The Unsung Heroes of Justice: Houston Juvenile Attorneys

The criminal justice system is like a big, complex puzzle, and Houston juvenile defense attorneys are the often-overlooked heroes who fight for people accused of crimes. They have a lot to do, including understanding the law, being empathetic, and staying committed to justice. In this blog post, we're going to talk about their many important jobs and how they help make our society fairer.

1. Protecting Your Rights:

Think of defense attorneys as the protectors of the rules in our Constitution. They make sure the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution are respected. For example, they check if the police followed the rules when collecting evidence, like not searching your stuff without a good reason.

2. Like Real-Life Detectives:

Defense attorneys are like detectives in a crime story. They dig deep to find the truth. They talk to witnesses, gather evidence, and ask experts for help. This helps them build a strong defense for their clients and can prove that they're not guilty.

3. Legal Experts:

Defense attorneys don't just defend people in court. They also come up with smart plans to help their clients. They look at the good and bad parts of a case, find legal problems, and decide on the best way to help their clients, whether it's talking with the other side for a deal or going to court.

4. Heroes in Court:

When you see defense attorneys in court, they're like the stars of the show. They ask tough questions to witnesses, show evidence, and explain why their client is not guilty. This is the part you often see on TV, but there's much more to their job than that.

5. Being There for You:

People accused of crimes often feel scared and worried. Defense attorneys aren't just legal helpers; they're there to support and understand their clients. They make sure their clients are treated fairly and with respect during the whole legal process.

6. Helping Those in Need:

Defense attorneys often work with people who don't have a lot of money or power. They make sure everyone, rich or not, gets a fair chance in court. This helps make the legal system more equal for everyone.

7. Stopping Wrongful Convictions:

One of the most important things defense attorneys do is to prevent innocent people from going to jail. They work hard to find the truth and prove that their clients are innocent. This helps make sure only the guilty are punished.

8. Keeping Justice Fair:

To have a good legal system, it should be balanced. Defense attorneys make sure the government can't do whatever they want. They make sure the government follows the rules and proves someone is guilty before they can be punished.

9. Holding Others Accountable:

Defense attorneys also check on the police and the other side, the people trying to prove someone's guilty. They make sure they follow the rules too. This helps people trust the legal system.

10. Making Things Better:

Besides helping individuals, defense attorneys also work to change the legal system for the better. They talk about fair punishments, better prisons, and better rules for the police. This makes the system more just for everyone.

In the end, Harris County juvenile defense attorneys have a tough and complicated job. They're not just legal experts; they're like heroes fighting for justice, standing up for those who can't always stand up for themselves. By celebrating their work, we're recognizing how they make our society better and fairer for all, no matter who they are.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring the Right Houston Juvenile Defense Attorney

Facing juvenile charges is a daunting and life-altering experience for your child. In such circumstances, hiring the right Houston juvenile defense attorney can make all the difference between a positive outcome and a devastating one. With so many lawyers to choose from, it’s crucial for prospective clients to go about the hiring process with care and diligence. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to hire a criminal defense attorney who will best represent your interests.

  1. Assess Your Needs

The first step in finding the right juvenile defense attorney is to assess your needs. Consider the type of charges you are facing, the severity of the potential consequences, and any specific expertise required. Juvenile law is a vast field, and attorneys often specialize in particular areas, such as drug offenses, domestic violence (assault of a family member), other violent crimes, or juvenile defense. Identifying your specific needs will help you narrow down your search.

  1. Seek Recommendations

One of the most reliable ways to find a competent juvenile defense attorney is through personal recommendations. Reach out to friends, family members, or colleagues who may have been in similar situations or who have legal connections. Their insights and referrals can be invaluable in identifying experienced attorneys.

  1. Research Potential Attorneys

Once you have a list of potential attorneys, conduct thorough research. Visit their websites, read online reviews, and check their credentials. Look for attorneys who are experienced in handling cases similar to yours and have a track record of success. Additionally, verify that they are licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction and whether they have any disciplinary history at

  1. Schedule Consultations

Contact the attorneys on your shortlist and schedule initial consultations. Most attorneys offer free or low-cost consultations to discuss your case and assess whether they are the right fit for your needs. During these meetings, ask about their experience, past successes, and their approach to handling cases like yours.

  1. Evaluate Communication

Effective communication is crucial when working with a juvenile defense attorney. Assess how well the attorney listens to your concerns and explains the legal process to you. Are they responsive to your inquiries and concerns? Clear and open communication is essential for a successful attorney-client relationship.

