770 S. Post Oak Lane,
Houston, Texas 77056
Office: (713) 552-0300
Fax: (713) 552-0746
We represent clients at virtually every stage of a criminal proceeding, from investigation through trial to appellate and post-conviction (writ of habeas corpus) phases. Over the years, our clients have included elected officials, ordinary citizens, sports stars, bank officers, doctors, prominent business executives, lawyers, law enforcement officers, active duty military personnel, corporations and their officers, health care professionals, prosecutors, and the wives, husbands, and children of all of these types of persons. Whomever the client and whatever the charge, our basic vision in terms of criminal charges is simple: we fight to defend the rights of people arrested and accused of criminal offenses in state, federal, and military courts throughout the United States. Whether handling a military court-martial appeal in Washington D.C., a capital murder trial in Oklahoma, or a misdemeanor trial in Houston, we treat every client as if he or she were our only client. We help our clients cope with the fear and embarrassment associated with a criminal charge, provide them with an objective analysis of their case, and assess all available options for a favorable outcome.
We represent clients who are witnesses, suspects, and targets before state and federal grand juries involving indictments for felonies, and those who are being investigated on suspicion of commission of misdemeanor offenses. We also represent military clients at Article 32, UCMJ investigations. We work with a private investigator who has been working with the firm since it was formed in 1984. The investigator and the lawyers are experienced at interviewing witnesses, becoming familiar with scenes, and knowing the facts of the case better than the other side. In addition to the lawyers, who use the latest computer research tools to stay informed on changes in the law, the firm employs trained law clerks who also are very proficient at researching the law. We are also seasoned negotiators, initiating contact with the appropriate authorities to prevent the filing of criminal charges, if possible, as soon as we have mastered the factual and legal issues involved.
If charges are filed, we represent the client at every stage of the trial, including assisting in obtaining release on bond. After the case is fully investigated, we file pretrial motions if appropriate, including motions to dismiss and motions to suppress evidence. We then prepare for trial, which involves getting witnesses and evidence ready to present and anticipating the prosecution's case in order to meet it. We also believe in being prepared for the sentencing phase, in case it becomes necessary. Finally, we select the jury, try the case, and if necessary, file a motion for new trial.
Making a persuasive appellate argument and being able to identify the key issues mishandled in the lower court is an art. We represent clients on appeal regardless of whether we were their counsel at trial. We file appellate briefs in the state intermediate Courts of Appeal statewide and litigate petitions for discretionary review in the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. We also file briefs in the courts of other states and the federal and military Courts of Appeals nationwide. Finally, we prepare petitions for writs of certiorari and briefs in the United States Supreme Court. If granted, we orally argue the cases in addition to filing written briefs. Generally we are limited to the record of trial on appeal, and there are strict deadlines for filing appellate briefs.
After all appeals are exhausted, we investigate and prepare writs of habeas corpus in state and federal court. Generally, a person may only file one writ in each court, and must establish a constitutional violation in order to succeed. We are not limited to the trial record for a writ, and may introduce new issues and evidence. There is no deadline in Texas to file a state writ, but there is a one-year statute of limitations for federal writs - in other words, the writ must be filed in federal court within one year of the case becoming final. If a state writ is filed during that year, the time that the state writ is pending does not count toward the one-year deadline.
We have been involved in defending many different allegations of criminal activity, at all levels: Class C, B, and A misdemeanors and state jail, third, second, first degree felonies, and capital offenses. Below is a list of some of the more common alleged violations, but the list is not exhaustive.
For further information about the criminal trial and appellate attorneys at Zimmermann Lavine & Zimmermann please contact us today. To learn more about our significant cases please click here. For immediate assistance call us in Houston, Texas at 713-552-0300.