Houston, Texas Legal Defense

George Parnham has over thirty-five years experience as a practicing attorney. He is Board Certified in the area of Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practice entails every aspect of the law where citizens find themselves accused of a crime. This firm handles offenses charged by both the State and Federal Court systems, not only within the State of Texas, but out of state jurisdictions as well. The firm's experience ranges from simple to complex litigation.

George Parnham is an expert on the defense of individuals with mental illness and a passionate advocate for legal reform of their treatment in the criminal justice system. Mr. Parnham's insistence that juries and legislators consider context and mental capacity will help move focus from verdict to treatment and catalyze a societal shift from outraged condemnation to awareness and primary prevention. He is totally committed to ensuring that his clients are heard and, to whatever extent possible, understood. In instances where misrepresentation or misstatement about the factual circumstances of an accusation have been leaked to the public, whether intentionally or not, it is imperative to "set the record straight" and do whatever can be done to level the playing field of public opinion.

Areas of Practice:
  • Assault:
    Simple assault in Texas is defined in Tex. Penal Code Ann. ยง22.01. and consists of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person; intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with imminent bodily injury, or intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the offender knows or reasonably should know the victim will find provocative or offensive.
    For a threat to rise to the level of a criminal assault, the threat has to put the person in reasonable fear of injury. For the police to actually arrest you on the spot on an assault charge, they have to actually witness the act. If the police are not there to witness the assault, then they can write you a complaint (citation) or notice to appear in court, or they can seek an arrest warrant from a judge.
    The exception to this is with domestic assault or domestic violence accusations, in which case the police in Texas are authorized to arrest you and remove you from the premises.
  • DUI / DWI:
    In Texas and many other states the legal limit for intoxication is .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). However, if an officer suspects your driving is impaired you can still be stopped and arrested for DWI regardless of your BAC. In most cases suspicion of DWI also gives the police a probable cause to search your vehicle.
    Different states classify DWI and DUI in different ways, but in the State of Texas Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) refers to the operation of a vehicle while impaired by any substance including alcohol or drugs. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is an offense that involves minors. In Texas any person under the age of twenty-one operating a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can be arrested for DUI. Driving Under the Influence is generally prosecuted as a Class C Misdemeanor.
  • Drug Crimes:
    Federal and state drug possession laws make it a crime to willfully possess illegal controlled substances, as well as criminalizing the possession of chemicals or materials used in drug cultivation or manufacturing and certain accessories related to drug use. Drug possession laws vary according to the type of drug, quantity, and geographic area of the offense. In some states possession of drugs for personal use is punished less severely than distribution crimes: i.e., possession of a small amount of marijuana may be decriminalized or treated as a disorderly person's offense. However, possession of a larger quantity of marijuana or other drugs, even if for personal use, is usually treated as a serious crime.
    Prosecutors can prove your intent to distribute drugs simply by showing the quantity of the drug, without requiring evidence that you actually distributed it. If you believe you may be under investigation for a drug related crime, it is critical that you hire a qualified criminal defense attorney right away.
    Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted: individuals are often convicted of a drug crime despite the fact that the state has little evidence with which to charge. However, the alleged offender's constitutional rights may have been violated during the arrest, thereby nullifying the charges.
  • Federal Crimes:
    Federal crimes usually involve the same charges as state crimes; the primary differences are that federal trials occur in a different court system, and the federal government has almost unlimited resources at its disposal. Even if you are only under investigation for a federal crime, you need to hire an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
    Federal criminal law is a very serious and complex body of law; therefore, federal criminal defense is a highly specialized legal practice area. Being accused of a federal crime is extremely serious, and may result in life changing consequences.
    Federal criminal offenses are usually investigated by agents of federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, Secret Service, etc.; occasionally state law enforcement officers work with federal agencies, but generally if any of these agents are involved in your arrest or questioning then you are facing federal prosecution.
    The United States marshal's service has the responsibility to house persons arrested for a federal charge. Initially, the person arrested will probably be held for some hours by the arresting agency (DEA, FBI, INS, Customs, Border Patrol). At the initial arraignment, the person will be interviewed by someone from the federal public defenders' office. Unless the person has already hired an attorney, federal defenders can represent everyone at the initial arraignment.
  • Homicide:
    Criminal homicide can be summarized as the act of unlawfully killing another person. Conviction will dramatically and negatively alter your life and the life of your family. These cases are often very complex and require the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.
