AUSTIN CRIMINAL LAWYER
How Do I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Austin?
At The Law Office of Matthew Shrum, we defend people charged with crimes. Our practice includes a wide range of criminal charges, including misdemeanors and felonies. Our experience includes DWI, assault and other violent crimes, drug crimes, alcohol related offenses, property crimes, domestic violence, theft offenses, weapons charges, traffic offenses and others, and we have a proven track record of success. We understand that when charged with a criminal offense, your reputation, your financial security, your freedom, your future and your entire way of life are at stake.
Mr. Shrum has the experience and dedication to provide you with outstanding representation at every step of the criminal justice process. With the seeming inexhaustible resources at the disposal of the government, you need a qualified Austin criminal attorney to level the playing field and provide you with the best defense available. And remember that the earlier you retain an attorney in defense of a criminal matter, the better off you are. We suggest, in fact, that you engage the services of your lawyer as soon as you learn you are being investigated for a possible crime, even if you have not yet been charged.
What Kind of Experience Is Important?
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Texas Law School, Matthew Shrum has the experience you need when you look for a criminal lawyer. Upon graduation, he immediately became immersed in the practice of criminal law as a prosecutor in the Travis County Attorney’s Office. During his tenure as prosecutor, Mr. Shrum handled thousands of cases, including DWI, marijuana and other drug offenses, theft offenses (including burglary), assault, family/domestic violence, driving offenses (including traffic cases and driving on a suspended license), weapons offenses, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, public intoxication, lewd conduct, and prostitution, among others.
The experience of being a prosecutor provided Mr. Shrum with valuable exposure to a large number of cases, a wide range of legal issues, as well as substantial courtroom experience and the development of negotiating skills. Equally as important, it provided him with a unique opportunity to view the workings of the criminal justice system in Travis County from the inside. He got to know the prosecutors, the judges, probation officers, pre-trial services personnel, and Sheriff’s deputies. He also gained first-hand insight into how the prosecution develops its cases, how to spot weaknesses in the government’s cases, and how to gain the upper hand in plea negotiations. You are the beneficiary of his wealth of experience when you choose Matt Shrum as your criminal defense attorney.
How Will I Be Treated at the Law Office of Matthew Shrum?
At the Law Office of Matthew Shrum, we recognize the fear and anxiety that you feel when you have been arrested and are facing a criminal charge, and we do everything within our power to provide you with some peace of mind during this difficult time. In addition to the confidence gained from knowing you are represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney, we explain the process from beginning to end. Our initial step is to sit down with you and provide you with an opportunity to explain, from your perspective, exactly what happened. This allows us to develop a sound and intelligent strategy to deal with the charges against you. You will always be treated with the respect you deserve, and we will explain that strategy to you, in language you can understand, so that you have a full understanding of the legal issues and the legal process. In that way, you can make informed decisions, with our guidance, regarding every aspect of your case. We remain sensitive at all times to the emotional pressure that you and your loved ones are under, and our goal is to alleviate some of the pressure by providing the best and most compassionate legal counsel available.
Both as a prosecutor and as a criminal defense lawyer, Matthew Shrum has handled literally thousands of criminal cases. By virtue of his wealth of experience, he has become one of the most respected criminal attorneys in the Austin area. His experience, dedication and zealous representation of his clients have lead to many dismissals, verdicts of not guilty and reduced charges. Your case may be one that can be resolved to your satisfaction prior to trial by a reduction in the charges against you; or by a successful pre-trial motion for a dismissal, or to bar the introduction of evidence at trial; or by a reduced sentence. Other times it may be necessary to take the case to trial. Whatever the situation, Mr. Shrum will aggressively defend your interests at every stage of the case, and do whatever may be legally necessary to bring your criminal case to a successful conclusion. The following is an explanation of how we proceed in defending against charges in a few of the areas of our practice.
How Can Mr. Shrum Help Me in My DWI Case?
Matthew Shrum has experience handling a multitude of criminal charges, and is particularly experienced in DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). We understand your fear associated with being charged with DWI, and that the consequences (fines, loss of driving privileges, possible jail time, and other penalties) are significant and life-altering. But being charged is not the same as being convicted, and what follows is an explanation of how we will respond when you contact us concerning your DWI case:
- We recognize that you may be reluctant to retain the services of a particular attorney based upon what you read in a website, or even what you may have heard from a friend or colleague who has been one of our satisfied clients. Accordingly, we provide you with a free consultation, during which you can explain what happened, that is, your version of the facts. That consultation allows us to discuss with you the specifics of your case in a confidential setting.
