Kerr County Criminal Defense Lawyers


Ready to Defend You Inside & Outside the Courtroom

Are you or someone you know facing criminal charges in Kerr County? We are here to help! Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you and advocate for you. Cofer & Connelly handles serious felony and misdemeanor criminal charges in Kerr County, Texas.

Our dedicated criminal defense attorney in Kerr County will collaborate with you to formulate a thorough case strategy, safeguarding your legal rights throughout court proceedings, advocating for your optimal outcome, and preparing you for a positive future beyond the conclusion of your case. The prominence of our law firm in Kerr County, TX, stems from a proven track record in defense. Our legal team is committed to guiding you through every aspect of your case with utmost diligence.

Ready to schedule your free consultation with our Kerr County criminal defense lawyers? Contact us online or call us at (830) 590-0589 today.

Common Criminal Cases We Handle

In Texas, a crime is an act that violates the state's laws and regulations, punishable by legal sanctions such as fines, imprisonment, probation, or other penalties. Crimes can range from minor infractions like traffic violations to serious offenses such as homicide or aggravated assault.

Here are some common types of crimes our firm handles:

  • Drug Crimes: These involve the possession, manufacturing, distribution, or trafficking of illegal drugs or controlled substances. Charges can vary depending on the type and quantity of drugs involved.
  • DWI (Driving While Intoxicated): Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered a serious offense in Texas. Penalties can include fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, particularly for repeat offenders or cases involving accidents with injuries or fatalities.
  • Theft Crimes: Theft encompasses a broad range of offenses, including shoplifting, burglary, robbery, and embezzlement. Penalties for theft crimes depend on factors such as the value of stolen property and whether force or violence was used.
  • Sex Crimes: These crimes include sexual assault, rape, indecent exposure, child pornography, and sexual misconduct. Convictions for sex crimes often result in lengthy prison sentences, registration as a sex offender, and other consequences.
  • Violent Crimes: This category includes offenses such as assault, homicide, manslaughter, aggravated assault, and domestic violence. These crimes involve causing physical harm or injury to another person and can result in severe penalties, including long prison sentences or even capital punishment in cases of murder.
  • White Collar Crimes: White-collar crimes typically involve deceit, fraud, or dishonesty committed by professionals or individuals in positions of trust for financial gain. Examples include embezzlement, securities fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.
  • Juvenile Crimes: These offenses are committed by individuals under the age of 18 and can include a wide range of criminal activities such as vandalism, theft, drug offenses, assault, and underage drinking. Juvenile offenders may face consequences such as probation, community service, or placement in juvenile detention facilities.
  • Weapons Charges: Texas has specific laws regulating the possession, sale, and use of firearms and other weapons. Weapons charges may include illegal possession of firearms, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm, or using a weapon during the commission of another crime.

Misdemeanors vs. Felonies in Kerr County

In Texas, crimes are typically classified into two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The classification is based on the severity of the offense and determines the potential penalties an individual may face if convicted.

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes compared to felonies. They are typically punishable by fines, probation, community service, or imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year.

In Texas, misdemeanors are categorized into the following three classes:

  • Class A Misdemeanor: These are the most serious misdemeanor offenses in Texas. Examples include DWI (with certain conditions), assault causing bodily injury, possession of small amounts of certain drugs, and theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500. Potential penalties include fines of up to $4,000 and/or imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Examples of Class B misdemeanors include first-time DWI (with certain conditions), possession of small amounts of marijuana, criminal trespass, and indecent exposure. Penalties may include fines of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment in a county jail for up to 180 days.
  • Class C Misdemeanor: These are the least serious misdemeanor offenses in Texas. Common examples include traffic violations, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and minor in possession of alcohol. Penalties typically involve fines of up to $500, but no jail time.

On the other hand, felonies are more serious crimes and carry harsher penalties than misdemeanors.

