Best Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers

Last Updated: 08/02/2024

Choose from Austin's Top Criminal Defense Lawyers for DWI, Felonies, and More. Get Skilled Legal Defense and Secure the Best Outcome.

The 23 Best Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers

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List of the Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in Austin, Texas

The Hull Firm
1004 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701, USA

The Hull Firm specializes in criminal defense and DWI cases in Austin, Texas. They defend rights and aim for favorable outcomes in various charges. Their team brings decades of experience to the table. They handle DWI, drug offenses, assault, and more. Known for compassionate care and affordable plans, they're a top lawyer for criminal defense in Austin.

Michael & Associates Criminal Defense Attorneys

Michael & Associates is a respected criminal defense law firm in Austin, TX. Led by top lawyer Ben Michael, they effectively fight charges in Texas. They handle DWIs, drug possession, domestic violence, and assault. The firm aims to cut or dismiss criminal convictions. They offer 24/7 access to senior attorneys. Their strategy is transparent and customized. With a perfect 5-star ratings, they are trusted in Austin and beyond.

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Law Office of Eric Harron
319 S 1st St #13, Temple, TX 76504, USA

The Law Office Of Eric Harron defends those accused of crimes in Austin. Eric Harron, a top criminal defense lawyer in Austin, leads the firm. They tackle DWI, drug crimes, assault, and more. Their defense strategies often lead to dismissals and reduced charges. Serving Travis, Williamson, Hays, and Bell Counties, they're known for a strong defense in central Texas. Their reputation with prosecutors and judges aids their success. The firm is a go-to for anyone needing a robust law firm in Austin.

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Law Office of E.G. Morris
505 W 12th St #206, Austin, TX 78701, USA

The Law Office of E.G. Morris offers expert criminal defense in Austin, Texas. Attorney E.G. Morris, a board-certified specialist, leads the firm. They handle state and federal charges, including white-collar crimes and capital murder. Morris is in the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Hall of Fame. The firm covers embezzlement, drug offenses, DWI, and appeals. They defend clients' rights in Texas' criminal justice system.

Leichter Law Firm PC
1602 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA

Leichter Law Firm PC defends professionals in Austin and Houston. They focus on license defense and administrative law. The team helps doctors, nurses, and others facing board disputes. They also tackle DEA investigations and employment law cases. Their attorneys are board-certified specialists. The firm boasts decades of experience and thousands of successful cases. They aim for high dismissal rates in licensing complaints. Their approach combines strong advocacy with compassion.

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Stephen T Bowling, DWI & Criminal Defense Attorneys
816 Congress Ave. Suite 950, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Stephen T Bowling specializes in criminal defense in Austin and the surrounding areas. We handle DWI, domestic violence, drug offenses, and weapons charges. Our team, led by former police officer Stephen Bowling, defends clients in criminal cases. We aim to dismiss or reduce charges through thorough investigation and strong defense strategies. Our firm offers 24/7 support and transparent fees. We're recognized for our commitment to protecting clients' rights and futures. Awards and accolades highlight our legal expertise and success in cases across Austin.

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Law Office of Alejandro Martinez, PLLC

The Law Office of Alejandro Martinez, PLLC, excels in Austin criminal defense. With decades of experience, we tackle drug offenses, theft, assault, DWIs, and more. Our edge? Alejandro's past as a prosecutor. We aim for the best outcomes: reduced charges or dismissals. Affordable, personalized service defines our firm. We protect your future.

Chris Perri Law
1304 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Chris Perri Law, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Austin, Texas, defends clients statewide. Chris Perri, a highly-rated Texas lawyer, handles appeals, federal offenses, DWIs, and more. He wins trials, overturns convictions, and expunges records. The firm is recognized by Austin Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers.

Law Office of Jorge Vela - Abogado de Defensa Criminal

The Law Office of Jorge Vela defends Austin's clients in criminal cases. Jorge Vela, a skilled criminal defense attorney, knows prosecution tactics well. He fights charges like homicide, assault, and DWI. The firm has won many cases. They focus on each client. Need a defense lawyer in Austin? Contact Jorge Vela.

