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Lavaca County Criminal Defense Attorney

Board Certified Criminal Defense & DWI Attorney in Lavaca County, TX

If you have been arrested in Lavaca County, whether as a resident or as a visitor, it is always a troubling experience. You may think the odds are against you and that an arrest means a conviction. But that's not true. You can fight any charge placed against you. With the right criminal defense attorney handling your case, you optimize the chances of that fight being successful.

At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., we represent clients in Hallettsville, Shiner, Moulton, and throughout Lavaca County. We believe everyone deserves a good defense. We help you get your lives back. We provide comprehensive, aggressive criminal defense. Contact our office immediately for a free initial consultation.

Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Lavaca County, TX?

There are several ways to consider this question. You do not actually need a criminal defense lawyer if you do not worry about the potential penalties. But you do need an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you want to safeguard your rights, your freedom, and your future.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can build a strong defense for you, which can work towards weakening the State's case against you. That matters because you cannot be convicted unless it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt you are guilty. And a conviction carries with it the penalties imposed by the judge, plus what is known as collateral consequences. Not many people consider the collateral consequences when deciding to hire legal representation. But you should consider it.

Collateral consequences can have a deeper impact on your quality of life after you have paid your debt to society. With a conviction comes a criminal record, and that criminal record materializes whenever anyone does a background check on you. That could mean:

  • Suspension, revocation, or denial of a professional license, like a pilot's license, nursing license, or medical license
  • Suspension, revocation, or denial of security clearance
  • Denial of a new job or promotion
  • Denial of some forms of financial aid
  • Denial of admissions to programs at a higher education institution
  • Denial of rental agreements for housing in a safe environment
  • Taking away constitutional rights, such as the right to vote or own and use a firearm
  • Problems with custody of your children
  • Diminished good reputation among family and community.

If any of these things matter to you, then you will want to consider the DWI or criminal defense lawyer you hire. In Lavaca County, your options are limited unless you look for an attorney in surrounding communities. That opens up the field for finding the best qualified and best-suited attorney for you and your unique circumstances.

Arrested in Lavaca County? Factors to Consider when Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime in Lavaca County, there are some factors to consider when determining who to hire as your criminal defense or DWI defense lawyer.

Public Defenders

You have a right to defend yourself, but that does not mean you have the right to receive a public defender. Public offenders are typically provided when the alleged offender financially qualifies. If you do not meet the criteria, you will not be assigned a public defender. That means you must find and retain your own lawyer if you want the benefit of an experienced lawyer negotiating or arguing on your behalf with the prosecutor or before a judge and jury.


After an arrest, it is important to find an experienced criminal defense or DWI lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you retain one, the sooner he or she can start investigating your case and building your defense. An attorney can also provide advice on what you can do prior to your court date to improve your case.

Trial Experience

If you intend to get the charges dismissed or be acquitted at trial, you need an attorney with ample and successful trial experience. Most criminal cases are concluded outside the courtroom today because more and more criminal defense attorneys are making deals with the prosecutor's office. Alleged offenders often think these plea deals are good for them because they often result in reduced charges and lighter sentences. But that's not always true, and you still end up with a criminal record that can cause you problems later in life. Doug Murphy has extensive trial experience. He is a fighter in and outside the courtroom. He will not settle your case for anything less than a dismissal or an acquittal unless there are unique circumstances and the plea deal actually is to your benefit.

Board Certifications

Attorneys in Texas and throughout the U.S. can only say they specialize in something if they have been certified by an accredited certifying board. Doug Murphy is Board Certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations. He is also Board Certified in DWI defense by the National College of DUI Defense, which the American Bar Association accredits. Only two attorneys in all of Texas are simultaneously certified in these two specializations, and Doug Murphy is one of them.

Client Testimonials

Former client testimonials are always the best way to determine if an attorney has the qualifications and resources you need to fight your case. Former clients can provide insight into how hard an attorney works and how well he or she builds your case for you. You can review the comments made by Doug Murphy's clients and decide yourself.

Criminal Cases Represented by Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. in Lavaca County

Lavaca County is home to Shiner Brewery. Whether you live in this small community of just over 2,000 people or are visiting it, you will likely enjoy a beer or two. But even though this is small town living, you can still get into trouble if you drink and drive. Doug Murphy allocates more than half of his practice to DWI and DWI related cases. But he also spends ample time representing other criminal matters. Below are some of the crimes he has defended.

DWI Offenses

Criminal Offenses

Building a Defense at the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C.

Doug Murphy approaches each case with individual attention. He considers all the angles and possibilities. He listens to his clients and reviews the evidence objectively and strategically. For some of you, a defense will be built around your innocence. For others of you, it will be built around a justifiable reason, like:

For the rest of you, your defense will be orchestrated to weaken the State's case against you. Doug Murphy and his team will consider different defense strategies, including moving the court to suppress evidence when that evidence was obtained illegally.

As you know, each case is different, and outcomes will reflect the same. Doug Murphy will put forth the best defense to ensure the chances of a good outcome.

Lavaca County Court System

The Lavaca County court system is like most other Texan county court systems. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the justice and municipal courts. The former oversees criminal misdemeanors – generally Class C misdemeanors – that are punishable by fines only and not confinement. The latter also hears criminal misdemeanor cases punishable by fines only but has exclusive original jurisdiction over municipal ordinance criminal cases.

