Best El Paso Criminal Lawyers
Best El Paso Criminal Lawyers and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in El Paso, Texas, having an experienced defense attorney is essential. Navigating complex state and federal criminal cases alone against tough prosecutors is extremely unwise. Just one conviction could destroy your life with devastating penalties like jail, massive fines, probation, criminal records, and more.
This guide covers top-rated criminal defense attorneys in the El Paso area. We’ll provide an overview of when you need legal counsel, potential defenses, key Texas laws and penalties, and most importantly – what makes certain litigators stand out. Our goal is to arm you with the information to make the best decision possible if you are facing prosecution in El Paso. An accomplished lawyer’s skills, resources and track record of positive case results can make all the difference.
When Should You Hire an El Paso Criminal Attorney?
Any time you are questioned, arrested or charged with a crime in El Paso, having a criminal defense lawyer represent you is critical. Situations requiring legal help include:
- You are contacted by police/prosecutors regarding an investigation
- You are arrested and jailed, even if no formal charges yet
- Officers attempt to interrogate you about alleged crimes
- Your property or devices are searched
- You are accused of violating probation/parole
- There is a warrant issued for your arrest
- You are facing charges like DUI, domestic violence or assault
- You are charged with any federal offense
Never try handling criminal cases alone without experienced counsel in your corner. The stakes are immense.
What Legal Defenses Could Potentially Apply?
Skilled criminal defense lawyers thoroughly examine cases to identify procedural flaws, contest weak evidence and pursue effective defenses based on the specifics. Potential defenses include:
False Accusations and Mistaken Identity
If you are wrongly accused or mistakenly identified, an alibi can prove you were elsewhere and establish mistaken identity. Alibis require strong documentation and witness corroboration.
Illegal Search and Seizure
If police lacked valid warrants and probable cause, evidence obtained illegally may potentially be suppressed and inadmissible.
Using reasonable and proportional force to protect yourself or family from harm may qualify as justified self-defense.
Diminished Mental Capacity
Mental defects, intoxication, lack of criminal intent or inability to form intent could potentially provide defenses negating or reducing culpability.
If law enforcement improperly induced you into criminality you otherwise wouldn’t commit, your rights were potentially violated.
Purely circumstantial, weak or hearsay evidence may fail to sufficiently prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
An experienced lawyer will pursue every avenue to build the strongest possible defense.
Overview of Texas Criminal Laws and Penalties
Potential sentences if convicted of a crime in Texas include:
Theft Crimes (Penal Code Chapter 31)
- Petty theft under $100 – Class C misdemeanor, fine up to $500
- Theft $100-$750 – Class B misdemeanor, up to 180 days jail, $2,000 fine
- Theft $750-$2,500 – Class A misdemeanor, up to 1 year jail, $4,000 fine
- Theft $2,500-$30,000 – State jail felony, 180 days-2 years prison, up to $10,000 fine
Harsher charges for stealing vehicles, livestock, or identity information.
Burglary (Penal Code § 30.02)
- Burglary of vehicles or buildings – Class A misdemeanor or state jail felony
- Burglary of habitation – 2nd degree felony, 2-20 years prison
- Burglary with weapon or causing injury – 1st degree felony, 5-99 years prison
Illegal entry with intent to commit theft or felony escalates charges.
Assault (Penal Code Chapter 22)
- Simple assault – Class C misdemeanor, $500 fine
- Assault causing bodily injury – Class A misdemeanor, 1 year jail, $4,000 fine
- Aggravated assault with weapon – 2nd degree felony, 2-20 years prison
- Assault against public servant/family member – 3rd degree felony, 2-10 years prison
Injury caused and use of weapons enhance charges.
Drug Possession (Health & Safety Code Chapter 481)
- Marijuana less than 2 oz – Class B misdemeanor
- Cocaine less than 1 gram – State jail felony
- Heroin less than 1 gram – State jail felony
- LSD less than 20 abuse units – State jail felony
- Intent to distribute – Can be 2nd/1st degree felonies
Penalties based on drug type and amounts. Trafficking charges are felonies.
DWI Charges (Penal Code § 49.04)
- 1st DWI – Class B misdemeanor, 72 hours-180 days jail, up to $2,000 fine
- 2nd DWI – Class A misdemeanor, 30 days-1 year jail, up to $4,000 fine
- 3rd DWI – 3rd degree felony, 2-10 years prison, up to $10,000 fine
- DWI with child passenger – State jail felony, 180 days-2 years prison
Penalties escalate based on circumstances like injury caused.
Sex Crimes (Penal Code Chapter 21)
- Indecent exposure – Class B misdemeanor, up to 180 days jail, $2,000 fine
- Sexual assault – 2nd degree felony, 2-20 years prison
- Aggravated sexual assault – 1st degree felony, 5-99 years prison
- Indecency with a child – 3rd degree felony, 2-10 years prison
Lifetime sex offender registration required upon conviction.
