Have you been arrested for a DWI or other criminal offense in Liberty County, Texas? Do you care about your future? If so, then you need to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer committed to winning the best outcome for you, and for Doug Murphy, that means dismissal or acquittal.
Below you will find relevant information and resources that can help guide you through the process as you decide to retain a lawyer and fight your charge.
Do I need an attorney?
Yes. If you care about your future, then you need an attorney. But you don't want just any attorney, you want an experienced attorney. First, you should consider the reasons to fight the charge(s) against you. Second, you should determine what to look for in an attorney before retaining one.
Considering the Factors to Fight a Criminal Charge
Anyone who has been charged with a crime always should consider the consequence, but most think of consequences only as the potential penalties associated with the crime. That's true, these penalties do matter, and they usually involve jail, fees, and things like community service, probation, alcohol or drug treatment, or other similar consequences that the court orders in accordance with the crime and the facts of the case.
There are, however, other considerations, namely: collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are those consequences secondary to your court-ordered sentence and are prompted by your criminal record. Collateral consequences can pose a real threat to your quality of life after you have been convicted and completed your sentence successfully. They could have an especial impact on you if you answer yes to any of the following questions.
- Do you have a job that requires security clearance?
- Are you a professional that requires a professional license, like a pilot's license, medical license, nursing license, or commercial driver's license?
- Do you work in the finance industry?
- Does your job require you to drive?
- Are you currently looking for a job?
- Do you value your right to vote?
- Do you value your right to own and use a firearm?
- Are you attending an academic institution, or do you intend to attend an academic institution?
- Do you have child custody or are you negotiating custody?
- Do you rent your home, or are you seeking a new place to lease?
- Do you care about what your family and community think about you?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you want to seek legal counsel to fight your charge. A criminal record can have a serious impact on any one of the above situations with special attention paid to employment. You should keep in mind that in Liberty County, the poverty rate is high and good jobs are hard to come by, so you want to either keep what you have or be in a position to compete for a better one. Alternatively, you may commute to a larger metropolitan area for your job, but that means your job is in a more competitive market where most applicants of comparable qualifications likely do not have a criminal record, which puts you at a severe disadvantage.
Though not all criminal convictions will apply to each scenario, it is important to consider your future and receive the counsel of an experienced lawyer so you are able to make an informed decision whether to fight the charges against you or not.
Finding the Right DWI or Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you google local attorneys in your area, pages of attorneys will result from the engine search. It can be difficult to sort out the best from the worst. Here are a four indicators that will help you determine if the DWI or criminal defense lawyer is worth your time and money:
- Accolades indicate the legal community recognizes the lawyer's capabilities in his or her practice areas and are an important indicator of experience and professionalism.
- Board-certifications in criminal defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations or DWI defense law by the National College of DUI Defense -- the only DWI-certifying body accredited by the American Board Association -- mean the attorney is a “legal specialist” in these practice areas, and they are the only ones permitted to described themselves as such.
- Trial experience matters because it indicates the lawyer is committed to your defense rather than committed to a quick resolution of his or her representation -- the latter is often indicated by an attorney who never goes to trial but instead settles via plea deals. Trial experience also increases an attorney's knowledge of the court system, the judges, and the prosecution and lends itself to the insight that serves as the framework of his or her criminal defense strategy for you.
- Client testimonials can help you understand the quality of representation.
Identifying Doug Murphy as the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer for You
Doug Murphy has dedicated his legal practice to DWI defense and criminal defense. For the last two decades, he has been representing people just like you: people who have either been wrongly accused or had a lapse in poor judgment. Doug Murphy knows you want to get your life back on track, and he also knows it will be difficult to do if you are found guilty. He fights for the dismissal of your charge(s). Further, Doug Murphy has the qualifications that distinguish him from other criminal defense attorneys.
- He has the accolades that confirm his abilities and commitment to criminal defense.
