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“Excellent job. My case was dismissed, due to very professional services of Doug Murphy Law Firm.”-A.B.

Washington County Criminal Defense Attorney

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Washington County, TX

Criminal charges put your rights and your freedom at risk. It's only human nature to feel a bit worried, and you want to share your excuses or side of the story with anyone who will listen, including the police. But don't.

Do not speak to the police. In fact, speak to no one about the incident that led to the charges against you. Instead, as soon as you are able, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to tell your side of the story. Doug Murphy, and attorney who is Board Certified in both criminal law and DWI defense—one of only two attorneys in all of Texas with this distinction—is ready and wants to hear your side of the story. Based on that and the evidence collected, he will develop a strategy to defend you and weaken the State's case against you.

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is the kind of criminal defense law firm that does not plea bargain unless it is absolutely in your best interests. Rather, Doug Murphy is the kind of criminal defense lawyer who puts forth a winning defense and is willing to use that defense at trial to defend you if that is what it takes. Dismissal or acquittal are his motivations—not a plea deal with the State, which could leave you with a criminal record. In fact, he has a reputation for successfully fighting hard for his clients, and that is one of many reasons why Doug is regularly invited to speaking engagements both in Texas and throughout the United States.

Arrested in Washington County? Here are Five Things You Should Consider

Excessive Force

In Washington County, like any other jurisdiction, police and jail officials have been cited and singled out for excessive abuse. Though excessive force is rarely publicized, a few years ago, the problem was highlighted in two specific events. In 2015, a surveillance video was released that showed a Washington County jailer, Deputy Christopher Kulow, assaulting a college student, Gregory Webb, who had been pulled over for a traffic stop and arrested for possession of marijuana. The deputy was later charged and convicted.

Then in 2016, a Brenham police officer was fired after an investigation into his use of excessive force on a female suspect. No charges were brought against him, but he lost his job of six years.

These things happen more than you may expect. What you don't see is action taken to address the problem. These two incidents came to light only after public outrage. But also, in both these cases, the force used was so excessive that even colleagues agreed and testified accordingly.

Your Rights

Though some officers and jailers act as though you do not have rights, you do—both as a suspect and as a convicted criminal.

As a suspect, you have the right to be silent. You have the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure of your person or your property. You also have the right to an attorney and a right to a quick trial where you have the right to defend yourself before a jury of your peers.

If you are convicted, you still retain rights. You have the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. You have the right to complain about prison conditions. You have the right to access courts. You have the right to reasonable and adequate healthcare or disability accommodations. You have the right to your basic First Amendment rights so long as they do not interfere with your status as an inmate. You have the right to be free from discrimination.

The police or other law enforcement agents are not entitled to act or behave in any way they feel—they are not above the law, even if they act like it.

Your Plea

Knowing what lies ahead of you if you are convicted should be reason alone for you to fight any charge against you. So many suspects think that a charge placed against them is equivalent to a conviction, but it is not. You can fight the charge, and the only way to do so is if you plead "not guilty."

Fighting the charge against you can result in one of four basic possibilities: (1) dismissal; (2) a plea deal that usually provides a reduced charge; (3) an acquittal at trial; or (4) conviction at trial. Your criminal defense or DWI attorney should fight for a dismissal or acquittal. And if you are convicted, your criminal defense attorney should put forth a strategy to ensure your sentence is as minimal as the law allows. Typically, if you fight the charge in court and are still convicted, your sentence may be lighter than if you had originally pled guilty or entered a plea deal.

Your Future

If you are convicted of a crime, you will be sentenced to whatever the judge deems applicable in your unique circumstances, as long as it is within the limits of the law.

After you pay your debt to society, however, you may think you can begin your life anew. That assumption is an unfortunate one. In most cases, unless you are able to expunge the conviction, you will permanently have a criminal record. That criminal record carries with it collateral consequences that can follow you through life.

Examples of how collateral consequences can impact your life include:

  • Denial, revocation, or suspension of a professional license, like a pilot's license, nursing 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 admission to a higher education institution
  • Declined rental application for housing in a safe environment
  • Removal of constitutional rights, like the right to vote or to own and use a firearm
  • Problems with custody of your children
  • Diminished reputation among family and community.

Your Attorney

In order to optimize your chances of an outcome that is most favorable to you and your circumstances, you want to retain an experienced DWI or criminal defense lawyer. When you conduct your search to find the right attorney for you, there are three specific qualifications you may want to consider: (1) Board Certification; (2) trial experience; and (3) client testimony.

  • Board Certification. Only Board Certified attorneys are legally able to state that they are specialists in a particular practice area. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization certifies attorneys in Texas in criminal law. The National College of DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association, certifies attorneys throughout the U.S. in DWI/DUI law. Certification is important, because it acts as an indicator that the attorney is highly knowledgeable and has proven experience litigating in that practice area.
  • Trial Experience. You want an attorney who has extensive trial experience. This shows he or she is less likely to enter a plea deal that is less favorable to you but will instead pursue trial if that is in your best interests. Most criminal lawyers today settle cases via plea deals so that they do not have to go to trial. And when they must go, many hire contract attorneys to conduct the trial. This method allows for mistakes and errors to be made.
  • Client Testimony. Former clients are always the best source to learn about the quality and skills of any given attorney. You will want to look at client testimonials to learn more about the attorney and what former clients have to say.

