As an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, I know how the criminal justice system works and what it takes to get good results.
My goal in every case is to obtain not only a great result but also the best possible outcome for my client under the facts and circumstances of the case. Consequently, my clients have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they can trust their lawyer to protect their legal rights and handle their cases in a way that ensures the best outcome for them.
I have deep roots in Austin and practice exclusively in Travis County. Every one of my clients is important to me so rather than delegate my cases to an assistant or junior associate, I keep my caseload small so that I can provide personal attention to each client and put a lot of work into every case, whether it's a felony or misdemeanor, state or federal charge.
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal Law
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- Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
We focus on defending people accused of domestic assault in and around Austin, Texas. Our mission is to provide the highest quality representation and the best possible result for each client. We do not represent common criminals. Our clients are the type of people who plan for their futures and generally make good decisions in life. They are good people that cannot afford to NOT to be represented by an exceptional defense team that focuses on defending people accused of domestic assault.
- 5th Circuit
- English: Spoken, Written
- Founder and Director
- The Pace Law Firm, P.C.
- - Current
- I defend people accused of domestic assault in Austin, Texas. My mission is to provide the highest quality representation and the best possible result for each client.
- University of Texas - Austin
- J.D. (2000) | Doctor of Jurisprudence
- Honors: Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic
- University of Texas - Austin
- B.B.A. (1997) | Managment Information Systems
- Client's Choice - Domestic Violence
- Texas Bar Foundation
- American Inns of Court
- - Current
- Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- - Current
- Texas State Bar # 24032810
- - Current
- Competency Questionnaire
- Voice for the Defense
- The Ethics of Handling Client Funds, Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
- Travis County Women Lawyers Association
- Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Austin 2016 - 2018
- Austin Justice
- Judge Kocurek Shot
7 November 2015
- Travis County Family Violence Arrests
29 October 2015
- Texas to Comply with P.R.E.A.
23 October 2015
- APD Cop Charged with Murder
22 October 2015
- Police Body Cams and the Early Adopter Tax
22 October 2015
- APD Officer Eric Copeland in Trouble Again
20 October 2015
- Good for the Goose?
20 October 2015
- The truth is not polite.
22 January 2015
- Andrew Pietrowski (APD) Resigns After Inappropriate Comments to Media
19 December 2014
- Q. Is is a crime not to return the Police Detective's phone call?
- A: It is not illegal to ignore them, but it is illegal to lie to them. If you are tempted to talk to them, watch this first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE Watch ALL of it!
- Q. Do I need the Court's approval to request the police to produce the citation I never received?
- A: Why did the judge find probable cause? Was there a warrant? If so, the supporting affidavit should be in the clerk's file... which is a public record, so nobody needs to give you permission. However, unless you live really near the courthouse, it is probably better to just ask your attorney's office to email it to you. Details of the police investigation will be in the offense report, which your attorney will obtain from the state during the discovery process.
- Q. Am I allowed to contact the Prosecution Office before Trial without legal Representation? I could not afford legal fee
- A: There is an old saying: "A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client." *** YOU ARE BETTER OFF HIRING A TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY THAN TRYING TO DO IT YOURSELF *** You can afford it. You just don't WANT to afford it. Do you have a car? You could sell it. Or drive for Uber, or maybe you could get a second job. Or a third. If you needed a heart transplant to stay alive, and the price was the same as you were quoted for attorney's fees, then you would make it happen, right? Also, there are a lot of young attorneys out there that charge lower fees, maybe just keep looking around until you find someone that will take your case for a fee you are willing to pay. If you insist on going PRO SE then asking the clerk when you can attend a pre-trial conference with the prosecutor might be something to try before reaching out to the prosecutor directly. Perhaps at the conference you can come to a negotiated resolution before trial and, if not, you could present your discovery request (see Art 39.14 Tex. Code Crim. Proc.) Copies of the state's evidence come in handy when preparing for trial. Maybe everything will work out for you and you'll get the result you want pro se but if the result of this case is likely to have any impact on your career then you are playing Russian Roulette with your future.
- Q. What does it mean "the date of any proceeding in the prosecution of the defendant under the complaint."?
- A: There is probably already a complaint in the court's file Ask your attorney for a copy of it. Alternatively, you could go to the clerk's office and get a copy for yourself... the entire clerk's file is a public record. Some jurisdictions make the documents available online and some will email copies if you ask and some you have to go in person and pay $1/page for copies.
- Q. What is the difference between Citation# , Cause # & Docket#? I received a summon from Municipal Court for a Pre-Trial?
- A: Make sure the phone number on the court's website matches the number on the summons document. Call the court, ask to speak to a clerk. The clerk will tell you which pieces of information they need to verify the case.
