Murder / Homicide


Few cases are taken more seriously than murder. The government will bring its full resources to bear on everyone connected to the crime. Police officers and prosecutors have vast resources to investigate these cases and “bring the perpetrators to justice.” Prosecutors almost always seek long prison sentences when someone dies. If the victim is a child, police officer, elderly, or disabled person, they will prosecute the crime with even more vigor.

But homicide cases (capital murder, murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide) are usually not as straightforward as the police think. They often involve unreliable witnesses and questionable police and forensic procedures. Even when there’s little doubt about who committed the crime and how, the conduct might actually justified (self-defense, defending someone else, defending against certain crimes, etc.).

The bottom line is that there is a lot at stake, but often a lot to work with—assuming you choose an attorney that knows how to defend homicide cases. The lawyers at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP know how to defend homicide cases. Their nearly 60 years of collective experience in criminal law includes dozens of homicide cases. They have secured jury acquittals in murder trials and had grand juries reject charges (“no bills”) in murder investigations. As three former Harris County prosecutors, they work together to defend these charges. This combines the skills and knowledge of three (not just one) highly qualified criminal defense attorneys.

Be extremely careful talking to the police!

Police officers and federal agents investigating murder cases usually follow a standard procedure. This involves interviewing or interrogating the suspect (or suspects). Government investigators have many tools at their disposal—a team of agents, forensic investigators, immediate access to nationwide data, and lengthy training. The targets are usually unprepared and underinformed about the allegation. They don’t know the law, only know some of the facts, and often say things that seem helpful but are actually harmful. Moreover, Texas and federal courts have consistently upheld an officer’s ability to LIE during an interview. The decision whether to appear for an interview must be undertaken with extreme caution. Sometimes it is not in the suspect’s best interest. If the suspect does intend to interview, however, it is absolutely imperative that a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer attend the interview, direct how it will be conducted, and take control from the police if necessary. The lawyers at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP are very skilled and experienced in these matters.

When deciding which attorney will defend you in a murder trial, consider these things:

  • As former Assistant District Attorneys, the attorneys at Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP have developed strong professional relationships with police officers, prosecutors, and judges.
  • They have handled criminal trials as both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys; they understand the tactics and strategies used by prosecutors trying to convict a defendant.
  • By strategizing as a team, the firm brings the minds of three experienced lawyers to develop insightful legal strategies in your case.
  • The firm’s attorneys understand what is on the line for someone accused of murder or any other homicide; they provide each client with their full attention and commitment.

There is no substitute for a team of highly qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyers when you’re facing murder or homicide charges. The stakes are higher than ever. Prosecutors almost always seek a prison sentence, and in capital murder cases the consequences include life without parole or the death penalty.

If you are under investigation or charged with any form of homicide, do not talk to anyone about your case and contact Shellist Peebles McAlister LLP for a free consultation and immediate assistance.