- He is Board-certified in both Criminal Defense and DWI Defense, one of only two attorneys who have that distinction in Texas.
- He has extensive trial experience and the case results to demonstrate it.
- He has client testimonials to confirm his diligence.
If you were arrested in Liberty County, Texas, and you care about your future, contact Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today.
DWI & Criminal Defense in Liberty County
Doug Murphy practice focuses on both DWI and criminal defense. His practice is well-known in the legal community, and as confirmation of the same, he is invited to speak at seminars and conferences in Texas and throughout the nation to teach other DWI and criminal defense lawyers defense strategies they can use, too.
Doug Murphy allocates more than half of his practice representing DWI cases in Texas, and this representation includes Felony DWI, Underage DUI, DWI Commercial Driver's License, DWI Marijuana, DWI Prescription Drugs, Open Container, and DWI with a child passenger under 15.
It also includes less common DWI representation, like the offenses of Flying While Intoxicated and Boating While Intoxicated. Doug Murphy also takes on the hard cases where a person(s) was injured or killed in an accident that the police blamed on a person driving while intoxicated: Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter.
Doug Murphy defends these cases diligently and strategically. He understands the science behind alcohol and drug testing and can interpret the meaning and validity of the results. He is aware of the issues that can arise during the administration of these tests and how to use them to his client's benefit. He reviews the evidence thoroughly and meticulously. He looks for any violation of constitutional rights, and if found, appropriately files motions to suppress evidence arising from those violations.
If you have been charged with a DWI or related offense, you should know that there are pre-trial DWI defenses that may be available to you, and if so, Doug Murphy will identify and use them:
- Unconstitutional traffic stop (i.e., there must have been a reasonable suspicion you were violating the law).
- Unconstitutional administration of roadside tests (i.e., the tests must have been done properly and in strict accordance with guidelines, and you must have voluntarily consented to perform them)
- Unconstitutional probable cause to arrest (i.e., the police officer must prove he had probable cause before arresting you and before taking a blood or breath test).
- Unconstitutional administration of Miranda rights (i.e., Miranda rights must have been read to you before you were arrested and before you were interrogated).
- Unconstitutional administration of a blood or breath test (i.e., a person can refuse a breath test, and a police officer must obtain a warrant for a blood test and the person has the right to an independent blood test).
- Unconstitutional search and seizure (i.e., if a warrant was required, it must have been obtained and used properly).
You should also know that if you go to trial, you are in a good position with Doug Murphy as your lawyer. He will aggressively cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses, particularly police officers by:
- Highlighting the officer's failure to recollect facts properly.
- Showing inconsistencies in the officer's testimony on the stand and his or her police report, prior testimony, or available video.
- Revealing one officer's testimony or report is inconsistent with another officer's testimony or report.
- Proving the officer failed to conduct a field sobriety test according to strict guidelines.
- Verifying the officer has failed to complete mandatory refresher courses in sobriety testing.
Doug Murphy represents persons who have been charged with Class A and B misdemeanor crimes and felonies. From Drug Possession to Prostitution & Solicitation to White Collar Crimes, Doug Murphy commits to his client's defense. Other common criminal defense cases include:
- Criminally Negligent Homicide
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Vehicular Assault
- Domestic Violence
- Hit & Run FSGI
- Hit & Run FSRA
- Evading Arrest.
The important thing Doug Murphy wants his clients to know is simple: a defense strategy is not about proving your innocence; it's about weakening the prosecutor's case against you (regardless if you are innocent or guilty). It's important to remember that the prosecutor -- if you go to trial -- must influence a jury of your peers that you are guilty. Doug Murphy intends to show the elements of the crime have not been satisfied, and as such, he will hold the judge and jury accountable to the principle that you are only guilty if proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
A defense strategy can include two parts: (1) pre-trial negotiations and/or motions to suppress evidence due to constitutional violations; and (2) at-trial strategies that include countering prosecutor's witness testimony in combination with relevant common defenses that could include:
- Defense of necessity (e.g., the act intended to avert a greater evil).