  1. Consider Legal Fees

Discuss legal fees during the initial consultation. Juvenile defense attorneys typically charge in various ways, such as flat fees or hourly rates. Make sure you understand the fee structure and any additional costs that may arise during your case. Choose an attorney whose fees align with your budget while still providing quality representation.

  1. Assess Comfort and Trust

Trust your instincts when choosing a juvenile defense attorney. You should feel comfortable and confident with your attorney, as you’ll be entrusting them with your case and potentially your freedom. A good attorney should instill trust and provide reassurance that they will work diligently to protect your rights and interests.

  1. Review the Retainer Agreement

Before hiring an attorney, carefully review the retainer agreement. This contract outlines the terms of your legal representation, including fees, services, and expectations. Make sure you understand and agree with all the terms before signing.


Hiring a Harris County juvenile defense attorney is a critical decision that can profoundly impact the outcome of your child's case. By following these steps and conducting thorough research, you can increase your chances of finding an attorney who is well-equipped to handle your legal needs. Remember that the right attorney should not only have the necessary expertise but also be someone you trust and feel comfortable working with during this challenging time.

Houston Juvenile Lawyer Trial Strategies


Houston Juvenile lawyers use a variety of strategies to win jury trials

Some common strategies include:

  1. Jury Selection: One of the most important strategies is jury selection. Juvenile lawyers try to select jurors who are impartial, fair-minded, and open to their arguments. They may use psychological profiling, questionnaires, or other techniques to help identify potential jurors who are likely to be sympathetic to their client’s case.
  2. Evidence Suppression: Juvenile lawyers may challenge the admissibility of evidence that was obtained illegally or in violation of their client’s constitutional rights. If evidence is suppressed, it can weaken the prosecution’s case and increase the likelihood of a not guilty verdict.
  3. Cross-Examination: Juvenile lawyers may use cross-examination to challenge the credibility of prosecution witnesses and to highlight inconsistencies in their testimony. They may also use cross-examination to elicit testimony that supports their client’s case.
  4. Expert Witnesses: Juvenile lawyers may call on expert witnesses to testify on their client’s behalf. Expert witnesses can provide scientific or technical evidence that supports the defense’s case, and can help to explain complex issues to the jury.
  5. Defense Witnesses: Juvenile lawyers may call on witnesses to testify on their client’s behalf. Defense witnesses can provide testimony that supports the defense’s case, and can help to create doubt in the minds of the jurors.
  6. Closing Arguments: Juvenile lawyers use closing arguments to summarize the evidence, highlight weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and make a persuasive argument in favor of their client’s innocence. A powerful closing argument can sway the opinions of the jurors and increase the likelihood of a not guilty verdict.
  7. Jury Instructions: Juvenile lawyers may seek specific jury instructions that favor their client’s case. Jury instructions provide guidance to the jurors on how to apply the law to the facts of the case and can significantly impact the outcome of the trial.
These are just a few of the strategies that juvenile attorneys use to win jury trials. Every case is unique, and a skilled criminal defense lawyer will tailor their strategy to the specific circumstances of the case.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at 281-546-6428 about your child’s juvenile charges in Harris County.


Houston Juvenile Lawyers - Choose Wisely

Choosing a Harris County juvenile defense lawyer is the most important decision as it can have a significant impact on the outcome of your child's case. Parents of prospective juvenile clients should consider the following factors when selecting a lawyer:

  1. Experience: Look for a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to your own. Juvenile law is a complex and specialized area of law, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer will have the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the legal system and provide effective representation. Is the lawyer board certified in juvenile law? How many juvenile cases has the lawyer tried to a jury? How many has the lawyer won at trial?
  2. Reputation: Look for a lawyer who has a good reputation in the legal community. A lawyer’s reputation can impact the outcome of a case, as judges, prosecutors, and other lawyers may be more likely to take their arguments seriously. Ask juvenile court staff if they know the lawyer and what their reputation is. Read their Google profile and pay attention to their negative reviews. Lawyers who take on more cases than they can reasonably handle are usually reflected in those reviews.
  3. Communication skills: Look for a lawyer who communicates clearly and effectively. A good juvenile defense lawyer should be able to explain legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand and should keep you informed about the status of your case. Lawyers that do not return calls, come to court very late if at all, or fail to keep clients informed of the status of their cases will usually receive bad reviews to that effect.
  4. Availability: Look for a lawyer who is available to answer your questions and address your concerns. A good juvenile defense lawyer should be responsive to your needs and should be willing to meet with you  outside of normal business hours if necessary. Lawyers who do not return calls timely and are never available after hours or on the weekend are certainly not putting their clients first.
  5. Strategy: Look for a lawyer who has a clear strategy for your case. A good juvenile defense lawyer should be able to explain their approach to your case and should be willing to discuss alternative strategies if necessary. Many young and inexperienced lawyers are still learning the trade, may not have any or little trial experience, and their approach to your case may be worlds apart from what a reputable trial lawyer can offer, so always talk to several lawyers before making a decision.
  6. Fees: Look for a lawyer who is transparent about their fees and expenses. A good juvenile defense lawyer should provide you with a clear explanation of their billing practices and should be willing to work with you to develop a payment plan that is manageable for you. Be wary if the fee is too high or too low. Some lawyers may set very high fees to give the impression they are the best when they may only be average and some lawyers that are not reputable may set very low fees because they earn a living handling cases in high volume but provide mediocre legal service.

