Incarceration is a fact of life in America, and Texas is certainly no exception. If you face a criminal charge that could end in a jail sentence, you should probably take the possibility of prison time seriously. Those who do not do so and assume that a judge will not put them in prison could be headed for an unfortunate surprise. Only a structured criminal defense has the best chance to minimize the consequences of any given charge.
The statistics for incarceration are sobering. According to the Texas Tribune, there are 107 prison units in the state with a total of almost 140,000 inmates. That is about half a percent of the entire population of the state. Furthermore, there is a heavier representation of certain crimes in the prison system in others, such as burglary and possession of controlled substances.
Here are some other facts about the Texas prison system that may interest you:
- The prison population is relatively evenly divided by racial background
- The vast majority of inmates are male
- The most common sentence length is 10 to 20 years, followed by five to 10
It is the job of police investigators, public attorneys and other agents of the state to make sure their efforts result in justice. However, there are many ways that they might violate rights and persecute innocent individuals in the course of this pursuit. When your own freedom hangs in the balance, you should probably make sure that you are doing everything possible to defend your rights.
Your rights are based on more than just the U.S. Constitution and the state laws. Their nuances and specific applications come from years of case law precedent. What might seem like a perfectly fair interrogation could, in fact, be a blatant violation of your civil liberties. It would probably benefit you to know how your rights relate to your exact situation before saying anything to anyone but a personal attorney representative.
The bottom line is that, even if you do not believe that your crime warrants incarceration, the court may have different ideas. For example, many people in Texas prisons are in jail for repeat DUI, unauthorized use of vehicles and possession of small amounts of controlled substances. With the prison population bigger than ever, you could probably benefit by taking any criminal charge very seriously.