- Defense of duress (e.g., compelled to commit the act because another person threatened you with harm or death).
- Self-defense (e.g., the act intended to defend yourself).
- Defense of mistake (e.g., unaware the act was factually illegal).
- Defense of legitimate purpose (e.g., the law specifically state “for a fraudulent purpose” or “with intent” or other like phrases, and you did not commit the act for these “purposes.”
There are, of course, other defenses, each of which will be determined on a case by case basis and as strategy dictates.
Resources You May Need if Arrested in Liberty County
When you are arrested or if you had a loved one arrested, you may have questions and want to know the places to contact to receive answers to those questions. Apart from your attorney, you can contact any of the below with questions regarding the courts, law enforcement, and incarceration.
Courts of Liberty County TX
If you have been charged with a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, your case will be heard in the County Court at Law. If you have been charged with a felony, it will be heard in one of two District Courts. All three courts are located in the Liberty County Courthouse.
Liberty County Courthouse
County Court at Law
Each county has a county court at law established by the Texas Constitution. Some counties have additional county courts at law established by statute, too. In Liberty County, there is only one County Court at Law and the current judge is Judge Thomas Chambers. The Court Coordinator can be reached at 936-336-4662.
There are two District Courts in Liberty County. The 75th District Court is located on the 3rd floor of the Liberty County Courthouse. The judge is Honorable Mark Morefield. The 75th District Court can be contacted at 936-336-4678. The 253rd District Court District Court serves Liberty and Chambers counties. The Liberty County office is located in room 223 of the 2nd floor of the Liberty County Courthouse. The judge is Honorable Chap B. Cain, III. The Liberty County office can be reached at 936-336-4668
Law Enforcement Agencies of Liberty TX
There are a number of law enforcement agents with whom you could come into contact in Liberty County. Below are some of those agencies and their contact information.
Liberty County Sheriff's Office
2400 Beaumont Avenue
Liberty, Texas 77575
Local Police Department
Cleveland Police Department
Chief of Police Darrel Broussard
226 Peach Street
Cleveland, Texas 77327
Map & Directions
Dayton Police Department
Chief of Police John Headrick
2004 North Cleveland Street
Dayton, Texas 77535
Map & Directions
Liberty Police Department
Chief of Police Thomas Claunch
1906 Lakeland Drive
Liberty, Texas 77575
Map & Directions
Mont Belvieu Police Department
Chief of Police Virgil Blasdel
11607 Eagle Drive
Mont Belvieu, Texas 77580
Map & Directions
Jails & Prisons of Liberty County, TX
There is one county jail and one state jail in Liberty County, Texas. The county jail is for anyone, male or female, who was recently arrested and awaiting bail bond, awaiting trial, or convicted already and serving a sentence of less than one year. The state jail is a women's jail and is includes women in the region who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that carries a sentence of more than one year.
2400 Beaumont Avenue
Liberty, Texas 77575
904 FM 686
Dayton, Texas 77535
Experienced Legal Representation in Liberty County, TX
Liberty County, Texas is home to more than 80,000 residents with various socio-economic backgrounds. Most residents are like other Americans: decent, hard workers. Sometimes things happen and you need legal representation. Doug Murphy is there for you. He represents clients in Liberty County, specifically those in the following cities.
- Dayton Lakes
- Mont Belvieu (pt.)
- North Cleveland
- Old River-Winfree (pt.)
- Plum Grove
A DWI or another crime in Liberty County can prove to be daunting to anyone. Having the right DWI and criminal defense lawyer makes all the difference. It can help with your anxiety. It can help make sure your case if fought with integrity and passion. It can mean a future free of a criminal record. It can mean a number of things, all of which is to your benefit.
Time, however, is an important aspect of your defense. The more you think about what you should do, the more time wasted. Contact Doug Murphy either online or at 713-229-8333 today.