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Hildreth & Rueda
1301 Nueces St #101, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Hildreth & Rueda Law defends against criminal charges in Austin, Texas. They handle DWI, drug crimes, theft, and assault cases. The firm helps clients fight for their rights and aims to reduce legal impacts. Services include defense for college students, expungement, and immigration issue avoidance. They're known for clear communication and strong trial advocacy. Their work has led to many case dismissals and favorable outcomes.

The Law Office of Will Mitchell

The Law Office of Will Mitchell defends against charges in Texas, focusing on Austin crime. Services include DWI/DUI, drug crimes, theft, assault, and gun charges defense. They also handle personal injury cases like vehicle accidents and wrongful death. With decades of experience, they fight for clients' rights and fair compensation. They offer personalized, aggressive legal representation.

David B. Frank
1212 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer defends against crimes in Austin, Texas. Led by David B. Frank, a specialist in criminal law. They handle DWI/DUI, drug offenses, theft, and family violence cases. The firm uses advanced legal research for strong defenses. They seek alternatives to jail, negotiating with prosecutors and judges. Known for trial success and protecting clients' rights. Recognized by Super Lawyers and the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

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Law Office of David D. White, PLLC
608 W 12th St Ste B, Austin, TX 78701, USA

The Law Office of David D. White specializes in top criminal defense in Austin, Texas. Since 2008, they have defended against misdemeanors and felonies. David White offers personalized defense strategies. They've achieved hundreds of case dismissals. Services include DWI, drug crimes, domestic violence, theft, and homicide defense. They focus on protecting the accused's rights.

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Sablatura & Williams PLLC
108 E Bagdad Ave #200, Round Rock, TX 78664, USA

Sablatura & Williams PLLC, an Austin criminal defense attorney team, champions your rights. They tackle criminal defense, personal injury, and family law. Their expertise covers misdemeanors and felonies. They also manage divorce, child custody, and property division. The firm ensures personalized, aggressive advocacy. Serving Central Texas, they boast recognitions like AV Preeminent status and Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

The Law Office of Diana E. Buss
13341 W U.S. 290 BUILDING 2, Austin, TX 78737, USA

The Law Office of Diana E. Buss defends clients against criminal charges in Austin, Texas. Attorney Diana E. Buss tackles misdemeanors, felonies, assault, drug crimes, theft, and more. She also manages expungements and non-disclosures. With top law school honors, she advocates for second chances. Her firm has aided hundreds in clearing records and fighting offenses.

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Blackburn Betts PLLC
605 W 14th St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Blackburn Betts specializes in criminal defense and DUI cases in Austin. The firm offers expert legal help for DWI, drug crimes, theft, and more. Attorneys Blackburn and Betts bring decades of experience in criminal law. They focus on reducing or dismissing charges. Known for personalized advice and strong advocacy, they aim to protect clients' rights and reputations. Their defense strategies help clients avoid convictions and maintain driving privileges. Blackburn Betts is recognized for excellence in criminal defense.

Law Office of Jessica Bernstein

The Law Office of Jessica Bernstein defends Austin's clients against criminal charges. Jessica Bernstein, an experienced Texas lawyer, leads the firm. She tackles DWI, drug offenses, domestic violence, and theft cases. Bernstein fights for clients' best interests, aiming to reduce charges and penalties. She's recognized in legal circles, contributing to public defender training. Clients value her honest, dedicated approach.

Brand & Resendez Law
505 W 12th St #204, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Brand & Resendez Law, an Austin-based criminal defense law firm, tackles state and federal charges. They specialize in drug charges, violent crimes, sex crimes, white-collar crimes, and family violence. Founders Steve Brand and Elizabeth Resendez bring former prosecutor insight and trial expertise. Brand, a board-certified criminal defense lawyer, excels in building robust defenses.

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Keates Law Firm
901 S MoPac Expy Bldg. 1, Ste. 300, Austin, TX 78746, USA

Keates Law Firm specializes in defending Travis County individuals accused of crimes. Attorney Robert Keates, with decades of experience, personally manages each case. The firm tackles hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases annually. Key services include free consultations, affordable fees, jail release help, and record clearing. They defend against charges such as DWI, drug possession, theft, and assault. Keates holds an A+ BBB rating and many five-star reviews, showcasing excellence in Austin criminal defense.

