Don't Let One Mistake Ruin the Rest of Your Life. Hire an Experienced Attorney to Help Guide You Through the Criminal Justice System

If you have been accused of a crime in Waco, or McLennan Bell or Hill County, your mind is probably racing and filled with a million different questions:

  • Am I going to lose my job?
  • Who is going to take care of my family if I go to jail?
  • Will this be on my record forever?
  • Am I going to get kicked out of school?
  • Is this going to ruin my chances for a career?

On top of all these emotions, you are worried about getting a lawyer. You have questions like:

  • How important is it to hire a good lawyer?
  • How do find the right lawyer?
  • Am I going to be able to afford a lawyer?
  • What happens if I hire the wrong lawyer?

These are all important questions. Too many people rush into the decision to hire an attorney. They do so without knowing how to select an attorney, and often make their decision on price. The end result is that they often make the wrong decision. Unfortunately, they usually don’t realize the mistake they’ve made until it’s too late.


Most people have never had to hire a lawyer before. They have no idea what to look for, or what questions to ask. There's now more information than ever available - information that is accessible by everyone. You're on the internet so you know how many lawyer websites there are – making all sorts of claims. It can be overwhelming unless you know what to look for, and what should raise questions.

The decision on who you hire may determine the ultimate outcome of your case. It’s not something you should rush into. Instead, you need to take your time and make an informed decision. The question is how you do that since most people have no experience in hiring a lawyer. If they have used a lawyer before it probably was on something completely unrelated to criminal law.

Reaves is one of the best appellate lawyers in the state, and maybe even the country. Slate, August 2015


As part of that Mission, I've prepared a guide to help you make this decision – which may be one of the most important decisions you ever make. You MUST make the right decision because you need to trust whoever you hire. Get a  free copy of our book, Guide to Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer.  We also have several other resources, including Layman’s Guide to the Criminal Justice System, as well as the DWI Survival Guide. If you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated, we also have a free book on hiring a lawyer to handle your DWI case. I hope all these books will be a valuable resource as you choose the attorney you feel will handle your case the best, as well helping you as you move through the system.

I guarantee you this guide is not just a sales pitch. I can't represent everyone, and I'm not the right lawyer for everyone. Even if I don't represent you, I still want to make sure you make a good decision.  You can’t do that unless you know what questions to ask, and what to look for.

What You need to know about me

My name is Walter M. Reaves, Jr. Long before I became a lawyer I had a desire to see that everyone is treated fairly and got upset over what I saw as injustice.  In my teenage years , veered to the far left on social issues, which drove my conservative father crazy. I thought he was going to have a heart attack when I told him I wanted to work for the American Civil Liberties union. I never did that, but around my second year in college, I realized that I wanted to go to law school so I would be able to fight for justice.

I was lucky enough to clerk for an older lawyer when I was in law school who did some criminal defense work. I quickly discovered that I loved this area of law; it gave me an opportunity to utilize my passion for justice. Individuals who find themselves charged with a criminal offense need an advocate to ensure they are treated fairly, and that was right up my alley.

When I graduated from law school I didn't follow the traditional path of most criminal defense lawyers. That means I didn't go to work for a District Attorney's office; I couldn't see myself representing the State against the individual. I'm sure I would have been a terrible prosecutor because I tend to want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Instead of going to the District Attorney's office, I opened my own office. My first trial was within a couple of months of being licensed. I represented a couple of skydivers who had been charged with criminal trespass after skydiving off a skyscraper. Not only did I win the case, I was mentioned in a magazine article about the case. I was hooked, and slowly started handling criminal cases, and that soon was my primary practice area. I became Board Certified in Criminal Law as soon as I could, which was after I had been in practice for 5 years.

It's now been over 35 years; over those years I have had the privilege of helping Waco, Woodway, and Hillsboro residents who have been accused of crimes. I've developed a statewide reputation by working with organizations across the State, as well as writing and speaking at continuing legal education programs. I am also one of the few lawyers in Texas with membership in the Academy of Forensic Sciences.

I've handled all types of cases, from simple speeding tickets to murder cases where the State is seeking the death penalty. Currently, I am concentrating on clients who have been accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses in Texas, such as:

  • Possession or Sale of Drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, and other illegal substances
  • Assault - ranging from simple assault to aggravated assault
  • Theft
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Federal Crimes
  • Homicide
  • Gun Violations

We Don't Give Up When Someone is Convicted

In addition to trying cases, I also handle post-conviction appeals, expunction and non-disclosure, and I'm one of the few lawyers in this area who handles cases both at trial and on appeal. In addition to being board certified in criminal law, I’m also Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law. As a result of that experience, I understand what works and what doesn’t work, and am able to identify all the issues that may be important in your case.

Expunction and non-disclosure are of interest to individuals who have gone through the legal system and are hoping to have incidents removed from their records. There are many exceptions when applying for an expunction or non-disclosure order; however, they are usually available for certain eligible individuals:

  • Expunction can remove a charge from an individual’s criminal history. This may be an option for individuals who were arrested for a crime but never charged; arrested for a criminal charge that was dismissed; guilty of some qualifying misdemeanor juvenile offenses; convicted as a minor for certain alcohol offenses; convicted of failure to attend school; convicted of a crime but later acquitted by the trial court or the Criminal Court of Appeals; convicted of a crime but was later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the U.S. President; or those whose arrest, charge, or conviction record is due to identity theft by another individual.
  • Non-Disclosure Orders do not wipe your record clean like an expunction, but they do remove it from public records. Only certain private parties will be allowed to access your criminal history. Government agencies will still have access and your records will still be admissible in certain court actions. To be eligible, you must successfully complete deferred adjudication probation, as well as meet other criteria. Be sure to speak with your Waco non-disclosure lawyer to be sure you follow the correct procedures.


No matter what you've been charged with, you're going to worry. Some of that is because you don't know what to expect. Few people understand how the justice system operates;. Most people’s idea of the criminal justice system comes from television, and I guarantee you it's not like what you see there.

A lot of stress is caused by not knowing what is going to happen. Simple things like court settings create worry in a lot of people; they envision all sorts of things happening, which are rarely true. Lawyers tend to take a lot of this for granted because we deal with these situations every day. As a result, we don't always know what you are thinking, or expecting.

I encourage you to get copies of our books. They will enable to you to better assist your lawyer so you can get the best possible result. While your lawyer does the legal work, a lot more is involved than simply filing motions and making court appearances.

Please request your free consultation. You are also welcome to request copies of one or both of our free books, Guide to Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer or Layman's Guide to the Criminal Justice System.


You can’t afford to sit around and ignore your problem; it’s not going away, and it’s not going to get any better. Many issues can be time-sensitive, so it is essential that you contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The sooner you get a lawyer on your side, the better off you will be. This is not something you can handle on your own, so take steps now to secure your future.

If you've been arrested or accused of a crime in the Waco, Texas area, DON'T WAIT A MINUTE LONGER; contact the Law Office of Walter M. Reaves, Jr., P.C., at 254-296-0020 and ask for a free consultation

We also have a No Hassle Hiring Process if you can't get away to schedule an appointment. We can take care of everything over the phone, and minimize the time you have to be away from your home and job.  Go here and find out more.