• Former Felony Trial Prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office
  • Former Grand Jury Prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office
  • Over 15 years of dedicated Criminal Defense work
  • Highly Respected, Experienced and Trustworthy
  • Dedicated to providing quality representation
stephen-handy

Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony case, this can have serious consequences to your career, family and future. As a former Tarrant County Prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer since 2000, I understand the stress and anxiety you are feeling. Even if you have not been arrested but are being investigated by the police or CPS, you probably feel this stress and anxiety as well. You may be asking yourself what you should do next.

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you is one of the most important decisions you may ever make. I provide dedicated criminal defense for a wide range of criminal offenses such as DWI, theft, assault, weapons offenses, and drug cases.

I have a desire to give my clients quality representation with one-on-one personal contact. When you are accused, charged, or under investigation for a criminal offense, you will want to speak with your attorney, not an associate or assistant.

I will handle your case personally. I have a staff that is incredibly willing to assist and help my clients any way they can, but if you need me personally you will be able to contact me almost anytime on my cell phone. I make every effort to return any missed calls on the day they are received.

I utilize all of my previous criminal trial experience and knowledge of the criminal laws to aggressively defend each client. Communication is important as I strive to keep in constant contact with each client as their case progresses. I strive to reduce the stress and anxiety my clients feel during this time. I realize you are facing a problem that could affect the rest of your life. I believe it is my purpose as your criminal defense lawyer to work hard and diligently to protect your future. You deserve nothing less from your attorney.

My prior experience as an Assistant District Attorney with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office has proved valuable to my clients. I started as a misdemeanor prosecutor, and was later promoted to a felony prosecutor position in County Criminal Court Number Five (family violence court). County Criminal Court Number Five is a specialized court dealing with only domestic and family violence charges as well as protective order violations. I also served for over two years in many of the felony district courts in Tarrant County as well as a Grand Jury prosecutor. This past experience gives me a special advantage that enables me to provide aggressive and effective representation as a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been accused or arrested and are unsure of what to do next, I advise you to call my office and schedule a consultation. I am willing to meet for a free consultation and discuss your criminal case. At that meeting I will fully explain the complexities of your case, what to expect in the coming months, and what your legal options are. I will give you honest, straight forward answers to your questions. You will have a full picture of the road ahead after you meet with me.

Personal and Reliable Service

Regardless of the charge, you have rights that deserve to be protected and represented in court. I am dedicated to advocate for you and defend your rights aggressively and effectively. It is my job as your criminal defense lawyer to look out for you. We live in a country that requires the government to prove you are guilty beyond all reasonable doubt before you are convicted of a crime. Until you are put in a position to defend your name and your future, those words won’t have much meaning. But to me, and the people who trust me to protect them, it means that a good defense with the protections and rights of the Constitution is the only thing standing between government and the result the government wants. Life is hard enough without having a criminal record in your past. I cannot promise a dismissal, but I can promise I will work as hard as possible to put you in a position to protect your future. Whether you are charged with a Class C Misdemeanor or a First Degree Felony, it is essential you find and experienced criminal defense attorney to help you.

Why I Chose to Become a Criminal Lawyer

When people find out I’m a lawyer, they usually ask me what kind of law I practice. When I tell them I’m a criminal defense lawyer, it is interesting to watch their response. Some don’t have a clue what that means. Others picture the criminal lawyers in the movies doing unethical and illegal things to get their clients off. Some will ask WHY criminal law?

As a young lawyer fresh out of law school in 1996 I went to work for the Fort Worth District Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney. I had already spent 3 years as an intern for the District Attorney’s office while I was in law school. I spent the next four years as a prosecutor and was able to handle hundreds of cases and learn how criminal law really worked. As a young intern and young prosecutor I believed the best way to help society was to put the “criminals” away and hold people accountable for their actions. This is certainly a common mindset of young prosecutors and even some seasoned prosecutors. It’s also an important and vital role for the protection of society. But it didn’t take long to see sloppy police work and cases sitting on my desk where I did not believe the person was guilty of any crime. I also learned how easily someone can be arrested, charged, and convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. And probably most importantly, I learned that most of the defendants were good people who made a bad choice or mistake and deserved a second chance.

Eventually, I left the DA’s office and have been practicing criminal defense for over 15 years now and I’m passionate about it. I can’t imagine practicing any other kind of law. Good criminal lawyers realize they aren’t just defending individual people, they are defending all of our constitutional rights -yours and mine.

In our country, we have well defined laws that are required to be followed. (We won’t discuss the merit of each law and whether or not we have dumb laws on the books. That is another topic for another day.) We have government agencies (police, prosecutors, investigators, etc) that are given the task of making sure we are following these laws. However, we also have laws and procedures that the government agencies are required to follow in their quest to pursue “the bad guy” so that they don’t run roughshod over everyone and their rights.

The key to the system working properly is there has to be someone or something to hold our government agencies in check. For example, they cannot decide to go around searching everyone’s house for drugs just because they want to – without any just cause to do so. This might yield a great deal of arrests, but in the process, they have completely trampled on our Fourth amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires a warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. Our government does not have unbridled authority to intrude on our personal property. I do not want the government to start frequently busting into my house and snooping around just because they want to. As a criminal defense attorney, I am part of the system that is able to hold the government in check. If I have a client arrested for possessing drugs, one of my first questions would be whether or not the police found the drugs legally. Was it a legal search and seizure? If not, the government has violated the Fourth Amendment and they may not get to proceed with their criminal case against my client. They have to play by the rules or they don’t get to play.

Another reason I chose to be a criminal defense attorney is that we are all people – and people make mistakes and deserve second chances. I have dedicated my professional life to defending those accused of some kind of criminal offense. I am passionate about putting my clients in a position to turn their life around and not have a criminal record follow them throughout their life. I believe that my experience and the respect I’ve earned in the criminal law community give my clients an advantage. I work hard for each and every client and look at each case individually.

I truly can’t imagine practicing any other kind of law besides criminal law. I believe God gives us gifts, talents, and abilities that we should use to help other people. It is a joy to see clients move on from a mistake or find relief from a situation where they were wrongly accused or made a poor decision and have a positive impact on others in life.

Misdemeanors and Felonies

Most people have heard of misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are generally considered less severe and have a maximum punishment of one year in jail. Even though misdemeanors are considered less severe, they can still have lasting consequences on your life. Felonies are more severe and certainly also have lasting consequences that could affect the rest of your life. Felonies have punishments that could land a person in prison. Both misdemeanors and felonies have collateral consequences on jobs, immigration, voting, gun ownership, and licenses received through the state or federal government.

Types of Criminal Cases

I offer legal representation in many areas of criminal defense, as well as expunctions of criminal records, non-disclosure of criminal records and Juvenile law. Here is a list of some of the most common charges clients are facing and cases I deal with on a daily basis.

Misdemeanors

  • Assault Bodily Injury – FM
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Deadly Conduct
  • DWI – Driving While Intoxicated
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Prostitution
  • Theft 50-500
Felonies

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Burglary of a building
  • Burglary of a Habitation
  • Concealed handgun violations
  • Credit Card Abuse
  • DWI-Felony
  • Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Theft 1500-20,0000
CONTACT US NOW

Call me today to schedule a meeting to discuss your case: 817-284-2262

I will provide one-on-one contact and will handle your case personally. You will not be shuffled to another less experienced attorney or paralegal. When you are being accused, charged, or under investigation for a
criminal offense, you will want to speak to your lawyer, not an associate or assistant. If I am not available, my office will get you in touch with me as soon as possible. Immediate action can often play a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Opportunities to win your case can be lost by waiting.

CONTACT US NOW