Best Austin TX Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Why These Austin Criminal Lawyers?

We help connect consumers with top-rated criminal defense attorneys in Austin. To determine which are the best of the best, we scored each criminal defense attorney or law firm across a half-dozen metrics covering three categories. Each firm or attorney’s results were analyzed to bring you a handpicked list of the very best criminal defense lawyers in Austin.

  • Attorneys reviewed: 18
  • Top picks: 5

If you or a loved one have been arrested, do not delay seeking the assistance of an attorney. The sooner an attorney can get involved in your case, the better your chances of having a strong defense.

The attorney you hire may start right away, studying the authorities’ against you, doing legal research, and preparing legal motions. That’s why the sooner they begin, the better, as they work to chip away at the prosecution’s case against you.

Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Austin handle everything from DUIs to simple misdemeanors to white-collar crimes to violent felonies. Get the best legal defense in Austin by choosing from this list of best criminal defense attorneys.

Read the profiles below and choose the attorney or law firm that best aligns with your needs.

Best Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers

Here are the best criminal defense law firms and attorneys in Austin:

  1. Kevin Bennett
  2. Stephen Bowling
  3. Alejandro Martinez
  4. Hildreth & Rueda Law
  5. Smith & Vinson

Best Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2021

If you or a loved one are looking for an outstanding criminal defense attorney in Austin, these lawyers are the best of the best.

Kevin Bennett

1411 West Ave #100

Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-4626

Attorney Kevin Bennett is an Austin native who has spent his entire legal career fighting for the rights of individuals throughout the Austin area. Bennett’s primary practice areas include DWI, assault, theft, drug possession, and other felonies and misdemeanors.

Bennett is a member of the NORML Legal Committee, which illustrates his commitment to those accused of marijuana-related crimes, and he was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 attorneys by The National Trial Lawyers.

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Stephen Bowling

816 Congress Ave, Suite 950

Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 599-9000

Attorney Stephen Bowling is a former police officer who now focuses on helping those accused of crimes mount successful defenses in court and before trials even begin. Bowling’s primary focus area is DWI, helping clients avoid losing their license as well as having previous DWI convictions expunged from their records.

Bowling has been honored by The National Trial Lawyers and Super Lawyers, and he has a 10.0 rating on Avvo. In addition to DWI, Bowling represents clients accused of crimes like assault, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, and weapons charges.

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Alejandro Martinez

812 San Antonio Street Suite 100A

Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 523-5927

Attorney Alejandro Martinez spent the first four years of his career in the Dallas City Attorney’s Office and Williamson County Attorney’s Office, so he has a deep understanding of how prosecutors assemble their cases. This expertise helps him fight for the rights of people accused of criminal offenses.

Martinez’s primary practice areas include DWI, drug possession, assault, and theft, as well as defending college students accused of a variety of crimes. Martinez was named one of the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Austin in 2021, and he takes on cases from Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties.

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Hildreth & Rueda Law

1301 Nueces Street Suite 101

Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 415-7648

The two partners of Hildreth & Rueda law have a combined 20-plus years of courtroom experience, and partner Duke Hildreth is a former prosecutor, which helps him bring a unique perspective to each case.

A large share of the cases handled by Hildreth & Rueda involve clients accused of DWI, and the firm also handles many cases involving college students accused of drug-related crimes, theft, and other offenses. Their other primary practice areas include defending clients of all ages charged with assault, drug possession, theft, and more, and they handle cases throughout the Austin area, including in Round Rock, Georgetown, and Cedar Park.

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Smith & Vinson

1411 West Avenue, Suite 124

Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 359-3743

The six attorneys at Smith & Vinson focus primarily on the defense of individuals charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), while they also represent individuals accused of drug possession and theft.

Partner Jarrod L. Smith is a former assistant district attorney with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, while associate Jennifer Taylor was a law clerk for the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland, where she gained expertise on a range of matters related to DNA testing and post-conviction appeals.

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What Types of Crimes Are Most Common in Austin?

Like other cities and states, property crime is far more common in Austin than any other type of criminal offense. In 2019, the most recent year for federal data on crime across the country, about 37,000 property crimes were reported in Austin, while about 53,000 were reported in the broader metro area, which includes the cities of Round Rock, Georgetown, and San Marcos.

That equates to a population-adjusted property crime rate of 2,410 per 100,000 in the metro Austin area. That’s a bit higher than the overall national property crime rate of about 2,100 per 100,000, but it’s lower than the rate for all cities with more than 1 million residents. Among cities with populations in excess of 1 million, the population-adjusted property crime rate is 2,546.7 per 100,000.

Crimes in Austin, by number and per 100,000 people

Crime Number Per 100,000 people
All violent crimes 3,953 401
Murder 32 3
Rape 534 54
Robbery 971 98
Aggravated assault 2,416 245
All property crimes 36,588 3711
Burglary 4,344 441
Larceny-theft 29,216 2963
Motor vehicle theft 3,028 307
Arson 103 10

Among the 10 largest cities in Texas, Austin ranks seventh for its overall violent crime rate and third for its overall property crime rate. But the city ranks outside the top five among large Texas cities for five of the eight specific types of crime listed. It’s third in the larceny-theft rate, which is Austin’s highest population-adjusted rate for any individual crime.

Like many other major U.S. cities, Austin has experienced an uptick in some types of crime since 2020, which is continuing into 2021, though city police data shows that most types of crimes are on the decline in Austin.

Murders have risen when comparing 2021 to 2020, though that’s largely due to pandemic-related lockdowns. Still, so far in 2021, Austin has recorded 45 murders, which is nearly double the number the city had in 2020. Most other types of crimes have gone down, though aggravated assault is up 15%, auto theft is up 9%, and arson has risen by 40%.

It’s important to note that police- and FBI-reported data includes crimes known or reported to police and not the number of crimes closed or in which a person was convicted.