Degree Felonies are punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and a minimum of 5 years in prison up to 99 years in prison or life. Examples of first degree felony offenses are murder, intoxication manslaughter, aggravated assault deadly weapon (firearm).
- Capitol Felonies expose the accused to life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Contacting a Criminal Defense Attorney in San Antonio
As you can see, there are vast and varied legal ramifications to facing criminal charges in San Antonio and Bexar County.Having the best legal representation leads to the best possible outcomes. While evaluating your options, make sure that you include a consultation with our award-winning criminal defense attorneys here at Soyars & Morgan Law.