Criminal Defense Attorney in Austin, TX
If you are being investigated or prosecuted for an alleged crime, you need to take immediate steps to protect your rights. Choosing an experienced criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you can make. Central Texas lawyer Jason Katims has the experience and skills you need to get through this difficult period of your life.
Call us today at 512-900-9769 to schedule your initial consultation.
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Although Hollywood makes it seem like the criminal justice system is straightforward and simple, criminal law is actually surprisingly complex. We know how to navigate the system and present your best possible defense. You simply cannot afford to risk representing yourself when facing large fines or jail times. Here are a few things we will do for you:
Negotiate with the prosecutor: An important piece of criminal justice is “prosecutorial discretion,” which gives the prosecutor a lot of leeway in determining whether to file charges and, if so, which charges to file. We know how to negotiate a deal to drop or reduce some of the charges against you.
Navigate the courts: Courts operate on rules and customs, many of which are unwritten. We are intimately familiar with these procedures, and we can help you avoid making mistakes that could put you at a disadvantage. We know when to file which motions, cutting through red tape, speeding up the process, and producing the best possible outcome for you.
Utilize extensive resources: Despite what you may have seen on television, criminal defense is not just questioning witnesses in a courtroom. Our legal system hinges on previous court rulings, known as precedent. We understand legal precedent and how to apply it to each case, and we have the time and resources to perform extensive research. We will ensure that you receive the full benefits of federal, state, and local law.
Remain calm and objective: If you are facing criminal charges, you probably feel strong emotions such as fear, sadness, guilt, or shame. While these emotions are natural, they can make it difficult to remain objective. We bring a sense of calm to the proceedings, helping you manage your feelings and make the best decisions.
Manage witnesses: Witnesses may be afraid to testify, either because they are worried about being implicated or because they fear for their safety. Others come forward willingly based on a personal agenda that may not be in line with yours. We can create a buffer zone, giving witnesses a safe space to open up and speak freely.
In addition, we may need to call in expert witnesses to poke holes in the prosecution’s case or contradict tales woven by the other side’s witnesses. We know how to find these professionals and when to bring them forward.
Sentencing: If you are found guilty, we can often develop a sentencing program that reduces your jail time while treating the problem that led to your arrest. For example, if you stole to fuel a drug habit, we may be able to get you into a rehab program to reduce your jail term. Although courts are not required to follow defense attorneys’ recommendations, they are usually taken into serious consideration.
About Jason Katims, Attorney at Law
Born and raised in Texas, Jason Katims is committed to personal freedom.
In 2018, he was recognized by the American Institute of Legal Advocates as a Rising Star in the field of Criminal Law, and by the Association of American Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 40 Under 40. In 2017, the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized him as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do first-time felons go to jail in Texas?
The answer to this question depends on the criminal charges. In drug cases, the Texas First Time Offender Felony Charge Act applies; this allows first-time offenders to undergo counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation instead of going to jail.
Can you expunge a felony in Texas?
A felony charge or arrest can be expunged in certain circumstances, but an experienced attorney is usually needed to make your case.
How long do misdemeanors stay on your record?
Unless you succeed in getting a misdemeanor expunged from your record or sealed, it will always be there.
What are the types of felonies in Texas?
In the state of Texas, there are five types of felony offenses. These are:
- Capital felonies, in which the punishment is execution. The only charge considered a capital felony is capital murder.
- First-degree felonies, in which the maximum punishment is 5-99 years or life imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Examples of first degree felonies are aggravated sexual assault and theft of property valued at $200,000 or more.
- Second-degree felonies, in which the maximum punishment is 2-20 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony.
- Third-degree felony, in which the maximum punishment is 2-10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Examples of this include theft of property valued at $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, or a shooting with no injury.
- State jail felony, in which the maximum punishment is 180 days to 2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Credit card fraud is a state jail felony.
Do criminal charges show up on background checks?
In theory, yes. Misdemeanors and felonies are both crimes; even though misdemeanors are minor crimes, they still show up on background checks just like felonies. If you apply for a job and your potential employer runs a criminal background check, they will see these offenses in most cases. It is possible that if the employer runs a criminal background check that looks only for state-level crimes, they may not find misdemeanors, as they are often handled at the county-level.
Per Texas state law, criminal background checks run by employers using credit reporting agencies are only permitted to go back seven years. There are exceptions; for some types of jobs, employers are permitted to go back to your 18th birthday.
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“This was best laywer to me & my famliy have we ever had. Him & his team have been so much help from day one. I would recommend him to anybody. Very grateful for all the hard work they have done.”
“I have used Jason’s services multiple times, and every time he has not only gotten me the best case scenario of an outcome, but also was very cordial, personable, and professional throughout the whole process.”
“Jason came and got me out of jail fast and got my case dismissed without me ever having to go to court!”