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

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. represents criminal cases that involve DWI as well as other criminal activity. Doug Murphy, an attorney who is Board Certified in criminal defense and DWI law, has extensive trial experience. He prepares each case with the intention to go to trial, and it is at trial where he holds the State and the jury accountable to the principle that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. His former clients can attest to his capabilities and commitment to their individual cases.

Below is a summary of the types of cases Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. represents:

DWI Offenses

Criminal Offenses

Washington County Court System

Washington County is a sparsely populated rural county. As such, the number of courts are limited, but the structure of the court system is the same as anywhere else in the state. There are municipal and Justice of the Peace courts that deal with infractions and Class C misdemeanors. There is also a constitutionally mandated county court at law with original jurisdiction over Class A and Class B misdemeanors. There are two district courts as well, which have original jurisdiction over felony matters.

If you have been arrested in Washington County and charged with a crime that has the potential of incarceration as part of the sentence—if convicted—then your case will likely be heard at either the Washington County Court at Law or one of the two district courts.

County Court at Law of Washington County TX

Washington County Court at Law
Judge Eric Berg
100 East Main Street, Suite 203
Brenham, TX 77833
Phone: 979-277-6200, ext. 5323

Judge Eric Berg is a member of the Republican Party and was sworn in as an interim judge in July 2016. He ran for the bench in the 2014 Republican primary but was defeated by incumbent Matthew Reue, who later retired before his term was up. Prior to being sworn in, Berg was the First Assistant District Attorney in Washington County for approximately three years (2013-2016) and was the Assistant County Attorney in Washington County for another three years (2009-2012).

Judicial District Courts of Washington County TX

There are two district courts in Washington County: the 21st and 335th Judicial Districts.

21st Judicial District Court
Judge Carson Campbell
Washington County Courthouse
100 East Main Street, Suite 304
Brenham, TX 77833
Phone: 979-277-6200, ext. 5345

Carson Campbell is a member of the Republican Party and was elected unopposed in the November 2016 general election. He obtained his J.D. from the South Texas College of Law.

335th Judicial District Court
Judge Reva L. Towslee Corbett
Washington County Courthouse
100 East Main Street, Suite 305
Brenham, TX 77833
Phone: 979-277-6200, ext. 5345

Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett was first elected in 2004 and then re-elected every general election thereafter. She is a member of the Republican Party and graduated from the South Texas College of Law. She is not without controversy in her position as judge.

Late in her second term, her ability to judge impartially came into question. Her father was once the judge of the same court and sent an innocent man—Anthony Graves—to prison. There are allegations that her father had once been law partners with the attorney who prosecuted Graves and allegedly falsified evidence. After spending almost two decades behind bars, Graves was released. When his attorney filed a claim for compensation for the 18 years he wrongfully spent behind bars, Judge Towslee-Corbett failed to produce an order that would effectuate compensation. As if that was not bad enough, she had already improperly allowed tainted testimony to be admitted for a new trial.

Washington County Adult Probation

If you are placed on probation or parole, your program will be supervised by the Washington County Community Supervision and Corrections Department.

Washington County Adult Probation
107 West Main Street
Brenham, TX 77833
Phone: 979-277-6240

Washington 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. Where you are incarcerated usually depends on the classification of the crime.

  • A misdemeanor conviction typically results in incarceration at the Washington County jail.
  • A state jail felony results in incarceration at a state jail.
  • A third-degree felony or higher results in incarceration at a state prison.

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

Washington 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, then you were probably booked into the Washington County Jail. Likewise, if you are convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor, you will likely be sentenced to jail at the Washington County Jail. You can obtain a list of inmates through the Sheriff's Office.

Washington County Jail
1206 Old Independence Road
Brenham, TX 77833
Phone: 979-277-6255

Washington County Law Enforcement Agencies

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

Washington County Sheriff's Office

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

Washington County Texas Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Otto H. Hanak
Washington County Courthouse
100 East Main Street, Suite 305
Brenham, TX 77833

Local Police

The local police supervise all crimes that occur locally. In Washington County, there is only one police department because the population is so scarce. It is located in the City of Brenham, which is the county seat.

City of Brenham Police Department
Police Chief Ron Parker
200 West Vulcan
Brenham, TX 77833
Phone: 979-337-7337

Contact Our Washington County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is based in Houston, Texas, but we provide legal services throughout the region. If you live in Brenham, Burton, or any surrounding area throughout Washington County, Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. will provide criminal defense.

If you have been charged with DWI or another criminal offense and want to fight it, hire a DWI and criminal defense attorney who has the resources and commitment to deliver. 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 an initial consultation.

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