Felonies in Texas are further classified into the following five categories: 

  • Capital Felony: The most serious offense in Texas law, capital felonies are punishable by either life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty.
  • First-Degree Felony: Examples include murder, aggravated sexual assault, and certain drug trafficking offenses. Penalties may include imprisonment for five to 99 years or life imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: Offenses such as manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, and certain drug possession with intent to distribute are considered second-degree felonies. Penalties may include imprisonment for two to 20 years and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony: Examples include offenses such as burglary of a habitation, stalking, and certain drug possession offenses. Penalties may include imprisonment for two to 10 years and fines of up to $10,000.
  • State Jail Felony: These offenses are less serious than other felony offenses but more serious than most misdemeanors. Examples include theft of property valued between $2,500 and $30,000, credit card abuse, and possession of certain controlled substances. Penalties may include imprisonment for 180 days to two years in a state jail facility and fines of up to $10,000.

Reasons You Need a Kerr County Criminal Defense Attorney

In the event of misdemeanor or felony charges, such as DWI, it is crucial to enlist the services of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Kerr County who will champion your legal rights, as the stakes are often more significant than anticipated.

A conviction in a criminal case could lead to far-reaching repercussions, such as:

  • Incarceration
  • Significant financial penalties
  • Probationary periods
  • Revocation of Second Amendment privileges
  • Hindered access to financial services
  • Loss of licenses
  • Impaired employability

How To Handle Criminal Charges in Kerr County

Here’s what you need to know if you’re facing a criminal charge in Kerr County.


Kerr County is located about 2 hours from Austin in the Texas Hill Country. Approximately 53,000 people live in Kerr County, with most residents living in the Kerrville area. Kerrville is the County Seat and, along with the Sheriff’s office, the home of the largest law enforcement agency in the county. Ingram, Center Point, Hunt and Mountain Home area few of the other larger communities in the county.

Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety, and the multi-county Joint Criminal Interdiction Task Force are the largest police forces in the county. DPS and the Criminal Interdiction Task Force routinely patrol the I-10 corridor that traverses from one end of the county to the other.

Big Picture

Kerr County is small community that is tough on crime. Criminal charges are viewed seriously by the community and prosecutors. Kerr County juries are known to assess significant sentences in felony convictions. Kerr County used to be a small dot on the map heading west but has exponentially grown over the last decade.

However, first-time offenders have opportunities in both felony and misdemeanor court for potential diversion of their charges. 

We at Cofer & Connelly routinely handle serious felony and misdemeanor charges in Kerr County. Over the last three years, we achieved numerous successful outcomes. Additionally, we have opened a branch office in Kerrville to better assist our clients. 

The Courts

Kerr County is a split jurisdiction that is served by the 198th District Court of Texas as well as the 216th District Court of Texas; with the Honorable Judge Patrick McGuire presiding in the 198th Judicial District and the Honorable Judge Albert D. Pattillo presiding in the 216th Judicial District. 

The 198th District Court has general jurisdiction over civil matters and felony criminal cases in Bandera County and Kerr County, while the 216th District Court has general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases in Kerr County and Gillespie County.

Judge McGuire took the bench in January 2023 following the retirement of long serving District Judge M. Rex Emerson. Before taking the bench, Judge McGuire served as the municipal court judge for the last 18 years. He also practiced criminal defense, civil law, family law, and is board certified in criminal appellate law.

Judge Pattillo took the bench in May 2020 upon the retirement of long-serving District Judge Keith Williams. Before assuming judicial responsibilities, Judge Pattillo had a varied practice based in Kerrville, Texas including family law, civil litigation, and criminal matters.

Previously he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County and was a longtime federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Texas.

The Kerr County Court at Law handles Class A and Class B misdemeanor charges. Judge Susan Harris currently presides over this court. Judge Susan Harris has been the presiding judge in this court since 2014.

Kerr County is also served by several courts handling Class C misdemeanors including Justice of the Peace courts and the Kerrville Municipal Court.

The Prosecutors

The Honorable Lucy Wilke is District Attorney for the 216th Judicial District, including Gillespie County and Kerr County. Her office also employs two Assistant District Attorneys, John Hoover and Abigail Hurt. District Attorney Wilke has served the office for more than twenty-five years. Her office prosecutes felony charges in Kerr and Gillespie County.

The Honorable Stephen Harpold is District Attorney for the 198th Judicial District, including Kerr County and Bandera County. District Attorney Harpold has served the office since 2014 and was elected to District Attorney in 2020 following the retirement of Scott Monroe. His office employs one Assistant District Attorney, Benjamin Rosenbach, and also prosecutes felony charges in Kerr and Bandera County.