- We will provide you with a proposed strategy for your defense, a strategy that is both honest and realistic. While we want to ease your mind to the extent possible, we will not sugarcoat our opinion. We want you to know what penalties you are facing, including enhanced penalties which may be applicable in a number of situations, including, among others, a high Blood Alcohol Content, a DWI resulting in injuries, and where there are prior DWI convictions.
- We will proceed to examine the government’s case against you, including the interviewing of any witnesses, as well as the examination of any other evidence, including test results.
- After we have reviewed all the facts, we will provide you with our analysis of steps to be taken in your case, including possible defenses, and, if appropriate, the hiring of an expert witness or witnesses on your behalf. Challenges might involve the results of any breath tests given to you, or the results of field sobriety tests (FST’s) administered by the police, among other things.
- Within the bounds of our ethical obligations, we will be aggressive and fight for your rights throughout the process.
- We offer flexible payment plans geared to you and the specifics of your case.
We know from our experience that the mere existence of test results, for example, whether they are breath tests or FST’s, can be challenged successfully in court. Certain breath machines are known as being unreliable, and some become unreliable due to lack of maintenance over time; the device may not have been properly calibrated; or the officer administering the test may not be qualified. With regard to FST’s, numerous studies show that they may also be unreliable – after all, the FST’s rely ultimately on the subjective judgment of the police officer; and in any event, they test coordination, which is not the same as intoxication. In sum, we will do whatever we legally can to insure that the defense we provide in your DWI case is second to none.
Does the Law Firm Defend Drug Crimes?
Drug crimes are some of the most common charges in our area, and navigating through the maze of criminal statutes governing the various controlled substances, crimes and penalties can be a daunting task. At the Law Office of Matthew Shrum, we represent clients charged with drug offenses on a regular basis. We know the law, and we have experience in the defense of clients charged with drug crimes. This area of the law, however, is not easy to understand, and the reasons for this include the many types of drug and drug-related offenses set forth in the criminal code.
- Drug and Drug-Related Offenses. In Texas, it is illegal not only to possess and/or sell marijuana and other drugs; the law proscribes a laundry list of other drug activities. These include possession with intent to deliver; transporting drugs; drug trafficking; possession of a “chemical precursor” used in the manufacture of drugs; manufacturing drugs; drug cultivation; prescription drug offenses; possession of drug paraphernalia; and many others. Additional drug-related charges may include offenses such as fraud in obtaining prescription drugs, forgery, and other crimes.
- Penalties. The penalties for drug crimes in Texas are some of the harshest in the country. The particular penalties you face will be a function of a number of factors, and what follows is a list of some of those factors. First, not all drugs are treated the same under Texas law. Cocaine, for example, is a Group 1 drug, making mere possession a felony. Second, the amount of the drug will affect the severity of the penalties. Possession of a small amount of marijuana, for example, is a misdemeanor, while possession of larger amounts is a felony. Next, penalties are affected by the specifics of the conduct alleged to have taken place. This includes not only whether you are alleged to have possessed and/or delivered the drug, but also whether you are charged with delivery of a controlled substance to a minor. Fourth, your prior criminal history will affect the potential penalties in your case. And finally, all drug charges include the possibility, in the event of a conviction, of the suspension of your driver’s license.
- Defenses. There are many defenses that can be raised on your behalf in a drug case. The search and seizure by the police to obtain the drugs can be challenged in a pre-trial motion, and if it is determined that the search and seizure was illegal, it will constitute a bar to the introduction of the evidence seized at your trial. The government will have to identify the drug, usually through chemical tests. Those tests are not always accurate, and can also be challenged. The state’s evidence in many cases includes a confession or the testimony of a co-defendant. The introduction into evidence of both a confession and testimony of a co-defendant are not automatic – both are subject to rules, and both can be challenged, and challenged successfully, in court.
What Should I Do If I am Charged with Family Violence?
Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code defines Family Violence as any act by a family member against another member of the family or of the household intended to result in physical harm, assault, sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in imminent fear of physical harm. It also includes child abuse by a member of a family or household, as well as dating violence.
As a former prosecutor in Travis County’s Domestic Violence Court, Mr. Shrum has handled a myriad of cases dealing with family violence, including assault, assault resulting in bodily injury, harassment, terroristic threats, and violation of protective orders. By virtue of this experience, he is in a unique position to defend you in any case involving Family Violence.
Criminal Lawyer in Austin
At the Law Office of Matthew Shrum, our practice consists of defending clients charged with criminal offenses of all types. With all the resources available to the prosecution, this is no time to settle for second best. Mr. Shrum’s experience, both as a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer, his knowledge and dedication, as well as his proven track record, will provide you with your best defense when you are charged with a crime. Remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call us today at (512) 447-2323 for a free criminal or DWI consultation.