Home> Practice Areas> Criminal Defense >Texas

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Texas

Lawyer Legion Criminal Defense Information Center of Texas

Search Directory for Criminal Defense Lawyers in Texas

Change your query below to search for lawyers in other areas. *results are limited to 250 per query

Criminal Defense Lawyers by County

{FullName}

Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Texas

Lawyer Legion Top Picks for 2024

Lawyer Legion created this list of the top picks in 2024 for the best criminal defense attorneys in Texas. To rank the top criminal defense attorneys, DWI defense attorneys, and other lawyers in Texas, we used both objective and subjective criteria.

The top criminal defense attorneys were selected based on their career accomplishments, success in high profile cases, professional involvement, community leadership, and board certification.

This list represents some of the most highly accomplished criminal defense lawyers currently practicing in Texas. When reviewing this list, please be aware of each of the following:

  • Lawyers cannot pay to be included in this list.
  • Only lawyers who are active on Lawyer Legion were selected.
  • No online directory can accurately determine a statewide list of attorneys who are actually “the best” at practicing criminal law (but our list comes close).
Gerald Harris Goldstein
Criminal Appellate Law and White Collar Crime Lawyer
San Antonio, TX
View Profile
Cynthia Eva Hujar Orr
Criminal Appellate Law and White Collar Crime Lawyer
San Antonio, TX
View Profile
Matt Horak
Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
The Woodlands, TX
View Profile
Mark Ryan Thiessen
DUI / DWI and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
Edward A Mallett
White Collar Crime and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
Doug Murphy
DUI / DWI and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
Terri R Zimmermann
Sex Crimes and Criminal Appellate Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
Dick Deguerin
Criminal Defense and White Collar Crime Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
Grant Matthew Scheiner
DUI / DWI and Criminal Defense Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
George A Scharmen II
Criminal Defense and DUI / DWI Lawyer
San Antonio, TX
View Profile
Mary E Conn
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Houston, TX
View Profile
Benson Varghese
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Fort Worth, TX
View Profile

More Noteworthy Texas Attorneys

Texas Legal Resources

Helpful Videos

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett | Dedicated to Defense

Attorney Matt Horak of Horak Law discusses defending the accused

Our Firm's Purpose - Goldstein & Orr

Criminal Defense Bar Associations and Legal Organizations

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) - Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) - Since formed in 1971, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) has supported the practice of criminal defense in the state of Texas. Members include private attorneys, public defenders and other legal professionals from across the state of Texas. The TCDLA provides training, networking opportunities, and a platform to enhance the criminal defense experience for lawyers. The TCDLA is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA) - The Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA) is a professional organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the interests of criminal defense attorneys in the Austin, Texas area. ACDLA provides networking opportunities, continuing legal education (CLE) resources, and a platform for attorneys to collaborate and advocate for justice. Through their efforts, ACDLA contributes to the fair representation of individuals accused of crimes in Austin.
Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (3CDLA) - The Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (3CDLA) is a prominent organization supporting the needs of the Collin County Criminal Defense Bar. Established in 1995, 3CDLA has expanded to include over 80 members. This reputable association offers a collaborative platform, valuable resources, and continuing education opportunities, enabling its members to provide effective defense representation while safeguarding the rights of local defendants.
Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (DCDLA) - The DCDLA is a professional association of lawyers practicing criminal defense in Dallas County and throughout the greater DFW area of North Texas. The organization provides educational resources and tools to their members and to the community. The Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association serves as the voice for the criminal defense profession and assists is an affiliate of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA).
Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (FBCCDAA) - An affiliate of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Association, the Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (FBCCDAA) is a collective of legal professionals committed to defending individuals facing criminal charges in Fort Bend County, Texas. By promoting ethical practices and legal expertise, FBCCDAA serves to support the rights of defendants and to ensure fair representation within the Texas criminal justice system.
Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (HCCLA) - The HCCLA is a nonprofit professional association of lawyers representing defendants in criminal cases throughout Harris County, Texas and the greater Houston area. The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association is made up of private practicing defense attorney and public defenders practicing in both state and federal criminal court. The organization advocates for state laws and local policy reforms that protect the Constitutional rights of the accused.
Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (LCDLA) - The Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (LCDLA) is a non-profit organization of approximately 120 criminal defense attorneys practicing in Lubbock County, TX. Committed to professional excellence, the LCDLA fosters collaboration, provides valuable resources, and offers educational opportunities for its members. By upholding ethical standards and promoting effective defense representation, the LCDLA safeguards the rights of defendants within Lubbock County.
San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (SACDLA) - The SACDLA is a professional association for criminal defense attorneys practicing in Bexar County, Texas and throughout the greater San Antonio area. The organization provides networking opportunities, resources and continuing legal education (CLE) for criminal law practitioners. The San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association advocates for the Constitutional rights of the accused and criminal justice policy reforms that protect and preserve the rights of defendants in criminal cases.
Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) - The Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA) is a non-profit corporation in Fort Worth, TX. Established in the late 1970s, TCCDLA unites criminal defense attorneys from private practice and public defenders, representing cases in state and federal courts. The association strives to foster excellence, ethics, and collaboration among its members while advocating for fair legal representation in Tarrant County.

