Misdemeanor Charges. My Ex boyfriend pressed charges against me for scratching his car. I got arrested and I am out on bail.

I went to Court and requested a public defender. She did not even asked me about the situation or what happened. All she said was: Are you an American citizen? I said: NO. I am a permanent resident. She said well you can get deported and/or serve 2 years of prison and pay the $2000 fine. I already spent 12 hours in jail for something that I didn't do, I said. I explained her that the night the police came over my house I was sleeping, my mom and my son were there with me. So, just because this person (My Ex) called 911 and accused me doesn't mean I did it. She said his testimony was enough and accepted as an evidence. Then she went to the DA and came back with another court date for October and she said they were requesting the 911 tape. Please I am totally lost and scared. Help me

Katy, TX -

Attorney Answers (2)

Rosario Stornello

Rosario Stornello

Criminal Defense Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

If you do not like your court appointed attorney you are free to hire your own attorney at any time. IT sounds like you are charged with criminal mischief. The punishment level is based on the amount of loss claimed by the owner of the damage property. If the value of the damage is more than $1500 then it can be a felony charge if less than $1500 then it can be charged as a misdemeanor. The court appointed attorney is correct the State can proceed to trial based only on the testimony of one person. At trial the State has to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Also if you are a permanent resident you should consult an immigration attorney because this criminal case can have consequences to your status and carry possible deportation.

Cynthia Russell Henley

Cynthia Russell Henley

Criminal Defense Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

Are you charged in a misdemeanor court or a felony court? (The felony courts in Harris County have 3 digits; misdemeanor courts have 1 or 12 digits.)

You can hire a lawyer if you are not pleased with the work your court appointed lawyer is doing. However, it sounds like the lawyer is doing what they are supposed to do. They are relaying the information that the DA's office is giving to them as well as obtaining the evidence in the case.

If you did not commit the crime, then you have a right to a jury trial. You can call witnesses to testify on your behalf as well as have your accusers cross examined by your lawyer.

Whether you are an American citizen matters to some judges; some will not put a person who is not a citizen on probation. And, you can be deported for some offenses, especially felony offenses.

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