Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Van Zandt County & Surrounding Areas


A finding of guilt in a court of law is different than being considered morally guilty. If you are being investigated or prosecuted for an alleged crime, your rights and freedom may be in jeopardy. Choosing an attorney will be the most important decision in your case moving forward.  Canton, TX, criminal defense attorney Zachary S. Elliott has represented clients facing the same or similar problems to what you now face, and he can help you move on to the next chapter of your life.


Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Although it might seem like you can learn the criminal justice system by scouring books and websites, criminal law is extremely complicated. A good criminal defense lawyer has the knowledge and experience to navigate the vast, often murky waters of the system and present the best possible defense for your case. If you are facing heavy fines or jail time, the risks of representing yourself are clear. Here are just a few of the things that our office can do for you:


  • Negotiate with the prosecutor: Some people are surprised to learn of “prosecutorial discretion.” This power allows prosecutors to determine whether to file charges and, if so, which charges to file. A good criminal defense lawyer knows who to talk to and how to negotiate a deal to drop or reduce some of the charges.


  • Navigate the court system: The court system is filled with rules and customs, many of which are unwritten. Without a criminal defense lawyer who knows the ins and outs of your local system, you are at a decided disadvantage. In addition, the trial process is often long and drawn out. Knowing what motions to file when and how to cut through red tape can result in a speedier process and a more favorable outcome.


  • Utilize the full force of the law: Defending against criminal charges requires far more than simply showing up at trial and questioning witnesses. Much of today’s legal system hinges on precedent, or former court rulings on questions of federal and state statutes and Constitutional issues. The depth of knowledge and understanding of legal precedent that a good criminal defense attorney has is far greater than that of the average person. In addition, our office has the time and resources to research the relevant laws and prior court opinions to ensure that you receive the full benefits of federal, state, and local laws.


  • Remain objective and supportive: If you are facing criminal charges, you are understandably upset and shaken. You might experience feelings of guilt, fear, shame, sadness, and many other emotions that can cloud your judgment. A criminal defense lawyer will remain objective about your case, helping you make good decisions while managing your feelings.


  • Manage witnesses and investigators: Many people are afraid to testify in a criminal case, whether due to fears of being implicated in the crime or concerns about their personal safety. Others are eager to testify, but may have their own personal agendas. A criminal defense attorney provides a buffer between you and the witnesses, helping them to open up and tell the truth. In some cases, hiring investigators is necessary to contradict embellished stories told by witnesses on the stand. Expert witnesses can also help to establish innocence or poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Criminal defense lawyers know where to find these outside professionals and when to bring them into a case.


  • Determine an appropriate sentence: If you are found guilty, your criminal defense attorney can formulate a sentencing program that minimizes your jail time and helps to treat the problem that got you arrested in the first place. For example, if you are convicted of stealing to pay for illegal drugs, your lawyer might suggest a shorter jail term for the stealing offense coupled with a period of time in a drug rehabilitation facility. Although courts are not required to follow defense lawyers’ recommendations, they tend to take them seriously when determining a sentence.


Why Should I Hire You?

Attorney Zachary S. Elliott is a Van Zandt County native. He graduated from Grand Saline High School before going on to Dartmouth and earning his Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University. While attending law school, he had the opportunity to study international law in Lyon, France. He has extensive courtroom experience and is committed to finding the best legal resolution for every case. If you are ready to move forward with a highly skilled Canton attorney who is committed to protecting your rights, call our office today at (903) 567-4515.