Best Memphis TN Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Why These Memphis Criminal Lawyers?

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

  • Attorneys reviewed: 21
  • 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 Memphis handle everything from DUIs to simple misdemeanors to white-collar crimes to violent felonies. Get the best legal defense in Memphis 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 Memphis Criminal Defense Lawyers

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

  1. Tim Francavilla
  2. Jack P. Sherman
  3. Patrick E. Stegall
  4. The McDaniel Law Firm
  5. Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood

Best Memphis Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2021

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

Tim Francavilla

243 Exchange Ave.

Memphis, TN 38105

Phone: (901) 979-9992

Attorney Tim Francavilla has nearly three decades of litigation experience, which makes him equipped to handle just about any case. His courtroom skills have been honored by the American Association of Attorney Advocates, Martindale-Hubbell, and the National Trial Lawyers.

Francavilla is certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in DUI detection and field sobriety tests, and DUI defense is among his largest practice areas. Other criminal cases he regularly takes on include assault, domestic violence, drug crimes, theft, and juvenile crimes.

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Jack P. Sherman

200 Jefferson Ave. Suite 700

Memphis, TN 38103

Phone: (901) 233-3474

Attorney Jack P. Sherman’s criminal defense practice dates back to 1999, and over the past 20-plus years, Sherman has gained a reputation as one of the most tenacious defense attorneys in the state of Tennessee. He handles cases ranging from drunken driving and traffic violations to drug possession and sex crimes.

Sherman handles cases on behalf of clients throughout Memphis and Shelby County, as well as surrounding areas. He has handled cases in state courts, as well as federal cases, including representing those facing harsh firearms-related penalties.

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Patrick E. Stegall

217 Exchange Avenue

Memphis, TN 38105

Phone: (901) 205-9894

Attorney Patrick E. Stegall handles a range of cases throughout the Memphis area, including in Tennessee as well as Arkansas. His primary practice area is DUI defense, but Stegall also takes on cases for clients accused of offenses like drug trafficking, domestic assault, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes.

Stegall also provides guidance and assistance with setting up weapons trusts in accordance with the National Firearms Act. Weapons trusts help protect owners and operators of firearms like machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and others, ensuring gun owners don’t run afoul of federal law.

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The McDaniel Law Firm

243 Exchange Avenue

Memphis, TN, 38105

Phone: (901) 527-6518

More than 35 years of legal experience undergird the expertise of this father-and-son legal team. The McDaniels serve clients throughout the Memphis area, including Germantown, Bartlett, and Millington, and this general practice criminal defense firm has wide experience in all areas of the criminal justice process.

Primary practice areas include DUI, federal charges, weapons charges, vandalism, domestic assault, drug possession, driving on a suspended license, aggravated assault, burglary, stalking, and more. The firm maintains a 10.0 rating on Avvo and has earned honors from Martindale-Hubbell.

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Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood

1555 Madison Ave, Ste 202

Memphis, TN 38104

Phone: (901) 578-1515

The four attorneys at Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood offer services in criminal defense as well as divorce and civil matters, but criminal defense is their primary practice area. They are experts at helping defendants fight and even dismiss traffic tickets, including for commercial drivers.

Other primary practice areas include DUI, which can be particularly devastating for individuals and families, as court costs run up quickly and life is made difficult without a driver’s license. Additionally, the firm has handled many cases in which their clients were charged with crimes like drug possession, theft, assault, and more.

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What Types of Crimes Are Most Common in Memphis?

Just over 52,000 total crimes were reported in Memphis in 2019, the most recent year for federal data on crime across the country. Like the rest of the state and nation, property crime is much more common in Memphis than violent crime. Property crime, including burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson, accounted for 76 percent of Memphis crimes in 2019, while larceny-theft alone made up 54 percent.

Those figures equate to a population-adjusted violent crime rate in Memphis of about 1,900 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of about 6,100 per 100,000. Both of those rates are significantly higher than the overall U.S. rates of 367 per 100,000 people and about 2,100 per 100,000, respectively. However, it’s important to note that in most major cities, crime rates tend to be much higher than in the nation as a whole because of population density.

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

Crime Number Per 100,000 people
All violent crimes 12,367 1,901
Murder 190 29
Rape 468 72
Robbery 2,432 374
Aggravated assault 9,277 1,426
All property crimes 39,860 6,128
Burglary 7,833 1,204
Larceny-theft 27,981 4,302
Motor vehicle theft 4,046 622
Arson 336 52

Among the 10 biggest cities in Tennessee, Memphis has the highest population-adjusted rates of all crimes except for rapes, where the city ranks third, and motor vehicle theft, where it ranks second. The broader metro area, which includes portions of Arkansas, has higher crime rates than most other major metro areas in the U.S. Memphis ranks in the top 10 for many crime categories among the 60 or so biggest U.S. metro areas. It’s first in aggravated assaults, second for overall violent crimes, third for murder and larceny-theft, fourth for overall property crimes and burglary, and sixth for robbery.

Like many other major U.S. cities, Memphis saw some crime types drop during the pandemic but noted a rapid increase in two types of violent crimes, murder and aggravated assault. In fact, Memphis had a record number of homicides in 2020. And the city appears to be on pace to set yet another homicide record in 2021.

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