    Texas statutes define four different types of criminal homicide which range in severity:
    Murder โ€“ If you intentionally or knowingly cause the death of another person or if you intend to and do cause serious bodily injury resulting in death, you can be charged with murder. This is classified as either a second degree or first degree felony, depending upon the circumstances of your case, which could result in up to life imprisonment.
    Capital Murder โ€“ This type of murder is more serious and can be charged if varying circumstances are met. For example, if you commit murder for money or the promise of money, you can be charged with capital murder. This type of charge is a capital felony which could result in life imprisonment or punishment by death.
    Manslaughter โ€“ If you cause the death of another person due to your reckless actions or inactions, you could be charged with manslaughter. This is a felony of the second degree, which could result in up to 20 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines. The Law Firm of Parnham and Associates has earned a reputation throughout the United States for providing aggressive homicide defense. Our attorneys have successfully handled cases ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree capital murder charges. We are proud of our history of obtaining the best possible criminal defense results for people charged with serious violent crimes.
  • White Collar Crime:
    The term "White Collar Crime" was first used in the 1930's relating to non-violent crime that was being prosecuted. Often times these crimes were charged when more serious violent crimes could not be proved. "White collar crimes" are generally classified as felonies, and these carry significant legal consequences. They most often involve money violations in a business setting. Punishment and sentencing vary with the amount of money involved, along with the accused's intent, criminal record and other factors. White collar crimes include such criminal activities as investment schemes, securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, insider trading, embezzlement, mortgage fraud and more.
    White collar crimes may be prosecuted at the State or Federal level, depending upon the crime for which the defendant has been accused. If an individual is convicted of committing a white collar crime in Texas the punishment may consist of monetary fines, a prison sentence, or house arrest. These penalties can often destroy your reputation as a respected business person.
  • Sex Offenses:
    No other area in Criminal Law creates public outrage the way sex crimes do. The mere allegation of a sexual offense is sufficient to destroy reputations, careers, families and lives. At the same time, there are very few areas of Criminal Law where we have seen such a high percentage of convictions overturned because the person was actually innocent and subsequently cleared by DNA or witness recantation.
    Sex crimes cover a wide array of potential offenses ranging from Misdemeanor Public Lewdness to Super Aggravated Sexual Assault. Often times, these allegations can come about as the product of a nasty divorce, child custody issues or vindictive individuals. Included among these crimes are "Romeo and Juliet" relationships, which can lead to Statutory Rape charges.
    As one might expect, the penalties are severe and most carry special obligations, which can last long after the case is completed and any sentence has been satisfied. The requirement to register oneself as a sex offender is often more devastating than any particular sentence that a person might receive. Other collateral consequences may include deportation, loss of child custody, prohibition on where you can live and work as well as the loss of professional licenses.
  • Expunctions and Petitions for Nondisclosure:
    Many people mistakenly believe that their record is erased immediately following an acquittal ("Not Guilty") after a trial by judge or jury, or if the case is dismissed. Additionally, many people erroneously believe that if they successfully complete "deferred adjudication" their criminal record remains clear once the probationary period is completed.
    However, this is simply not the case. The arrest record will remain unless you file for an expunction or petition for non-disclosure: these are only granted in a very narrow range of circumstances. Contact Parnham & Associates for a free consultation to determine whether you are eligible for any of the record sealing avenues afforded under the law of the State of Texas.
  • Criminal Appeals:
    In the unfortunate circumstance that you have been convicted of or placed on community supervision for a criminal offence, you may be entitled to challenge the outcome in a higher court. This is true in both Federal and State cases. It may be true even if you plead guilty or no-contest to criminal charges.
    Appellate practice is a specialized area of Criminal Law, which has its own rules, procedures and deadlines. The application of these rules and deadlines requires strict compliance and failure to follow them properly and timely can result in the loss of your right to challenge your case forever. In both Texas and the Federal Criminal Courts, there are generally two separate and distinct tracks to challenge a conviction and/or sentence - Direct Appeal and Writ of Habeas Corpus.

If you have been accused of a crime, please contact us today for a free consultation with an aggressive and resourceful criminal defense attorney. We will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Call (713) 224 - 3967 for a free consultation or click here for our convenient online submission form.

When it comes to criminal law cases, an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between a prison sentence and reduced or dismissed charges. Even in less serious cases, a good criminal defense attorney can make a serious impact on the outcome of the case by ensuring that the rights of the accused are protected throughout the legal process.