Specialty Certifications in Criminal Defense

Criminal Law Board Certification in Texas - In Texas, the specialty area of criminal law was created in 1975. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) certifies attorneys who have met the required standards. For instance, an attorney applying to become board certified in criminal law must demonstrate that at least 25% of the attorney's time is spent practicing criminal law in Texas during each of the three (3) years immediately preceding application.
Criminal Appellate Law Certification in Texas - An attorney who applies to become board certified in criminal appellate law is expected to understand the entire process of appeals of state and federal criminal cases, as well as applications for extraordinary relief and post-conviction writ proceedings in state and federal court. In addition to meeting the requirements, board-certified criminal appellate law specialist must pass an exam that demonstrates their substantial knowledge of significant legal concepts and corresponding skills in criminal appellate law.
Juvenile Law Board Certification in Texas - Since 2001, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) has been certifying attorneys as a specialist in juvenile law. For purposes of the board certification program, the term "juvenile law" is defined to include judicial and administrative proceedings for individuals under 17 years of age that are arrested or have been detained in a criminal matter.
Criminal Trial Law Board Certification by the NBTA - The specialty area of Criminal Trial Law is offered by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) to lawyers. To earn NBTA board certification, the criminal defense attorney must show substantial involvement in at least 45 days of trial, must have served as lead counsel in jury cases through verdict; conducted direct examinations and cross-examinations, and conducted a specified number of voir dire, opening statements and closing arguments.
DUI Defense Law Board Certification by the NCDD - The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) is an organization that grants specialty or board certification for DUI Defense Law. The ABA has recognized the NCDD as an organization that is accredited to award certification in this specialty area of the law. The purpose of granting board certification in DUI Defense Law is to recognize DUI and DWI lawyers who focus their practice on representing men and women accused of drunk and impaired driving offenses. In order to qualify for board certification in "DUI Defense Law," the attorney must meet specific qualifications and apply for board certification with NCDD.

Texas Government and Court Resources

Office of the Attorney General of Texas

Office of the Attorney General of Texas - The Office of the Attorney General of Texas, led by the Attorney General elected by the people, serves as the chief legal officer for the state. This office is responsible for providing legal counsel to state agencies and officials, representing Texas in legal matters, and overseeing law enforcement. The Attorney General plays a pivotal role in prosecuting and defending legal actions on behalf of the state, issuing legal opinions, and addressing a wide array of legal issues, including consumer protection, public safety, and environmental concerns.

Supreme Court of Texas

Supreme Court of Texas - Comprised of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices, the Supreme Court of Texas is the state's highest judicial authority. It holds final appellate jurisdiction over civil and juvenile cases. Along with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Texas' second supreme court), the Supreme Court of Texas plays a crucial role in interpreting Texas' laws and ensuring justice is upheld within Texas' legal system.

Texas Attorney General

Texas Attorney General - The Texas Attorney General is Texas' chief legal officer. Elected by the people, the Attorney General provides legal counsel to state officials or departments, enforces consumer protection laws, handles civil litigation, and prosecutes cases involving corruption and criminal activities. The Texas Attorney General plays a vital role in safeguarding constitutional rights and advocating for the welfare of Texas citizens.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court for criminal matters in Texas. Established to uphold justice within Texas' legal system alongside the Supreme Court of Texas, it serves as Texas' final appellate court for criminal cases. Comprised of a Presiding Judge and eight Judges, the court plays a crucial role in interpreting criminal law, safeguarding individual rights, and maintaining the integrity of Texas' legal processes.

Texas Indigent Defense Commission

Texas Indigent Defense Commission - The Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC) was established to address concerns about the quality of legal representation for indigent individuals within the state. Its formation came in response to the need for equitable access to justice. TIDC's primary duties include improving and overseeing the quality of defense services, legal counsel, and advocacy provided to those facing criminal charges or legal proceedings. The commission sets standards for representation quality, and ensures constitutional rights to counsel are upheld.

