Experienced Leon County DWI & Criminal Defense Lawyer

In the moment of your arrest, you aren't thinking about your future. Rather, all that's on your mind is the present. The handcuffs. The interrogation. The intimidation. The threat of jail. These are indeed things that should worry you. But there are some other things to keep on your mind as well: your rights, your options, and your choices that you will make about those rights and options.

At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., we are here to advise you of your rights, layout your options, and help you make informed choices that impact not only your present situation but also your future. Doug Murphy is the kind of DWI and criminal defense lawyer who actually listens to your side of the story and your specific concerns. He takes the time to address those concerns with insight and compassion. He is also the kind of lawyer who will fight for your rights and hold the State accountable to the law.

Leon county courthouse
Leon County Courthouse

Arrested in Leon County? Three Things to Consider When Looking for a DWI or Criminal Defense Lawyer

You or someone you know has been arrested. Your case is now pending. If you haven't done so already, you need to hire an attorney. But the problem: the internet is saturated with them. Even in Leon County, you can get several pages returned from a search of criminal defense lawyers. Of course, you want to hire the one that's right for you, the one who will help you get your case either dismissed or get you the best possible outcome. That usually requires experience, skills, insight, and a special kind of determination to help innocent persons redeem themselves and other persons get a second chance.

Here are three things you should think about when searching for the right attorney for you.

1. How can you find out which attorney is the best criminal defense attorney to represent you in Leon County, TX?

No one can say that there is a “best” criminal defense attorney in or around Leon County. It is more about finding the best attorney for you, and that means identifying what you want out of your representation? That question usually comes down to: do you want to fight the charge or do you want to settle?

Settling, generally speaking, means agreeing to a plea deal. There are attorneys out there who never see a day in the courtroom because their main priority is getting a plea deal. And prosecutors like those kinds of attorneys because prosecutors want plea deals too: it saves them time and energy.

A plea deal, however, may not be in your best interests. First, the initial priority for these kinds of attorneys is the plea deal, not you. Second and because of the latter, these plea deals may not be in your best interests. Too many defendants agree to plea deals due to the persuasion of their attorneys. But if you don't want to settle, then you need to find an attorney who has extensive trial experience.

An attorney with extensive trial experience generally indicates that attorney is not afraid to go to trial. Indeed, that attorney may look forward to the day you go to trial so he or she can prove your innocence and/or challenge the State's arguments against you.

In the end, your choice is a personal one. It is recommended you meet with the attorney first, and when you do, there is specific information you should obtain from that attorney.

2. What should you find out when you interview an attorney for your criminal defense case?

At your initial consultation, the attorney is interviewing you just as much as you are to interview him or her. There are specific questions you'll want to be answered so that you can best determine if that attorney is the right attorney.

Does the attorney focus his or her practice only on criminal defense?

Some attorneys practice law in different areas, from criminal defense to personal injury to family law to estate law. If you are the kind of person who wants to fight the charge rather than settle, then you want to be sure the criminal defense lawyer you hire exclusively practices criminal law. Better yet, you want a criminal defense lawyer who is Board Certified.

  • Board Certified means the attorney has been evaluated and tested for knowledge and experience in specific areas of the law. A lawyer cannot claim a specialization in Texas without Board Certification. A Texas lawyer can be Board Certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations. He or she may also be Board Certified in DWI defense by the National College of DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association.
  • In Texas, there are only two attorneys who are Board Certified in both criminal law and DWI defense. Doug Murphy is one of those two attorneys. He practice is focused only on DWI and criminal defense.     

How many cases does that attorney have pending?

You can expect your attorney to be busy, and you want that because it indicates he or she may have a reputation for getting results. But it can become problematic if the attorney has too many cases going on at the same time. You may not be able to get the personal representation you deserve.

That said, if an attorney does not have that many cases, you can expect a lot of attention possibly but maybe not the best representation. You may want to dig in a little further to try to understand why that attorney has limited cases. It could be a red flag, or it could be simply a matter of life circumstances at that time.

Overall, you want an attorney who has a healthy list of clients. This means a balance between the attorney being in court regularly and being able to represent you personally and professionally.

  • Doug Murphy has a healthy docket of cases and always prepares each in anticipation of going to trial.
  • Doug Murphy understands the importance of good communication between him and his clients. He and his legal team are available to speak with you when you need it or else someone from the office will return your call promptly.

Does the attorney have a good reputation within the legal community and among clients?

You will want to read the attorney's client reviews to understand how clients responded to the attorney's representation. You will also want to know what the legal community thinks of the client. You can ask the attorney for client testimonials or peer referrals.

  • Doug Murphy shares his client testimonials and enjoys a 5-star rating on Google, Yelp, and Avvo, the latter of which is a legal database on lawyers.
  • Doug Murphy is also well-known among his peers. He is often asked to present at speaking engagements in Texas and throughout the U.S. to speak on DWI matters and criminal defense to other attorneys in the same practice areas.

3. Why does an experienced DWI or criminal defense lawyer matter?

Having an experienced DWI or criminal defense lawyer on your side matters if you care about your future. If you are convicted of a crime, you will have a criminal record that may or may not be eligible for expunction. If it is not, then that criminal record can come back to haunt you for years after you have paid your debt to society. It is what's known as collateral consequences of your arrest and subsequent conviction.

Examples of how collateral consequences can impact your life include:

  • Denial, revocation, or suspension of a professional license, like a pilot's licensenursing license, or medical license
  • Denial, revocation, or suspension of a security clearance
  • Declined job offer or promotion
  • Denial of some forms of financial aid
  • Denial of admissions to a higher education institution
  • Declined rental application for housing in a safe environment
  • Removal of constitutional rights, like the right to vote or own and use a firearm
  • Problems with custody of your children; or among other things
  • Diminished reputation among family and community.