It is important to take the time to research and interview several potential lawyers to find someone who is the right fit for you and your case. 

Does the lawyer answer your answer your most important questions? Does the lawyer rush you off the phone or take the time to truly understand your legal problem? 

Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a juvenile defense attorney is finding someone with whom you feel comfortable and confident.

Contact James G. Sullivan & Associates to consult with a board certified Houston Juvenile Lawyer at (281) 546-6428.


Harris County Texas Criminal Process


If you have been arrested in the Greater Houston / Harris County area for a Class A or B misdemeanor or felony offense, it is important to consult with a reputable criminal trial attorney who understands the Texas criminal process in Houston. You want to hire someone who will show you their actual case results and how likely they are to be successful in your case.

If you have an open warrant for your arrest in Harris County, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX to represent you throughout all crucial elements of your case. The attorney may be able to represent you in court to get a bond set so you can do a walk through in the processing center, so that you do not have to turn yourself in first at the processing center and wait for a judge to set the bond and then be processed out as that can take many hours.

In most cases, criminal defendants want an aggressive lawyer who will go to trial and fight on their behalf if their case requires it, who will try to negotiate an agreement to get the case dismissed so it can later be expunged, or who will suggest their client enter a plea deal if that is the best option for their case.

Texas Criminal Process Defense Lawyer in Cypress, Jersey Village, Tomball, Katy, Northwest Houston, TX

If you have been arrested for any criminal offense in Houston, James Sullivan is an experienced trial attorney who will make every effort to help you obtain the most desirable outcome in your specific situation by representing you throughout every important phase of the criminal process.

Call James G. Sullivan & Associates today at 281-546-6428 for a consultation about your alleged criminal offense in Houston, Cypress, Katy, Tomball, and surrounding areas of Harris County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges dismissed or reduced.

Houston Booking and Case Filing

After an alleged criminal offender has been arrested for a criminal offense in Houston, they will be held in jail until they appear before a judge. Immediately after the arrest, criminal defendants are taken to booking where their photographs and fingerprints are taken. Additionally, a fingerprint report, or rap sheet, is prepared that shows the defendant’s criminal history.

In misdemeanor cases, while the defendant is held in jail, the arresting officer files the criminal charges with the district attorney’s (DA) office. If the district attorney wants to pursue the case, the DA will prepare a charging instrument called an “information.” This is a written statement that is filed and presented on behalf of the state of Texas that charges the defendant with a crime. The information also puts the defendant on notice that they have been charged with a criminal offense.  After the information is processed, the case is assigned to one of the 16 misdemeanor courts in Houston through a random process.

In felony cases, the arresting law enforcement agency will also file charges with the DA’s office.

If a defendant is formally charged with a felony offense, their case will be assigned to one of the 26 felony (district) courts in Harris County.

Initial Appearance, Bail, and Arraignment in Houston

While the criminal defendant is held in jail, the jail will determine whether to set bail, to release the defendant from jail without bail (personal recognizance), or to hold the defendant in jail without bail. If bail is set, it can be posted at any time while the defendant is held in jail.

If bail is set, the amount can be posted by a bail bondsman, or another person. After the amount of bail has been posted, the defendant is guaranteed they will appear at any subsequent hearings or at trial. If they do appear as ordered, the amount of the bond, less any fees paid to secure the bond, will be returned to the individual who posted it. If the defendant does not appear, the amount of the bond will be forfeited.

After an information has been filed and the judge has decided whether to set bail or not, the defendant is entitled to an initial appearance, which is also known as the arraignment, where they will be advised of the charges that have been brought against them. The judge will also conduct a probable cause hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against the defendant. If the judge finds probable cause, the case continues. If the judge finds no probable cause, the prosecutor may decide to present the case to the grand jury or dismiss the charge.

