Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Defending your rights.

Having a criminal charge can be scary. Between all of the legal jargon and the possible punishment that can ensue from this type of offense, it can be a very stressful process. Hiring a Houston criminal defense attorney can help to make your criminal defense process easier. Our team not only has extensive knowledge of criminal law but can help build a proper defense around the specifics of your case.

Navigating criminal charges can be extremely risky and a daunting task to take on, on your own. A criminal attorney can work closely to guide you through the court process, as well as work to get any penalties lowered, and protect you against the prosecution. Let our Houston criminal defense team ensure you get a fair settlement and fight to keep your criminal record clean.

What are the responsibilities of a criminal attorney?

A criminal attorney specializes in cases for individuals or businesses that have been charged with criminal activity. Some of these areas of defense may surround that of an arrest, investigation, charges, or sentencing issues. An example might be that of a drug or DUI-related offense.

When an individual is arrested, the arresting officer is the party making the claim against the arrested individual. Until the case is brought in front of a courtroom or a judge, the case has not yet been considered as a verified case. One of our Houston criminal attorneys can act as not only counsel but help to mediate the case before charges are actually pressed by a prosecuting attorney.

There are two types of criminal attorneys; criminal defense attorneys work to help build a defense for those convicted of a crime and prosecuting attorneys work to defend those making the claim against the individual who has committed the crime.

A prosecuting attorney typically represents the city, state, or federal government. The job of a criminal defense lawyer is to prove without reasonable doubt that a client is not guilty of the crime at hand. It is important that you inform your defense attorney of all the nuances related to your case in order for your attorney to build a strong defense against the prosecution and sometimes even prevent the case from having to move to trial.

Should a case move to the trial phase, your lawyer will work closely with you to devise a strategy for a positive case outcome. Some of these efforts might include that of interviewing witnesses, analyzing the scene of the crime, and gathering witnesses.

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Jarrett L. Ellzey Attorney at Law
Ellzey & Associates, PLLC
Houston, TX
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Types of criminal cases.

There are various different types of criminal charges that a person may be faced with. Some may have repercussions that are more severe than others. Whether you are an adult or juvenile facing a possible criminal case, our Houston criminal attorneys are here to guide you through the process.

Dependent upon the crime, there are three different types of criminal cases with different possible punishment outcomes.

Violations – Violations are the least severe form of criminal activity. Violations are not considered a crime, but more like disorderly behavior. If an officer pulls you over for marijuana possession in a nonlegal state, you will be given a violation. Jail time is often very minimal for violations (often a few days), but you will face minor punishment for this type of activity.


Misdemeanors – Misdemeanors are considered a crime, but not as severe as that of a felony charge. Dependent upon the severity of the crime, a person can face up to as many as three years in jail for a misdemeanor offense. Some of these types of crimes may include prostitution or the defacing of public property.

Felonies – Felonies are the most serious type of crime. Committing this type of crime puts the criminal at risk for the most jail time. Most felonies are divided into different class groups dependent upon the severity of the crime. Examples of felony crimes might be that of rape, murder, or violent crimes.

Houston Criminal Defense Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I be convicted of a crime if it was a mistake?
This is dependent upon the severity of the outcome. For example, if a person knowingly sets fire to a home, this is considered an arson crime and the person is guilty of a felony offense. If a person throws a lighted cigarette in someone’s yard and the house bursts into flames, this still may be considered a felony offense. Although the intent was not to harm any individual or their property, the same result still occurred as if the crime was consciously committed. If you believe you are victim to a crime that was not intentionally committed, it is best to contact one of our Houston criminal attorneys to assist you in finding out your rights.
If I am a first-time offender will I still go to jail?
If you are a first-time offender, you will most likely be detained for only a few hours, to a night. Sometimes, depending on the severity of the case, a few days, but this is rare if there is no injury or property damage involved. In the vehicle code, it mentions that DUI offenders must face at least 48 hours in jail. Usually, this can be waived depending on the circumstances of the situation. You can usually have your bail posted and go home free until your case goes to court. You will have to pay a fine, as well as court fees.
What if I have been accused of committing a crime I did not commit?
If you have been accused of committing a crime you did not commit, the first step would be to contact a criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney can act on your behalf with the prosecuting attorney and help build evidence, such as errors in police reports, to prove your innocence. Contacting a criminal defense attorney to take over can help save possible court time and possibly even have the case completely dismissed by a judge.
Do all criminal cases go to trial?
If a criminal defense lawyer is able to prove to police and/or a judge that an error in judgment was made, a case may be dismissed and therefore not go to trial. Usually, many criminal cases will only make it to the pre-trial phase. In this phase, if the criminal defense attorney is able to negate the case of the prosecuting attorney, the case will be dismissed. This can also be the case when a plea bargain is reached. A plea bargain gives the defendant the opportunity to please guilty for a lesser sentencing time. If a bargain is able to be agreed upon, the case will not progress to trial.
Should I stay in jail before my trial if it will count as “time served”?
Staying in jail until your trial is not a wise decision. Dependent on the severity of the case, jail time may not even be on the table. Being in jail puts the defendant on constant supervision. Officers can use any overheard statements against the defendant, even if accidental. It is best if released on bail until trial, to work towards turning your life around and making a conscious effort to be an outstanding citizen in society. Individuals who make a conscious effort to turn their lives around in the time before trial sometimes end up facing a lesser sentence as a result.
Will a felony charge stay on my record forever?
A felony is the most serious criminal charge because they are typically the most violent crimes. This type of crime will usually stay on one’s record forever unless there is the ability to have the charge expunged. Having a felony charge expunged from a record varies state by state. Usually, the only people who are able to succeed in having a felony charge expunged from a record are minors or young offenders.

