Best Houston TX Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Why These Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers?

We help connect consumers with top-rated criminal defense attorneys in Houston. 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 Houston.

  • Attorneys reviewed: 17
  • 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 evidence 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 allegations against you.

Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Houston handle everything from DUIs to simple misdemeanors to white-collar crimes to violent felonies in both Texas and federal courts. Get the best legal defense in Houston 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 Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers

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

  1. Neal Davis Law Firm
  2. Nathaniel Pitoniak
  3. Fred Dahr
  4. James G. Sullivan
  5. Henry K. Nguyen

Best Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2021

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

Neal Davis Law Firm

1545 Heights Blvd., Suite 700

Houston, TX  77008

Phone: (713) 766-0879

This two-attorney firm was founded by managing partner Neal Davis, who has defended clients for more than 20 years. In addition to direct criminal defense, Davis has argued before appeals courts, including in a case that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a board-certified expert in criminal defense.

The firm’s primary practice areas include sex crimes, online solicitation, theft, white-collar fraud, DWI, and assault. They serve Harris, Montgomery, and Fort Bend counties, covering the entire greater Houston area.

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Nathaniel Pitoniak

201 Roberts St Suite 1

Houston, TX 77003

Phone: (832) 315-6283

Attorney Nathaniel Pitoniak is a former Harris County District Attorney’s Office chief prosecutor, spending more than a decade building cases against those charged with crimes. Now that he’s on the other side of the legal system, Pitoniak brings unique expertise, since he knows intimately the strategies prosecutors use.

Pitoniak was named one of the top lawyers in Houston by Houstonia magazine, and his primary practice areas include assault, fraud, DWI, embezzlement, money laundering, organized crime, gun charges, and records expungement.

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Fred Dahr

405 Main St #900

Houston, TX 77002

Phone: (713) 487-7575

Houston attorney Fred Dahr has more than a decade of experience representing those charged with criminal offenses, earning acquittals and dismissals in cases with defendants accused of aggravated robbery, drug possession, firearms possession, theft, assault, criminal mischief, DWI, and more.

He has earned an Avvo Clients’ Choice Award, as well as being named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Dahr serves Harris and the surrounding counties, expanding his scope to the entire Houston area.

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James G. Sullivan

12345 Jones Rd., Ste 288

Houston, TX 77070

Phone: (281) 546-6428

Attorney James G. Sullivan has focused exclusively on criminal defense throughout his 25-year career. Since beginning his practice in 1994, Sullivan has defended more than 3,000 people charged with criminal offenses.

He is board-certified in juvenile law, and his other primary practice areas include violent crimes, theft, property crimes, and records expungement. He serves clients in Houston and Harris County, as well as surrounding areas like The Woodlands, Sugar Land, and Conroe.

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Henry K. Nguyen

1221 Studewood St Ste 105

Houston, TX 77008

Phone: (713) 222-1800

Attorney Henry K. Nguyen’s first experience with the legal system — defending himself over a traffic ticket — inspired him to fight for those unfairly prosecuted and facing down an overwhelming system. Today, Nguyen has a 9.5 rating on Avvo and is licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas.

His primary practice areas include drug possession, burglary, assault, organized crime, financial fraud, identity theft, money laundering, robbery, sex crimes, and records expungement. In addition to serving clients in Harris County and Houston, Nguyen accepts cases in Montgomery County and elsewhere in Texas.

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What Types of Crimes Are Most Common in Houston?

More than 127,000 crimes were reported in Houston in 2019, the most recent year for federal data on crime across the country. More than 100,000 of them were property crimes like motor vehicle theft or burglary, which equates to about 80 percent. The most common single crime category in Houston in 2019 was larceny-theft, which accounted for 56 percent of all incidents in the city that year.

These numbers equate to a population-adjusted violent crime rate in Houston of just under 1,100 per 100,000 residents and a property crime rate of about 4,300 per 100,000. In both cases, those rates are significantly higher than the overall national crime rates. The U.S. has a population-adjusted violent crime rate of about 367 per 100,000 and a property crime rate of about 2,100 per 100,000, putting Houston at well over double the national rate in both cases.

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

Crime Number Per 100,000 people
All violent crimes 25,257 1,072
Murder 275 12
Rape 1,249 53
Robbery 9,147 388
Aggravated assault 14,586 619
All property crimes 101,750 4,319
Burglary 17,038 723
Larceny-theft 71,614 3,040
Motor vehicle theft 13,098 556
Arson 485 21

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the nation’s fourth-biggest city, and its crime rates tend to be higher than other communities in Texas and across the country. Taking into account the 10 biggest Texas cities, Houston ranks in the top half for all but one crime category (rape). Houston has the highest population-adjusted rates of violent crimes overall, robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary, and it’s second for murder, property crime overall, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Nationally, Houston has the highest overall property crime rate among the 50 biggest cities in the country, and it’s second only to Albuquerque for its population-adjusted property crime rate. Houston is also first among major cities in its rates of robbery and larceny-theft.

In Houston, as in many other major American cities, many types of crime have risen since the beginning of the pandemic. Murder increased in Houston by about 40 percent between 2019 and 2020, while aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, and arson all rose as well. And the city is on pace to see another increase in homicide, with 2021 murders outpacing 2020 by 35 percent over the first half of the year.

It’s important to note that police- and FBI-reported data does not cover closed cases or incidents for which a person was convicted.

Attorney Geoffrey G. Nathan

About Geoffrey Nathan, Esq

Geoffrey Nathan is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1988, admitted to practice in both Federal and State courts. He is a Boston criminal defense attorney with over 25 years of experience in felony, federal, and white-collar crimes. Board of Bar Overseers Number #552110