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How Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Prepare for Trial?

— June 4, 2024

Even if you want to take a plea deal instead of going to trial, your attorney has a better chance of obtaining a favorable deal than you do.

Texas is a law and order state, so you need a strong criminal defense when charged with a crime. Criminal defense lawyers know how to prepare for trial and give you a better chance to avoid the worst-case outcomes. Without an attorney representing you, it’s much more likely that you will be convicted. Even a minor misdemeanor conviction can result in a criminal record that could upend your life. You could end up with a jail sentence, fines, and many collateral consequences that make it harder to work and live a normal life. 

Have you been accused of a crime? Then you need a legal advocate for criminal cases in Houston to maximize your chances of winning. A criminal defense lawyer in Houston, TX, may help you beat the charge or obtain a favorable case result, such as probation. 

Understanding The Criminal Charges

First, a Houston criminal defense lawyer will analyze the charges against you. The attorney will thoroughly review the case details and evidence to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case. 

For example, the attorney will review any police reports, eyewitness statements, physical evidence, photos, video, and other available evidence. Doing a deep dive into the evidence allows the attorney to find any potential angle of attack in their case. Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high threshold to clear. 

Weighing The Evidence

Lawyer sitting at desk with laptop; image by advogadoaguilar, via
Lawyer sitting at desk with laptop; image by advogadoaguilar, via

The next aspect of preparing for trial is to thoroughly assess the evidence. The attorney is looking for anything that shows inconsistencies, errors, or possible violation of your rights. For example, if you are charged with DUI, your attorney may review the legality of the traffic stop. If the police didn’t have a valid probable cause to stop you, the entire case could be called into question, even if you were legally intoxicated. 

There also are frequent problems with field sobriety tests that are used to check if someone is intoxicated. The police may not be well trained in these tests, and their conclusions could be wrong. There could also be problems with the breath or blood test used to determine if you were under the influence. 

Investigate The Case

Next, your Houston criminal defense lawyer will independently investigate your case. They may consult legal and forensic experts, collect surveillance footage of the crime scene, and re-interview eyewitnesses. Doing their own investigation of the alleged crime could lead to a stronger defense. 

Compose Legal Arguments

Your attorney will also devise strong legal arguments to mitigate the prosecution’s case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will examine relevant Texas laws and procedures to find possible defenses to benefit your situation. For example, criminal defense attorneys often question the credibility of witnesses or present different scenarios that show someone else committed the crime. 

Prepare Experts And Other Witnesses

Many criminal trials in Texas hinge on expert and witness testimony. The attorney will determine who the potential eyewitnesses are to the crime. Then, they will retain experts who could help in your defense. 

For example, suppose you are accused of running a red light and T-boning another vehicle. There may be evidence that the other driver was at least partially at fault. Your attorney could hire an accident reconstruction professional to prove how the accident really happened. 

Create A Trial Strategy

Preparing for trial also involves devising a comprehensive strategic plan for presenting the case in court. Your criminal defense attorney will painstakingly analyze all the strengths and weaknesses of the case and create the best trial strategy. 

Your attorney may want you to testify on your behalf. It’s critical to be prepared for cross-examination; your attorney will ensure that you are. For example, the attorney will ensure that you know most of the questions you will be asked and how to respond optimally. You also will be instructed on how to come across favorably and how to dress professionally. 


Texas prosecutors are strongly motivated to convict people of serious crimes. If you have been charged with a crime, such as hit and run or drunk driving, you don’t want to handle the case alone. Even if you want to take a plea deal instead of going to trial, your attorney has a better chance of obtaining a favorable deal than you do. Always have an experienced criminal defense attorney review your case if you want a preferred case result. Furthermore, listen carefully to your attorney’s advice and counsel. They know the law and the local prosecutors and courts.

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