Dan Wannamaker
13809 Research Blvd Suite 500, Austin, TX 78750, USA

Wannamaker & Associates, based in Austin, Texas, defends against serious crimes. Daniel Wannamaker leads, bringing decades of experience. They handle fraud, cyber crimes, and drug offenses. Wannamaker is a certified specialist in criminal trial law and appeals. The firm offers aggressive, compassionate representation. They work with experts for strong defenses. Their track record includes many high-profile case successes.

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Law Office of Sandra C. Ritz
902 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

The Law Office of Sandra C. Ritz is a leading Austin criminal defense firm. Aa an experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer, she defends clients across Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties. Services include jail releases, investigations, trials, appeals, and post-conviction relief. Available 24/7 for jail releases. Known for strong defense and successful outcomes.

Sylestine Law PLLC
602 W 11th St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Sylestine Law PLLC defends against criminal charges in Austin, Texas. Attorney Jeremy Sylestine leads, bringing insider knowledge from years as a prosecutor. The firm tackles drug offenses, assault, domestic violence, sex crimes, and felonies. They focus on protecting rights and minimizing consequences. Their goal is to help clients move forward.

Law Office of Zachary Bidner
818 W 10th St Suite A, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Bidner Law Firm specializes in criminal defense in Austin, Central Texas. Zachary Bidner, a skilled criminal defense attorney, tackles state and federal charges. He fights for clients in Travis, Williamson, Hays, and Bastrop counties. The firm handles complex felonies, DWIs, domestic violence, and drug offenses. Bidner uses prosecutorial insights for strong defense strategies. Clients get 24/7 support and detailed case evaluations. The firm's focus on criminal law ensures dedicated, effective defense. Bidner is a member of the Texas and New Mexico State Bar Associations.

Understanding Criminal Defense: An Overview

When facing criminal charges, it is crucial to understand your rights and options. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is key to building an effective defense. This guide provides an overview of criminal defense and what to expect when navigating the criminal justice system.

What is Criminal Defense?

Criminal defense refers to the advocacy and legal representation for those charged with a crime. A criminal defense lawyer helps understand the charges, builds a strong defense, and negotiates reduced penalties or dismissals. They act as an intermediary between the accused and the prosecutor representing the state.

Defense lawyers handle cases in both state and federal courts . They defend clients against misdemeanors, felonies, and other criminal offenses. Their goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for the accused.

Key Players in a Criminal Case

In addition to the defense attorney and prosecutor, several other key figures play a role in criminal cases:

  • Judge: Presides over trial proceedings and hearings. Determines admissibility of evidence, gives instructions to the jury, and hands down the final sentence upon conviction.
  • Law enforcement: Investigates crimes, gathers evidence, arrests, and testifies during court proceedings.
  • Defendant: The person or party facing criminal charges and accused of committing a crime.
  • Witnesses: Individuals who provide testimony for a case's prosecution or defense side.
  • Jury: Panel of impartial peers who determine guilt or innocence based on evidence and arguments presented in court.

Stages of a Criminal Case

Criminal cases typically move through the following stages:

Arrest and Charging

Police arrest if they have probable cause. The prosecutor then files formal charges. At the initial appearance, bail terms and conditions are often set.

Plea Bargaining

Many cases end through plea bargains between the defense and prosecutor before trial. Defendants plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or lighter sentencing.

Motions and Hearings

Defense attorneys may file motions challenging evidence or procedures leading up to trial. Evidentiary hearings take place to settle these motions.


The case goes to a bench or jury trial if no plea deal is reached. Both sides present evidence and make arguments before a verdict is reached.


The judge determines penalties and sentencing terms at a separate hearing if convicted. Fines, probation, incarceration, or combinations may apply depending on the case.

The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing criminal prosecution can be an intimidating and high-stakes ordeal. Having knowledgeable legal representation is key to developing an effective defense strategy. Here are some top reasons it’s essential to hire a criminal defense attorney:

Deep Knowledge of Criminal Law

The criminal justice framework comprises complex state and federal laws and court rules. Most defendants don’t fully grasp the intricacies involved. A skilled defense lawyer leverages their expertise to protect clients’ rights through every phase.