Texas Judicial Branch

Texas Judicial Branch - The Texas Judicial Branch, one of the largest and busiest in the United States. Its duties include interpreting and applying the law, adjudicating civil and criminal cases, ensuring due process, safeguarding individual rights, and overseeing family law matters. With a complex structure of trial and appellate courts, including the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals, the judiciary addresses a wide range of legal issues reflective of Texas's diverse population and industries.

Texas Legislature

Texas Legislature - The Texas Legislature operates as a bicameral body, comprising the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The Senate has 31 members serving four-year terms, while the House consists of 150 members serving two-year terms. The Legislature is responsible for proposing, debating, and passing laws that govern the state. Its duties include formulating the state budget, levying taxes, and addressing various policy issues such as education, healthcare, and transportation.

Texas Office of the Public Defender - Northern District

Texas Office of the Public Defender - Northern District - The Office of the Public Defender in the Northern District of Texas offers crucial legal representation to those in need. Dedicated to justice, it ensures fair trials and upholds constitutional rights for individuals who lack private attorneys. With devoted defense lawyers, it promotes equity and due process. This office plays a pivotal role in safeguarding rights, fostering trust in the legal process, and serving the Northern District of Texas community.

Texas Office of the Public Defender - Southern District

Texas Office of the Public Defender - Southern District - The Office of the Public Defender in the Southern District of Texas is a vital institution providing legal representation to those who cannot afford private attorneys. Dedicated to justice, it ensures fair trials and upholds constitutional rights for underserved individuals. This office plays a crucial role in safeguarding rights, fostering trust, and serving the Southern District of Texas community.

Texas Law Enforcement Agencies

DPS - Texas Department of Public Safety - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a state agency responsible for safeguarding citizens and enhancing public safety. The DPS oversees driver's licenses, enforces traffic laws, investigates criminal activities, and supports disaster response. With its diverse services and dedicated personnel, the DPS plays a crucial role in maintaining law and order while ensuring the well-being of communities across Texas.
 

DPS - Texas Department of Public Safety
5805 North Lamar Blvd,
Austin, TX 78752
Phone: 512-424-2000

Texas Rangers - The Texas Rangers, a legendary law enforcement agency, boast a storied history tracing back to the early 19th century. Operating under the Texas Department of Public Safety, they've been pivotal in upholding law and order throughout Texas. Known for their expertise in investigations and special operations, the Texas Rangers continue to play a vital role in maintaining public safety and preserving Texas' rich law enforcement heritage.
 

Texas Rangers
P.O. Box 4087,
Austin, TX 78773
Phone: 512-424-2890

Overview of Texas Criminal Law

Criminal defense attorneys in Texas have the critical role of providing legal representation and protection to clients facing criminal charges. They must ensure that the accused's rights are upheld, conduct thorough investigations, analyze evidence, and build a strong defense strategy. Attorneys also negotiate with prosecutors to seek favorable outcomes for their clients, which may include reduced charges, plea bargains, or dismissals.


Qualifications for Criminal Defense Attorneys in Texas

To become a criminal defense attorney in Texas, candidates must complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, followed by a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Subsequently, passing the Texas Bar Exam is necessary to gain admission to the State Bar of Texas and practice law in the state.

Maintaining high ethical standards is imperative for any attorney. Criminal defense lawyers in Texas must adhere to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, ensuring confidentiality and advocating zealously within the bounds of the law.

To stay current with legal developments and maintain their license, Texas attorneys are also required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) annually. These educational opportunities help defense lawyers remain up-to-date with changes in the law and enhance their professional skills.


Criminal Law in Texas

Texas has its own set of criminal laws, which defense attorneys must thoroughly understand to provide competent legal representation. The Texas Penal Code, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, and relevant case law form the foundation of their legal knowledge.

The Texas Penal Code is a comprehensive set of laws that govern criminal offenses and penalties within the state of Texas. It defines crimes ranging from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies, covering a wide range of prohibited acts or omissions each with its own elements and corresponding penalties.

  • Misdemeanors: These are less serious offenses and are further divided into three classes - Class A, Class B, and Class C, with Class A being the most serious among misdemeanors.
  • Felony Offenses: Felonies are more severe crimes and are classified into five categories - Capital Felony, First Degree Felony, Second Degree Felony, Third Degree Felony, and State Jail Felony, with Capital Felony being the most severe.

It's important to note that laws and statutes can change over time, and it's always best to refer to the most recent and official version of the Texas Penal Code or consult with a legal professional for the most up-to-date information.


Suggest an Edit

Thanks, your suggestion has been sent to our support team
loading...
Saving...