The judge will also identify the defendant’s lawyer if one was hired or may appoint a lawyer to represent the defendant and set bail conditions at the arraignment.

Additionally, your attorney will have an opportunity to argue the amount of bail that should be set, and if the prosecutor has requested the defendant be held in jail, your attorney will also argue for your release. At the end of the arraignment, the defendant will enter a plea of not guilty, nolo contendere, or guilty, and will be informed of the date of their next court appearance.

Between the first and second court settings, these charges usually will then be presented to the grand jury to decide if there is enough evidence to charge the defendant with the crime. If the grand jury does decide there is enough evidence, they will file an indictment. This charging instrument is a written statement that formally accuses the person named of the criminal offense. The grand jury is a private proceeding that is comprised of a panel of citizens who are randomly selected to review criminal complaints provided by the police.

If the grand jury decides to true bill the alleged offender, or formally charge them, the grand jury has determined there is sufficient evidence (probable cause) to charge the defendant with the alleged criminal offense and will issue an indictment. If the grand jury decides to no bill the alleged offender, the defendant will not be charged with a criminal offense because the grand jury did not find probable cause to proceed with the case.

Criminal Process and Pre-Trial Negotiations in Houston

Prior to any appearances, hearing, or trial for the defendant’s criminal charges, the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor will have an opportunity to discuss any pretrial negotiations or enter a plea deal. They will also be able to enter a plea deal at the arraignment if this is in the defendant’s best interest.

The defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor will determine if there are any immediate reasons to dismiss the case. More commonly discussed prior to trial, a plea deal is a resolution of the case where both the prosecutor and the defendant agree to a certain punishment without ultimately having a trial to determine the defendant’s guilt. Additionally, at any of these pretrial negotiations, the case may be reset, postponed, rescheduled, or a continuance may be requested by either party.

Houston Hearings, Appearances, and Pre-Trial Motions

After the defendant is released from jail on bail or bond, they will be informed of their next hearing date at their arraignment. The defendant is required to appear on the date and time where they were instructed to appear, or else they will risk losing the amount of bond and a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

After any pretrial negotiations, but before trial, the court will set a date to hear all pretrial motions filed by both sides. The defendant’s attorney can file any motions arguing why the case should be dismissed or to suppress certain evidence. The most common pre-trial motions filed on behalf of a defendant can include any of the following:

  • Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Probable Cause
  • Motion to Exclude a Non-credible Witnesses’ Testimony
  • Motion to Exclude the Defendant’s Confession
  • Motion to Strike Prior Convictions
  • Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence

Houston Criminal Trial

If a defendant has rejected all pre-trial negotiations, the case has not been dismissed, and the defendant has pleaded not guilty to an alleged criminal offense, the case will be set for trial. The defendant can choose to have a bench trial or a jury trial.

A bench trial is a trial without a jury where only the judge determines if the defendant is guilty or innocent. Additionally, in bench trials, the defendant waives any error in the case upon any subsequent appeals.  A jury trial is comprised of a panel of 12 jury members for felony cases and six jury members for misdemeanor cases. The jury members are citizens in the county where the trial is held and are chosen through a process called voir dire (jury selection).

After the jurors are seated, the guilt/innocence phase of the trial will begin. This phase involves the presentation of all evidence, and all witnesses are called to testify. The prosecutor has the burden of proving the defendant committed every element to the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high burden of proof and often difficult to meet. The defense does not have to prove anything.

In order to convict a defendant, all jurors must unanimously agree the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If they do not all agree, the jury is called a hung jury and the judge must declare a mistrial. The case will then later be retried if the prosecutor believes another jury will be able to reach a unanimous decision. The prosecutor also could dismiss the charge or offer the defendant a deal on a reduced charge instead of having another trial.

If the defendant is found guilty, the punishment phase of the trial will occur next. This phase is used to determine the defendant’s punishment for their alleged offense. Prior to the beginning of trial, the defendant must choose whether to go to the judge or the jury to determine their punishment.

If the defendant believes a legal error occurred in the trial based on the judge’s instructions to the jury or for permitting inadmissible evidence, they can file an appeal to the next highest court. The criminal appeal is not a pre-trial rehearing of the evidence.

Find a Houston Criminal Trial Attorney | James G. Sullivan & Associates

Contact us today for a consultation about your arrest and criminal charges in Harris County in Texas. James Sullivan is a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Houston who will make every effort to fight for you at every stage of the criminal process.

Contact James G. Sullivan & Associates today at 281-546-6428 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Houston, Cypress, Katy, Tomball, and surrounding areas of Harris County, Texas. Our firm will work with the goal to get your criminal charges dismissed, won at trial, or reduced.