THOMAS A. MARTIN
Attorney-at-Law
The Law Offices of Thomas A. Martin represents clients throughout Southeast Texas, including the cities of Houston, Galveston, Memorial, River Oaks, West University,
Clear Lake, League City, Sugar Land, Pearland, Beaumont, Hempstead, Katy, Conroe, and all the communities in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend,
Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller and Wharton Counties.
The Law Offices of Thomas A. Martin represents individuals facing serious felony charges in both state and federal trial and appellate courts. We represent people facing felony charges from drugs to murder, and have developed an emphasis on sex crimes (both adult and child offenses).

In our commercial litigation practice, we represent small business owners facing "bet the business" litigation prospects if the opposing side wins.

With our family law practice, we cherish the opportunity to represent parents, especially fathers, who need a divorce and want to keep or get custody of their kids.
WHAT HAPPENS AT AN ARRAIGNMENT?

You have the right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay - usually within two court days - after being arrested. You will appear before a judge who will tell you officially of the charges against you at your first arraignment. At the arraignment, an attorney may be appointed for you if you can not afford one, and bail can be raised or lowered. You also can ask to be released on P.R., even if bail was previously set.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can plead guilty or not guilty at the arraignment. Or, if the court approves, you can plead nolo contendere, meaning that you will not contest the charges. Legally, this is the same as a guilty plea, but it cannot be used against you in a non-criminal case.

Before pleading guilty to some first time offenses, such as drug possession in small amounts for personal use, you may want to find out if your county has any drug diversion programs. Under these programs, instead of fining you or sending you to jail, the court may order you to get counseling which can result in dismissal of the charges if you complete the counseling.

If misdemeanor charges are not dropped, a trial will be held later in county court of law. In some counties, these courts are called "County Criminal Courts of Law." If you are charged with a felony, however, and the charges are not dismissed, the next step is a preliminary hearing.