Plea Bargaining & Pleading Guilty to Houston Criminal Charges > FAQ

Do I need an attorney in Houston to plead guilty?

Most courts will not allow you to represent yourself. Even if they did, it would be foolish to try to navigate the mine fields of the Texas criminal justice system without an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure you get the fairest terms possible, including any plea bargaining, possible reductions, and to protect you from unreasonable and overbearing prosecution.

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What is wrong with plea bargaining if I am guilty, if I don’t see any defenses, and if I can get deferred adjudication?

Nothing is inherently wrong with plea bargaining. This is what an ethical attorney might do, as it may be the best option for you. But we recommend you discuss your case with a qualified Houston defense attorney first. You should be aware of all the consequences of a plea bargain, both obvious and hidden.

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Will Carl Haggard negotiate a Plea Bargain Agreement for me or does he only take contested cases?

Mr. Haggard does negotiate Plea Bargain Agreements after carefully advising clients of the effects of a conviction or even a deferred adjudication.

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Are Plea Bargain Agreements the most-common type of resolution in criminal cases in Houston, TX?

Yes. Although often maligned, the Plea Bargain Agreement is the way in which most criminal cases are resolved. Mr. Haggard’s training and experience as a nationally Certified Mediator-Arbitrator as well as his experience as a former Misdemeanor Court Chief Prosecutor and District Court Chief prosecutor enable him to get favorable agreements for our clients when plea bargaining.

Not everyone wants to contest their case and of those who do, not all have solid grounds on which to mount and orchestrate a legal defense. If Carl Haggard cannot obtain a Dismissal prior to setting your case for trial, and if you do not want to go to trial, he will negotiate to protect your rights under the law, as well as make sure that a complete investigation has been done prior to plea bargaining, in order to assure that you get the best offer and the fairest terms on a Plea Bargain Agreement.

For example:

Inez L. Case No. 1077149

This was our client’s second theft by fraud case in Houston involving an amount over $5,000. Prosecutors offered 1 year state jail; the Judge could have given her pen time; Mr. Haggard got her a WEEKEND IN JAIL after our client paid restitution to the Complainant.

“We truly believe you are a very good person that really want to help someone where there is a fair reason. Not to mention how impressed we are with your attention and your success in getting such a fair plea bargain agreement; it seems just a little less than a miracle.”

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When will Mr. Haggard enter into Plea Bargain negotiations?

When the client expresses an interest in hearing what the prosecutor would recommend for a sentence. In this event Mr. Haggard will initiate the plea bargaining process. As a former Houston Chief Prosecutor responsible for training other prosecutors, as well as a nationally and triple-certified Mediator/Arbitrator, Mr. Haggard is quite skilled in the art of negotiating. However, this must be initiated at the client’s request.

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Will Mr. Haggard give his opinion on Plea Bargain negotiations?

Yes, if asked by the client. Although there are many and varied factors depending on the circumstances of each individual case, Mr. Haggard will base his opinion on the following two main considerations:

  • The strength of the evidence the prosecution may present at trial;
  • The potential penalties the client could face if losing at trial.

But at all times the decision of whether to plead or go to trial is the client’s.

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What are the qualifications I should look for in selecting an attorney to get me the best deal on a Plea Bargain Agreement?

  • A diplomatic attorney with good negotiation skillsHouston top-rated defense attorney Carl Haggard has a triple national certification as a Mediator-Arbitrator and years of experience successfully mediating all types of cases in private practice.
  • An experienced attorney – Houston criminal defense lawyer Carl Haggard has been practicing law since 1973. He is familiar with the judges and prosecutors and handles cases in all the courts on a regular basis.
  • A former Chief Prosecutor As a Former District Court Chief Prosecutor and Misdemeanor Court Chief Prosecutor, Carl Haggard trained other prosecutors. He has inside knowledge of how District Attorneys’ offices work and of their objectives in prosecutions, in which the Plea Bargain Agreement plays a major role.

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Are Plea Bargain Agreements one-size-fits-all?

No. While some elements of any particular Plea Bargain Agreement will have certain requirements and defined parameters, the negotiation and persuasion skills, experience and even and especially the creativity of your attorney can determine many of the variable aspects of your Plea Agreement.

An experienced, knowledgeable and effective attorney-negotiator will make a difference in the terms, the quality, and the fairness of your Plea Bargain Agreement.


The Haggard Law Firm accepts selected criminal defense cases in Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Brazoria, Montgomery, Matagorda and surrounding Texas counties. Affordable representation; payment plans arranged in some cases. We represent clients in all Misdemeanor Courts, Felony Courts, Juvenile Court and Federal Court.