Ability to Identify Weaknesses

A good attorney can review police reports, analyze evidence, and identify inconsistencies. Spotting legal holes allows charges to be reduced or dismissed pre-trial.

Effective Defense Planning and Execution

Seasoned lawyers craft defense theories, challenge questionable evidence, locate witnesses, and deliver compelling arguments. Their mastery of trial procedures leads to optimal outcomes.

Guidance on Legal Strategy

The lawyer strategically advises whether to plea bargain or take a case trial. If negotiating with prosecutors, they leverage their skills to secure the best deal possible. These high-stakes decisions often dictate the case’s final result.

Sentencing Mitigation

For clients convicted of crimes, skilled counsel makes a compelling case for reduced sentencing. This can involve highlighting mitigating circumstances, providing character references, or appealing judicial discretion.

In summary, a proficient criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable guide through the complex legal maze. Their expertise can make all the difference.

How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

Selecting the right criminal defense attorney is no easy task. Clients face heavy fines, probation terms, and even years behind bars. Building an air-tight case with the best lawyer improves outcomes. Use these tips when evaluating attorneys:

Verify Qualifications and Licensing

Only hire practicing lawyers with a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited law school. Confirm they hold a valid state license to practice law. Court appointments and Marine Corps training indicate distinguished criminal attorneys.

Assess Relevant Expertise

Seeking counsel well-versed in state or federal criminal law is paramount. Those certified as specialists in criminal trial or defense law prove exemplary qualifications. High Super Lawyer and AV Preeminent attorney ratings also signify expertise.

Examine Track Record and Case History

The ideal attorney has a proven history of favorable verdicts in comparable criminal cases. Request specific case examples and personal references from past clients. High acquittal and dismissal rates reflect positively.

Gauge Trial Ability and Style

Understand how adept they are in the courtroom. Do they excel at cross-examining, delivering opening/closing arguments, persuading judges and juries? Also, assess their manner and how clients describe their approach.

Common Types of Criminal Cases and Defense Strategies

Criminal cases span a broad spectrum, from non-violent misdemeanors to major felonies. Common charges include:

Drug Charges

Drug cases range from possession to trafficking and distribution felonies. The defense often involves questioning the legitimacy of searches or drug testing accuracy. Attorneys also challenge witnesses’ credibility and leverage sentencing options.

DUI Cases

For driving under the influence, defenses dispute blood alcohol content readings and sobriety test protocols. Lawyers may argue clients weren’t driving the vehicle when arrested. Or challenge the technical calibrating processes of breathalyzers.

White Collar Crimes

Tax evasion, embezzlement, money laundering, and fraud fall under white-collar categories. Attorneys dispute paper trails or challenge witnesses’ accounts to undermine prosecution arguments.

Sex Crimes

Accused sex offenders often claim sexual acts were consensual. Lawyers highlight contradictory statements, credibility issues with witnesses/victims, and evidentiary timelines. Reduced sentencing remains the likely goal.

In all cases, lawyers exploit every available angle and argument when mounting a vigorous defense.

The Impact of Criminal Convictions and How to Fight Them

The implications of having a permanent criminal record extend far beyond fines and jail time served. Ongoing stigma and restrictions present marked barriers moving forward. Skilled lawyers aim to avoid undeserved convictions and mitigate penalties.

Long-Term Effects of Criminal Convictions

Beyond reputational damage, those with felony or misdemeanor convictions face:

  • Lost voting and gun ownership rights
  • Barriers accessing jobs, housing, loans
  • Restricted international travel
  • Family law and child custody limitations
  • Social stigma and community exclusion

How Criminal Defense Lawyers Fight Convictions

To help clients avoid unfair, inaccurate convictions, lawyers leverage:

  • Case dismissal motions highlighting procedural technicalities
  • Plea deals to negotiate dropped or reduced charges
  • Sentencing reductions through circumstance mitigation
  • Post-conviction relief and record expungement processes
  • Appeals arguments focused on legal/judicial errors

Through each phase, defense counsel fights to protect defendants’ records, rights, and freedoms for life beyond a case. Avoiding unjust outcomes remains the top priority.

Skilled criminal defense lawyers understand all case complexities and the consequences at stake. Their expertise can mean the difference between smooth societal reintegration or blocked opportunities.