Best Houston Criminal Lawyers
Houston Criminal Lawyers: Your Best Defense Against Charges
Hey there! If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for some info on criminal defense attorneys in Houston. I feel you – dealing with criminal charges is scary stuff. But don’t worry, the right lawyer can really help you out. I’m gonna break down everything you need to know about finding the best criminal lawyer in Houston to fight your charges.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
First things first, if you‘ve been arrested or charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side ASAP. Here’s why:
- They know the law inside out. Criminal law is super complex, with a ton of rules, procedures, and loopholes. A good lawyer will understand it all and know how to use it to build the strongest case for you.
- They can negotiate with prosecutors. Prosecutors have a crazy amount of power when it comes to pressing charges and determining penalties. Your lawyer can negotiate with them to potentially get charges reduced or even dismissed.
- They investigate the facts. Your lawyer will dig deep into the details of your case to figure out the best defense strategy. This could involve interviewing witnesses, examining evidence, hiring experts, etc.
- They fight for you in court. If your case goes to trial, your criminal defense attorney will advocate for you every step of the way, cross-examining witnesses against you and making arguments to undermine the prosecutor’s case.
Bottom line – trying to handle your criminal case alone is a bad idea. The legal system is designed to be tough on defendants. A good lawyer levels the playing field.
Finding the Right Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
Houston has a ton of criminal defense attorneys to choose from. Here are some tips on finding the best one for your specific situation:
Look for experience with your charges
- Certain lawyers specialize in defending specific crimes like DUI, drug charges, sex crimes, domestic violence, etc. Find someone with a track record handling your type of case. They’ll know the common strategies and pitfalls.
Consider experience level
- Generally, the more years a lawyer has under their belt, the better. A seasoned vet will have seen every trick in the book prosecutors use and know how to respond. But some young, hungry lawyers can be great too.
Read online reviews
- Don’t choose a lawyer based on ads or billboards alone. Look them up on Google, Facebook, Avvo, etc. to see client reviews. This can give you a good sense of their skills, responsiveness, rates, and more. But take negative reviews with a grain of salt – no one’s perfect.
Meet with them first
- Schedule consultations with a few top candidates. Get a feel for their personality and communication style. Do they listen and clearly explain things? Are they confident but not cocky? You want someone you feel comfortable with.
Ask about fees
- Rates vary drastically between criminal defense attorneys. Some charge flat rates based on the type of crime. Others bill hourly. Be clear about what you’ll owe and when from the start.
Don’t just pick the cheapest option
- Paying less is nice, but your freedom is on the line. A top lawyer with higher rates can get charges dismissed when a budget attorney couldn’t. Think long-term.
- Your lawyer should be licensed in Texas with no history of disciplinary issues. Make sure they’re in good standing with no suspensions.
- It’s usually best to hire someone local who knows the prosecutors and judges. But for sensitive cases, an out-of-town lawyer can provide a more impartial perspective.
Questions a Criminal Lawyer Will Ask You
When you meet with criminal defense attorneys, they’ll ask you a bunch of questions to assess your case. Be honest, no matter how embarrassing it may be. They can‘t build the best defense without knowing the full truth. Here are some common questions they’ll have:
- What exactly are the charges against you?
- When were you arrested and what happened? Walk through the full events.
- Were you read your Miranda rights? Did you make any statements to police?
- Do you have a criminal record? How about the alleged victim?
- Is there any evidence against you like video, documents, etc?
- Were there any witnesses and what might they say?
- What’s your side of the story and alibi? Can anyone confirm it?
- What outcome are you hoping for? Jail time avoidance, record clearing, etc?
Don’t hold anything back. The more your lawyer knows, the better chance they have of beating your criminal charges.
Common Houston Criminal Charges They Defend
Houston criminal defense lawyers have experience representing clients facing all types of criminal allegations. Some of the most common charges they deal with include:
- Drug crimes – Possession, distribution, trafficking, etc. of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and more.
- DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Can include first-time DUIs to felony habitual offender DUIs.
- Theft/burglary – Shoplifting, robbery, embezzlement, home break-ins.
- Domestic violence – Physical abuse, harassment, stalking, and protective order violations.
- Sex crimes – Rape, solicitation, indecent exposure, child pornography, prostitution.
- Assault/battery – Violent attacks, threats, and domestic abuse.
- Gun charges – Illegal possession/use of firearms, concealed carry issues.
- Probation violations – When probation terms are broken, like failed drug tests, missed meetings, leaving the county, etc.
- White collar crime – Fraud, forgery, tax evasion, money laundering, public corruption.
No matter what allegations you’re facing, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can carefully examine the evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
How a Houston Criminal Lawyer Can Defend You
If you do get charged with a crime, there are a variety of legal defense strategies a skilled Houston criminal attorney may use to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Here are some of the most common and effective tactics:
Search for procedural errors
- If police didn’t follow proper protocol during arrests, searches, interrogations, etc. any evidence found may be thrown out. This could cause the whole case to collapse.
- Similarly, if evidence was obtained illegally – like through an improper search – a good lawyer can often get it barred from being used against you. No evidence = no case.
Challenge eyewitness accounts
- Witness memories and identifications are often unreliable. An attorney can question witnesses and bring in experts to discredit them.
Raise reasonable doubt
- In criminal trials, prosecutors must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Your lawyer just needs to raise doubts in the jury’s mind to win. They don’t have to prove innocence.
Negotiate plea deals
- Many cases end in plea bargains instead of trials. Your lawyer can negotiate with the DA to get charges dropped or reduced in exchange for a guilty plea.
Present mitigating circumstances
- There are often extenuating circumstances that prompted behavior. Your lawyer can explain them to minimize penalties. For example, showing you stole to feed a drug addiction.
Shift blame away from you
- In multi-defendant cases, lawyers work to pin guilt on others and paint you as minimally involved. They can even arrange deals to testify against co-defendants.
With an aggressive criminal defense lawyer making these arguments on your behalf, you stand a great chance of beating your criminal allegations.