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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Conroe Criminal Attorney - A brief guide to criminal charges.

Conroe Criminal Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.

Conroe Criminal Attorney

Navigating the Criminal Justice System: A Comprehensive Guide Introduction

The criminal justice system can be a complex and daunting maze for anyone who finds themselves entangled within it. Contrary to what you might have seen on television dramas, the real-life process can be bewildering and confusing. In this blog post, we aim to provide you with a clear and factual guide to help you understand the different stages of the criminal justice system.

Drug Testing

Drug testing is a common requirement for individuals placed on bond conditions. The process can vary by county, with different procedures in place. For example, in Harris County, you may be required to take a drug test during your visit, while in Montgomery County, a daily phone call determines if you need random drug testing. Failing a drug test, often due to excessive water intake, can lead to bond revocation. This occurs before any trial or formal finding of guilt.

Court Settings

The portrayal of a swift jury trial as the first court setting on TV is far from reality. In Texas, the initial encounter with a judge often occurs at the jail, where they review probable cause and set a bond. Harris County has public defenders representing individuals in these hearings, while smaller counties may lack attorneys. Afterward, you receive a court date, commonly known as the arraignment.

The Arraignment

Despite its formal name, the arraignment is not as significant as it sounds. Traditionally, it served to inform the accused of charges and ensure their right to an attorney. However, this process is now usually streamlined, with plea discussions happening behind the scenes. Arraignments are often waived, and cases are reset for future court dates. These resets can vary in time, depending on various factors, but little substantial progress is made until all evidence is available.

Pretrial Settings

Pretrial settings follow arraignments, though their names and specifics differ by jurisdiction. They serve as opportunities for negotiations, especially for those seeking swift resolutions. However, some individuals may prefer additional time for thorough consideration. In such cases, attorneys can request an off-docket reset, granting more time for evidence collection and strategy development.


Understanding the criminal justice system is vital for anyone who may encounter it. While TV shows may oversimplify the process, the reality is a series of steps that can be confusing and time-consuming. By gaining insight into these non-opinion based facts, you can better prepare yourself for what lies ahead if you ever find yourself involved in the criminal justice system. Remember that seeking legal counsel is essential to navigate this intricate system effectively.

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