- Q. No Prior Criminal record. What is the Prosecution's burden of Proof of allegedly "intentionally" or "knowingly"?
- A: The applicable definitions for intentionally and knowingly are in chapter 6 of the penal code. See: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.6.htm#6.03 There are multiple ways to commit the offense of Theft of Service so the first thing you need to know is which manner and means you supposedly did the crime. For thing you need to see the official charging document. If the case is a felony the charging instrument is called the "indictment", if it is a class A or B misdemeanor it is probably changed with an "Information" but it could also be an indictment... if it is a class C misdemeanor it is probably a "citation" but it might be an information or an indictment. Whichever it is, you should be able to read it and compare it to the Theft of Service statute and determine if they are charging you under 31.04(a)(1)... (a)(2)... (a)(3)... or (a)(4). If that is not clear your attorney can complain to the court of lack of notice. Also, if you keep reading the statute for Theft of Service, you will see there are some circumstances where intent to avoid payment is PRESUMED. If the prosecution can make a reasonable argument in favor of any one of those presumptions, your attorney will need to rebut the presumption to contest the culpable mental state. If you do not feel that you actually received the service, you are basically arguing that this situation should be treated as a civil contract issue rather than as a criminal case. Were your expectations of the service reasonable? Did the service provider mislead you as to the nature of the service? Was it a bait-and-switch situation? Were you promised a consultation and instead given a sales pitch? Did you voice your displeasure at the time the services were rendered? For example, if you go to a restaurant and order chicken, but they serve you fish instead of chicken, you could probably refuse the fish and refuse to pay. However, if you remain silent and eat the fish anyway, it wouldn't be cool for you to refuse to pay because they got your order wrong. Thee are all things you might want to thing about. Also, don't post the answers to these questions here... discuss them in private with your attorney. Your personal attorney who knows the facts will be in position to give you actual legal advice relevant to your case. All we can offer you here is idle speculation.
- Q. What are my options if I could not afford $3000 legal fee to handle a criminal charge for less than US$100?
- A: Deferred Adjudication is a real a dismissal. The only way to get it is to enter a plea of guilty or no contest. Then the judge puts you on community supervision without entering a "finding" of guilt. If you successfully complete the requirements, the supervision is terminated. If you are not successful, the judge may proceed to adjudicate you guilty based on your plea. These days, employers and large organizations like schools all understand that you entered a guilty plea, so for many purposes there is very little different between being found guilty and completing deferred adjudication probation. The state considers Deferred Adjudication to be a conviction for the purposes of a license to carry a handgun. See Government Code Sec. 411.171(4) If you successfully complete deferred adjudication, you can seek an order of nondisclosure to seal the records. However, some charges have a 2-year waiting period and family violence charges can't be sealed at all, even if there is no affirmative finding. As for a guarantee, contingent fees are forbidden in criminal cases. A “contingency fee” or “conditional fee” is a fee that depends on a favorable result in a case. A simple example would be a lawyer promising to refund her fee if she doesn’t succeed in getting a criminal case dismissed. Texas lawyers are prohibited from making such guarantees in criminal cases: TEXAS DISCIPLINARY RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT I. CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP Rule 1.04 Fees (e) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case. A violation of this rule could lead to professional discipline from the State Bar. Texas is not unique in this regard. Most states have a similar rule that forbids attorneys from guaranteeing results in criminal cases.
- Q. If charged with a Domesic Violence charge Prev Conv IAT, does the victim have to press charges for it to go to trail
- A: The alleged victim may give his or her opinion to the prosecutor, but the prosecutor is only required to "consider" the opinion. The ultimate decision on whether or not seek a conviction at trial will be made by the prosecutor alone. Not even the judge can dismiss the case over the prosecutors objections except in unusual situations like lack of jurisdiction or severe prosecutorial misconduct. That said, just because a prosecutor seeks a conviction certainly does not mean they will be successful. They still need to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the evidence, a skilled defense team may be able to find and expose that reasonable doubt.
- Q. TX Second Chance : Can the First time offender of Misdemeanor C qualify for TX First time offender programs?
- A: The State of Texas does not offer this type of program, but the courts in some jurisdictions do. In some places there may be multiple programs, for example there might be one specifically for people charged with Shoplifting and another one for people charged with Public Intoxication... or there might be a general deferral program. Also, it may be possible to negotiate the terms of a dismissal agreement directly with the prosecutor, even if there is no program. For example, a prosecutor might agree to dismiss an Assault By Threat charge if the defendant completes Anger Management training and avoids all trouble for 6 months. Your chances of this type of negotiated dismissal are much better if you hire a local criminal defense attorney. There are very good reasons why attorneys who are accused of a crime don't represent themselves... neither should you.