Legal Representation in Leon County

Doug Murphy represents clients who have been charged with Class A and B misdemeanors and felonies. These criminal offenses include but are not limited to the following:

DWI Offenses

Criminal Offenses

If you have been arrested for any of the above DWI, DWI-related, or other criminal offense in Leon County, TX, contact Doug Murphy today.

Leon County Court System

There are several courts that support Leon County, primarily the county court at law and the district courts.

County Court at Law of Leon County, TX

There is only one county court at law in Leon County. It has jurisdiction over Class A and Class B misdemeanors. The court is located in the county seat of Centerville. If you or someone you know has a case pending, you can look that case up on the court's docket.

Leon County Court at Law
Judge Byron Ryder
130 East St. Mary's Street
Centerville, TX 75833
Phone: 903-536-2331

Judge Bryon Ryder is a member of the Republican Party and has been the judge of this court since his unopposed election in November 2014.

Judicial District Courts of Leon County, TX

There are three district courts with jurisdiction in Leon County: 87th District, 278th District, and 369th District. These courts hear felony cases that occur in the county.

87th District Court

Judge Deborah Oakes Evans
130 East St. Mary's Street
Centerville, TX 75833
Phone: 903-536-1032

The 87th District Court has jurisdiction in multiple counties: Anderson County, Freestone County, Limestone County, and of course, Leon County. The court calendar is divided to allocate sufficient time in each county. Judge Oakes Evans is a member of the Republican Party and was first elected unopposed in 2010 and then re-elected unopposed in 2014.

The Judge is known for her hardline sentencing. She presided over the Kelsey Patterson case, where Patterson murdered two people in 1992. Patterson had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and upon a request for a stay of execution, Judge Oakes Evans denied the request. Patterson was executed in 2004.

In another case the Judge presided over, the defendant Derrick Ross was found guilty of cell phone possession while in jail. As a habitual offender, his maximum punishment was 99 year or life in prison. He was sentenced to 60 years for the offense of possessing a cell phone while in jail -- the highest sentence for such an offense ever issued in the State of Texas.

278th District Court

Judge Hal R. Ridley
130 East St. Mary's Street
Centerville, TX 75833
Phone: 903-436-4916

The 278th District Court has jurisdiction in multiple counties: Madison County, Walker County, and Leon County. Judge Ridley is a member of the Republican Party. He was elected in 2014.

369th District Court

Judge C. Michael Davis
130 East St. Mary's Street
Centerville, TX 75833
Phone: 903-536-1032

The 369th District Court has jurisdiction in multiple counties: Anderson County, Cherokee County, and Leon County. Judge C. Michael Davis was appointed in 2017 by Governor Greg Abbott to fill the vacancy made by Judge Bascom W. Bentley, III's retirement. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was a member of the Texas Tech Law Review and the Board of Barristers. He started his legal career in private practice in civil litigation.

Leon County Adult Probation

Adult Probation is the place that supervises your probation as well as provides classes and programs, like DWI classes. If you are on probation or if your sentence has certain conditions or terms, then you may be required to report to Adult Probation. If you have questions, call the Adult Probation office at 903-536-2689.

Leon County Jail & Prison Facilities

If you are convicted of a crime, that crime -- or the classification of that crime -- will determine where you will be incarcerated if your sentence includes incarceration. A Class A or B misdemeanor conviction means incarceration at Leon County Jail. A state jail felony means incarcerations at a state jail outside of Leon County. A third-degree or higher felony conviction means incarceration at a state penitentiary outside of Leon County.

In Leon County, there is one jail, and that is the county jail. If your sentencing involved a felony, you will be sent out of the county to serve your time. You can look up an offender at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facility by using their online offender search tool.

Leon County Law Enforcement Agencies

There are a number of law enforcement agencies throughout Leon County, but three that you are most likely to encounter is Patrol, the Sheriff, or local police officers.

Leon County Sheriff's Office

Leon County Sheriff Department
Sheriff Kevin Ellis
606 East St. Mary's Street
Centerville, TX 75833
Phone: 903-536-2749

Local Police

The local police supervise all crimes that occur locally. In Leon County, there is only one local police department and it services the City of Buffalo. There are 3 full-time officers and 3 reserve officers. This small police department works alongside other agencies, like Leon County Sheriff's Office and Texas Department of Public Safety.

City of Buffalo Police Department
Buffalo City Hall
144 Avant Street
Buffalo, TX 75831
Phone: 903-322-2921

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. Representation

Based in Houston, Texas, Doug Murphy represents clients throughout the region, including clients in Leon County. He knows the stakes are high when you are facing criminal charges. He also knows your legal representation options in Leon County are limited. If you live in any of the following cities or any surrounding area throughout Leon County, Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. will advocate aggressively on your behalf where you have been charged with a Class B misdemeanor or higher.

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

Doug Murphy's philosophy that grounds his practice is simple: you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He and his team understand the importance of giving you your day in court where you can claim your innocence or he can weaken the prosecutor's case against you in an effort to give you a second chance. At Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., we believe everyone deserves another chance and so everyone deserves their day in court to defend themselves before a jury of their peers. It is, after all, your constitutional right.

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.

Contact Us Today

If you are facing DWI or other criminal charges in Texas, contact our office today to discuss your case, so we can begin working on your defense. Please provide only your personal email and cell phone number so that we can immediately and confidentially communicate with you.

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