The county-level courts include constitutional county courts at law and statutory county courts at law. Each county has one county court at law mandated by the Constitution of Texas. These courts hear a number of different cases. Still, with respect to criminal cases, they have exclusive original jurisdiction over Class A and Class B misdemeanors with fines greater than $500 and potential jail sentences. If you appeal a criminal case from a county court at law, the case goes to the court of appeals, and a case appealed from the court of appeals goes to the court of criminal appeals.

The next layer of courts is the district courts. These courts have original jurisdiction over felony criminal matters. Each county is assigned to at least one district court, and some district courts are assigned to multiple counties. If you appeal a criminal case from the district court, it goes to the next layer of courts: the court of criminal appeals.

In Lavaca County, Texas, if you need to find out when either the county court at law or the district court is in session, you can check the Lavaca County calendar.

County Court at Law of Lavaca County, TX

There is only one county court at law in Lavaca County, and that is the constitutionally mandated court.

Lavaca County Court at Law
109 North La Grange
Hallettsville, TX 77964
Phone: 361-798-2301

Judicial District Courts of Lavaca County, TX

Lavaca County is assigned to two district courts: the 2nd 25th District and the 25th District Courts.

2nd 25th District Court
211 West Court Street, Room 221
Seguin, TX 78155 (Gonzales County)
Phone: 830-303-4188, ext. 1300

The 2nd 25th District Court is shared with three other counties: Colorado County, Guadalupe, and Gonzales Counties.

25th District Court
211 West Court Street, 2nd Floor
Seguin, TX 78155 (Gonzales County)
Phone: 830-303-4188, ext. 1265

The 25th District Court is shared among Lavaca County and the Counties of Guadalupe, Colorado, and Gonzales.

Lavaca County Probation Department

If you are placed on probation or parole, you will be supervised by an officer at the Lavaca County Probation Department. You may have to visit the site regularly and may be responsible for fees or fines you must pay to or through this Department.

Lavaca County Probation Department
412 North Texana
Hallettsville, TX 77964
Phone: 361-798-4353

Lavaca County Jail & Prison Facilities

If you are convicted of a crime and are sentenced to jail, you may be sentenced to a county jail, state jail, or state prison. Which facility depends on the classification of the crime.


Incarceration Facility

Class A & B Misdemeanors

County Jail

These facilities are for persons who may be awaiting trial or arraignment or have been convicted of a misdemeanor and have a sentence of imprisonment for less than one year.

State Jail Felony

State Jail / Prison

These facilities are not maximum security facilities, but they also do not provide the wide range of amenities provided in state prisons. Persons serving time in a state jail usually have a sentence of up to two years in jail. Prisoners in state jails must serve their time in prison – they do not qualify for good time or parole.

Third Degree Felony or Higher

State Prison

These facilities have maximum security but provide more amenities and services, like better commissaries, libraries, classes to learn specific skills, treatment for addiction or anger management, and other programs.

In Lavaca County, there is one jail, and that is the county jail. If you are convicted as a felon, you will likely be transferred to a state jail or prison outside of Lavaca County.

Lavaca County Jail

If you have been arrested by an officer from the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Sheriff's office, or a local police department and are awaiting arraignment, you were likely booked into the Lavaca County Jail.

Lavaca County Jail
38 FM 318 Road
Hallettsville, TX 77964
Phone: 361-798-2420

Lavaca County Law Enforcement Agencies

There are several law enforcement agencies throughout Lavaca County, but the three you are most likely to encounter are the patrol, sheriffs, or local police officers.

Lavaca County Sheriff's Office

The Lavaca County Sheriff's Office is trusted with overseeing and investigating criminal activity throughout Lavaca County that is not served by the local police.

Lavaca County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Micah Harmon
38 FM 318
Hallettsville, TX 77964
Phone: 361-798-2121

Local Police

The local police supervise all crimes that occur locally. In Lavaca County, there are less than a handful of police departments because the population is so scarce in the county.

City of Hallettsville Police Department
104 East Fourth Street
Hallettsville, TX 77964
Phone: 361-798-3683

This police department is small in numbers, reflecting the small community of 2,500 people it services. In addition to the Chief of Police, there is an administrative assistant, one lieutenant, one sergeant, and two officers.

City of Shiner Police Department
810 North Avenue East
Shiner, TX 77984
Phone: 361-594-2831

The Shiner Police Department is home to one Sergeant, one Second Sergeant, and two police officers who serve a population of just over 2000 people.

City of Moulton Police Department
102 South Main Street
Moulton, TX 77975
Phone: 361-596-7248

The police department oversees crime that occurs inside the city limits of Moulton, Texas. In addition to the Chief of Police, there are two police officers who patrol the city of fewer than 1000 residents.

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. Representation

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is based in Houston, Texas, but it provides legal services throughout the region. If you live in any of the following cities or any surrounding area throughout Lavaca County, Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. will provide criminal defense.

Experienced DWI Defense & Criminal Defense Lawyers in Lavaca County, Texas

Doug Murphy's philosophy that grounds his practice is simple: you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you have been charged with a DWI or another criminal offense and want to fight it, retain a DWI and criminal defense attorney committed to the same. At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., you get commitment and results. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today at 713-229-8333 for a consultation.

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