Tag: criminal defense

How To Hire a Criminal Justice Lawyer

How To Hire a Criminal Justice Lawyer

| April 1, 2014

Houston Area Law Enforcement Officials are Motivated

Houston’s main law enforcement personnel (The Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office) are more ferocious than ever in their “crime fighting” efforts. As a result of this harshly applied manpower, many good people are finding themselves charged with criminal offenses in the Houston area.

Most alleged criminal offenders who are facing misdemeanor cases and felonies have no way of knowing if they’ve hired, at bare minimum, a reasonably decent criminal defense attorney to assist them with their case.

Make no bones about it, having any attorney on your side during a defense against criminal allegations is better than having no attorney at all, by far. However, most people end up with mediocre to low-end attorneys in their corner and would never be the wiser.

Most people don’t have dealings with attorneys on a regular basis, don’t understand the legal community, and quite frankly, have no idea of the intricacies involved with being a darn good criminal justice lawyer. Therefore, they have no idea of the steps they can take to find out if the lawyer they are considering is bad, good, a rookie, a joke, or a great lawyer.

Sadly, most of these people end up putting a criminal defense attorney on retainer because of a word of mouth referral, or as a result of them being captured by flashy law-firm advertising schemes during a vulnerable time in their life.

All without regard for the skill-set and trial experience of the lawyer in question.

Is The Attorney Board Certified By The Texas Board of Legal Specialization?

There are a number of methods one can employ to find out if the attorney you are considering putting on retainer to represent you, or the attorney you’ve already hired, is a novice, or an expert in criminal law amongst other law fields.

Check to see if the attorney you are considering is Board Certified as an expert in criminal law.

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization, authorized by the Supreme Court of Texas, offers explicit certifications for legal expert status in 21 specific areas of the law.

If the attorney you have hired to assist you in fighting your Houston criminal case is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, chances are you’ve hire one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Texas to help you fight the charge.

The numbers are clear when it comes to making a keen determination on who the best and brightest in the criminal law field are. By some counts, there are over 84,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, but less than 10% of these lawyers are board certified as experts in their field of practice by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

A Direct Quote From the TBLS

There are over 70,000 attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. Only 7,000 have earned the right to be publicly recognized as Board Certified specialists in one of 21 select areas of law. Source

Notice the language: “Earned The Right”

This isn’t a membership that can be bought and paid for.

It has to be earned.

Having a Board Certified criminal defense attorney on your side means you have a lawyer that doesn’t attempt to dabble in multiple areas of the law acting as a “jack of all trades” and a master of none. It means you have a specialist expert criminal attorney on your side that will exhaust all efforts, known and unknown, to help you win at trial if the case goes that far.

Does Your Attorney Win Criminal Trials?

Results speak for themselves. If you don’t already know that you are in the company of a top lawyer who wins 95% of his cases, or gains good results from the courts 95% of the time on behalf of his clients, then you probably are not in the company of a good lawyer.

To put it lightly, stars shine.

If your lawyer doesn’t have a lot to say about their previous trial experience, cases they’ve won, instances of having evidence suppressed, or interesting stories of how they have won criminal cases in the court of law, chances are they haven’t.

A good confirmation indicator that the attorney may be a novice would be if the lawyer continues to bring up case dismissals with light talk of gripping courtroom trials.

Is Your Attorney a Professional?

Unfortunately, there are some lawyers out there who have had disciplinary sanctions enacted upon them.

If you want to find out if your lawyer, or the criminal justice attorney you may be considering for your case has a disciplinary problem, then it behooves you to visit the website of the State Bar of Texas and look up your attorney by name, and see what record shows for that attorney as far as disciplinary entries are concerned.

Upon uncovering any evidence of professional misconduct on the part of your attorney, you can safely take the position that the attorney in question may be dishonest, incompetent, or unequipped professionally to be able to put up a strong case on behalf of their client.

Shy Away From Court Appointed Attorneys

Nothing against public defenders, also known as court appointed lawyers, but these well intentioned attorneys are often overworked, tired, not as respected as top shelf lawyers, frowned upon, generally fresh out of law school or poor performers in a private practice, and underpaid.

This type of professional climate can result in the public defender feeling compelled to strike a deal with the district attorney to the ultimate detriment of the person they are supposed to be defending hand, tooth, and nail.

After all, they are human.

Need to talk with a lawyer?

Being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor criminal offense in the State of Texas can be a scary situation, but rest assured it isn’t the end of the world.

A good criminal defense lawyer will handle the following types of criminal law cases;

  • Drug Crimes
  • Marijuana Possession Cases
  • Cocaine Possession Crimes
  • Federal Drug Conspiracy Cases and Drug Trafficking Allegations.
  • Meth lab operation cases
  • Capital Murder Cases
  • Sex Crimes
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault Crimes
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
  • Family Violence, Assault, Evading Arrest
  • Child Endangerment Cases
  • DWI
  • DUI
  • Felony DWI
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Internet Crimes
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Shoplifting, Robbery
  • Probation Violation
  • Record Sealing, Expungement, Expunction
  • All Federal Crimes
  • All Capital Cases
  • All Felonies
  • All Misdemeanors