These penalties demonstrate the critical need for an experienced attorney’s defense. Now let’s examine El Paso’s top criminal lawyers.
Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in El Paso, Texas
With over 15 years of experience, Justin Underwood is known as an aggressive litigator who fights relentlessly for his clients facing prosecution in El Paso and surrounding areas. He represents citizens facing state charges ranging from DUI and marijuana possession to domestic violence, assault, white collar crimes, sex offenses, and homicide.
Attorney Underwood is respected locally for his skilled trial advocacy and litigation abilities. He conducts detailed investigations into the validity of accusations and works to get charges reduced or dismissed through procedural motions and negotiations by emphasizing weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Former clients praise his responsiveness and compassion.
As a former El Paso prosecutor, Andrew Davidson leverages his background and relationships with the local legal community to defend individuals now facing criminal prosecution in El Paso courts. His experience includes cases involving charges of DUI, drug crimes, domestic violence, juvenile offenses, assault, robbery, and major fraud and theft charges.
Attorney Davidson is acclaimed for his meticulous examination of each case’s details and nuances. He has successfully helped many clients through legal and procedural maneuvers getting charges dropped or significantly reduced pre-trial. Past clients compliment his pragmatism and honest case assessments.
Lucas Marshall leverages his prior career as a federal prosecutor to defend individuals and corporations now facing federal prosecution in El Paso. His experience includes cases involving white collar crimes, money laundering, bribery, wire fraud, tax evasion, public corruption, drug trafficking, child pornography and other federal charges.
Over his 15+ year legal career, attorney Marshall has represented clients in over 50 federal jury trials. He knows how to identify procedural and evidentiary issues, attack sloppy investigative work by agents, and undermine cooperating witness credibility. Marshall’s trial skills and negotiation experience have efficiently resolved many complex federal criminal cases.
As a former El Paso public defender, Samantha Clark leverages her trial experience and relationships with court personnel to defend disadvantaged people facing criminal prosecution in El Paso. Her practice focuses on misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges related to domestic violence, drugs, thefts, and juvenile offenses.
Attorney Clark is known for her comprehensive case preparation investigating every angle from mental health and addiction issues to constitutional violations. She excels at humanizing clients and securing reasonable pleas or alternative sentencing arrangements minimizing penalties as much as possible. Past clients compliment her compassion and diligence.
With over 20 years of experience, Thomas Morris represents clients facing federal prosecution at the El Paso federal courthouse on complex cases throughout the Western District of Texas. His practice focuses on white collar and financial crimes, public corruption, drug trafficking, child pornography, fraud, tax evasion, and federal conspiracy charges.
Attorney Morris is highly respected for his strong litigation skills in high-stakes federal criminal cases. He has successfully defended numerous federal jury trials over his career. Prosecutors also value his honesty in negotiating favorable pre-trial resolutions for clients when possible.
How to Choose the Best El Paso Criminal Defense Lawyer
When researching criminal defense attorneys, keep these tips in mind:
- Look for extensive criminal law expertise focused on your charges specifically. Avoid dabbling lawyers.
- Verify excellent case results like dismissals, acquittals and charge reductions.
- Make sure lawyers have great reputations among local judges, prosecutors and fellow attorneys.
- Match lawyers who concentrate on your charges, whether DUIs, sex crimes, fraud, etc.
- Compare client review ratings on Google, Avvo, Facebook and other sites.
- Ask about resources like investigators, forensic experts and legal support staff access.
- Meet with multiple lawyers before deciding – don’t just pick the first name you see.
- For federal charges, prioritize federal criminal defense experience specifically.
Take time to thoroughly vet each option – your future is at stake. The right criminal lawyer makes all the difference.
If you are facing criminal prosecution in El Paso, the prospect of harsh penalties if convicted makes legal representation essential. Handling these cases alone against experienced prosecutors is extremely unwise.
The top El Paso criminal lawyers we covered have the skills and track records to build the strongest case on your behalf if you are facing state or federal criminal charges. For your best chance at avoiding convictions, harsh sentences and wasted money, hire one of these experts to defend you.
No matter the basis of your charges – whether you were wrongly accused, acted in self-defense, or the prosecution’s evidence is weak – a skilled litigator can leverage these factors during pre-trial negotiations and court proceedings to get charges reduced or dropped entirely in many cases. An experienced criminal lawyer levels the playing field and helps ensure your rights are protected each step through investigation, arraignment, pre-trial hearings, and potential trial.
With an elite lawyer in your corner, you have an invaluable ally in navigating high-stakes El Paso criminal cases and fighting for the best possible outcome. Don’t leave your future to chance – let one of these accomplished attorneys defend your freedom.