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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Is a criminal lawyer and criminal defense lawyer the same?

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law answers "Is a criminal lawyer and criminal defense lawyer the same?"

The answer is yes, a criminal lawyer and a criminal defense lawyer are the same. Not every criminal lawyer is the same, some have more experience than others, some have special state certifications like Board Certification which makes them an expert in criminal law. But there is no particular distinction between criminal lawyer and criminal defense lawyer.

I suppose you could argue that a criminal lawyer is a lawyer who has at least one criminal conviction on their record . . . but that's just a bad lawyer joke. Adding the word defense in between clarifies that the lawyer is defending citizens accused of crimes in the district and county courts of Harris County, Houston Texas.

Most people don't realize that a law degree allows an attorney licensed by the State Bar in Texas to practice any area of law. Different from doctors who go through residency programs to specialize in internal medicine or family general practice or brain surgery, a lawyer doesn't have to specialize. Imagine going to a podiatrist for brain surgery, or a dermatologist while you're having a heart attack. Only a fool would do such a thing right?

The same could be true for the lawyer you're working with on your criminal case. The fastest way to know if your lawyer is truly an expert in their field is to check if they are Board Certified by the State of Texas. There are some lawyers who are not board certified and are still skilled in their filed but only Board Certified Lawyers are allowed by the State Bar to refer to themselves as experts in the field.

In conclusion, there is no distinction between criminal lawyer and criminal defense lawyer under Texas law. They are just different ways of describing a licensed attorney who is currently hired on a criminal matter. Only attorneys Board Certified in Criminal Law are given any different title under the law.

For litigants who do not have counsel: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney client relationship. Call to set up a free consultation.

For the general public: This Blog/Web Site is for educational purposes only and it provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship created. Don't just read this as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.

For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if it’s something important.

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