The Honorable Heather Stebbins serves as Kerr County Attorney and is responsible for misdemeanor prosecution in the Kerr County Court at Law and Kerr County Justice of the Peace courts. A lifelong resident of Kerr County, before becoming County Attorney, she served as a Municipal Prosecutor and Assistant City Attorney. 


Felony cases are heard at the Kerr County Courthouse at 700 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Kerrville, Texas. Pretrial conferences are generally held on Thursday mornings in the 216th District Court and Friday mornings in the 198th District Court.

Misdemeanor cases are heard either in person at the Kerr County Courthouse, 700 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Kerrville, Texas, Texas or via Zoom. Judge Harris is very generous in allowing the use of Zoom appearances when available.

Kerr County Justice of the Peace Courts include four precincts, which are presided over by four Justices:

  • Justice of the Peace Mitzi French (Precinct One)
  • Justice of the Peace J.R. Hoyne (Precinct Two)
  • Justice of the Peace Kathy Mitchell (Precinct Three)
  • Justice of the Peace William E. Ragsdale (Precinct Four)

The Justices in each precinct handle Criminal Class C Misdemeanors involving the following code violations:

  • Traffic
  • Penal
  • Health & Safety
  • Education
  • Parks & Wildlife
  • Alcohol & Beverage

Justices preside over the following:

  • Civil Justice Court – These cases have a jurisdictional limit of $20,000.
  • Small Claims Court – These cases have a jurisdictional limit of $20,000.
  • Administrative Actions – This can include driver license suspensions appeals, magistration, and search warrants.

Kerrville Municipal Court

This is a court of non-record run by the Honorable Lucy Pearson, which primarily hears cases punishable by fine occurring within the city limits of Kerrville, including: traffic offenses, theft cases involving stolen property valued at less than $100.00, violations of city ordinances, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia, and simple assault.

Law Enforcement

The Kerr County Sheriff’s Department (KCSO) employs 119 employees, including 54 Deputies and 48 corrections officers. KCSO is located at the at 400 Clearwater Paseo, Kerrville, Texas. The KCSO is led by Sheriff Larry Leitha.

Sheriff Leitha’s duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • He oversees criminal investigations.
  • He is responsible for providing security for county and district court operations.
  • He enforces traffic laws, county ordinances, and state laws.
  • He oversees service of process.
  • He accepts bail for prisoners in his custody.
  • He is responsible for conducting sales of seized and unclaimed properties.
  • He oversees the operation of the county jail and is responsible for the prisoners.

The Kerrville Police Department resides in Kerr County. Like the KCSO, the KPD makes its home in Kerrville and is located at 429 Sydney Baker St. Chief of Police Chris McCall leads the Kerrville Police Department.

The Kerrville Police Department is dedicated to protecting the citizens of Kerrville and upholding state and local laws. It is accredited by the Texas Chief of Police Association and staffed by 58 police officers.

The Process Following Your Engagement With Our Austin, TX Law Firm

Upon reaching out to us, your initial interaction will be with one of our dedicated intake specialists. They will meticulously record the specifics of your case and promptly initiate a comprehensive search for all pertinent information and records pertaining to the incident.

Subsequently, we will connect you with one of our highly regarded criminal defense lawyers for a consultation. This pivotal conversation allows us to delve into your background and circumstances, facilitating the initiation of our exploration into potential legal avenues.

Upon officially engaging our services, our proactive representation commences. This could involve expediting late-night or weekend jail releases, initiating the bail bonding process, or advocating for the modification of pretrial release conditions, as appropriate to the case.

Given the time-sensitive nature of criminal proceedings, it is imperative not to delay speaking with our intake specialists.

  • "Excellent all around. Highly recommend."
    W. N.
  • "I am eternally grateful for all of the efforts they put in to go above and beyond for everyone they help."
    Former Client
  • "They really listen to and care about their client's needs and consistently fight for the best outcome! I am eternally grateful for all of the effort they put in to go above and beyond for everyone they help."
  • 103 Years of Experience
  • 32,000 Cases
  • 357 Trials

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