Description of criminal offenses.

There are many different cases that constitute a criminal offense. Each type of criminal offense can be categorized with regard to personal, financial, property crimes, etc.

Here are a few examples of the various types of criminal offenses:

Assault/battery – Assault and battery-related crimes are considered violent personal crimes. An individual or individuals are deliberately harming another person. Dependent upon the state, the person who commits an assault and battery offense runs the risk of being charged for assault and battery separately. There is a distinct difference between assault and battery crimes. An assault crime, as opposed to a battery-related crime is focused upon the threat of harm being done to the individual as opposed to the harm inflicted or threatened to be inflicted. In order to be charged with assault, it is required that the act of violence was taken further than just verbal threats. This could be anything from threatening someone with a weapon, shoving someone, or attempting to hit someone. Battery is considered to be much more serious. Battery is the actual harming of an individual/individuals. This can be anything from punching someone at a bar, or forcefully touching someone without his or her consent. Dependent upon the severity of the crime and if a weapon was involved, someone who is charged with an assault/battery offense can be charged with murder.

Rape – Rape offenses are sadly one of the most common criminal offenses. A rape offense can be defined as forced sexual intercourse. There are usually two categories when it comes to rape crimes. There is rape committed by force or rape committed when the victim is incoherent. Forcible rape would be when someone physically forces a person to have intercourse through violence or physical force. In the context of when a victim is incoherent, this could be due to date rape drugs, or the use of alcohol to render the victim unable to make a decision of consent. If the victim is under the age of consent, this is considered to be statutory rape.

Kidnapping – Kidnapping is a serious offense with serious repercussions. Similar to that of a rape crime, kidnapping involves an act against someone against their will; using physical force to take someone away from their environment. There are two elements that constitute kidnapping. One is when the kidnapper takes the victim to another location like a house or apartment against their will and will not let them leave. The second is when a victim is confined to a space against their will such as a bedroom or a closet. Kidnapping of any form is considered a felony and someone accused of kidnapping can face many years in jail.


Abuse of a minor – Of any crimes that are committed, if a minor is involved, the offense is taken especially seriously. Child abuse is the physical, psychological, and/or emotional abuse of a child. Examples of physical abuse of a minor might be that of beating as a form of punishment or even in some cases sexual abuse. Psychological or emotional abuse usually takes the form of words; this can be demeaning the child in any form and making the child feel worthless. These types of crimes can be committed by any adult i.e. a parent, teacher, family friend, relative, etc. Another form of abuse may be when a parent fails to adequately care for a child. If parents are suspected of the abuse of a child, they not only run the risk of having their child taken away but facing serious jail time. If you are facing allegations of possible child neglect or abuse, it is important to contact your local Houston criminal attorney to discuss your case and to help you navigate your rights.

Domestic abuse – Domestic abuse not only applies to spouses but also any familial abuse. This type of crime usually occurs in a space of living. It can be quite hard to prove domestic abuse allegations as true, due to the fact that it does often take place in a private space and it can be difficult to prove those allegations as true. Usually, in regard to domestic abuse cases, the abuse has to take place between two individuals that are directly related in order for it to constitute being in the category of a domestic abuse offense. In facing domestic abuse allegations, it is important to ensure that you are not the victim of false allegations; in some cases, you may be able to plead self-defense if you were falsely accused.

Arson crimes – Arson crimes fall into not only physical crimes but also property. The person committing the crime is knowingly committing harm upon another individual or group of individuals. In the case of arson-related burnings, these can be categorized as more severe – i.e. the intentional burning of a house full of people, or less severe – i.e. the burning of an empty property. There are serious prison times associated with anyone who commits an arson-related crime. Arson falls into the felony category and anyone convicted is eligible to face a lifetime jail sentence.

Jarrett L. Ellzey

Partner, Ellzey & Associates, PLLC

About Ellzey & Associates, PLLC

Ellzey & Associates is a Texas personal injury law firm that aggressively advocate their clients’ interests in a wide range of legal disputes. The firm has successfully represented individuals with catastrophic injury, wrongful death, car/truck accident, brain injury and other such cases. Ellzey & Associates also has in-depth experience representing businesses in complex corporate, consumer, and class-action litigation involving a myriad of claims such as breach of fiduciary duty, real estate, fraud, consumer protection and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) violations, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations, products liability, auto defects, government contractor fraud, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, Whistleblower and False Claims Act (Qui Tam) claims, whistleblower protection and wrongful termination.

Law Firm Information
Firm: Ellzey & Associates, PLLC
Address: 1105 Milford Street
Houston, TX
Phone: 1.800.391.0227
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