Experienced Central Texas DWI & Criminal Defense Law Firm
Former Federal & State Prosecutor By Your Side
Proven Track Record of Success in Defending Criminal Cases
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested or accused of a crime, you need a defense attorney who knows exactly how the justice system works.
Attorney Jorge Vela spent seven years as both a Federal and State prosecutor in Texas.
A dedicated trial attorney, Jorge gained inside knowledge about complex criminal matters.
As a defense attorney, he is using that knowledge to fight for individuals accused of a crime.
Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
Not all criminal defense attorneys are the same. Don't let the decision of choosing the wrong attorney steer your life off course.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or is under investigation in Austin, TX, or the surrounding Central Texas area, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side.
One with an established record of success as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney.
Trusted Trial Attorney with Unmatched Experience
Jorge served as an Assistant District Attorney for Travis County, prosecuting violent felonies and assisting with securing guilty verdicts for defendants of various types of crimes.
Having experience on both the prosecution and criminal defense sides of the courtroom gives Jorge a unique perspective on criminal defense cases.
As a former prosecutor, Jorge has gained insight into how the government handles a criminal case.
With this knowledge, he often crafts creative solutions and defenses to criminal charges.
Jorge knows when to settle criminal offenses and when to proceed to trial.
Experience in Defending Against Federal and State Charges
Jorge Vela worked as a felony prosecutor in the 49th District Court of Webb County in Laredo, Texas.
Here he prosecuted violent crimes, including:
- Aggravated robbery
- Aggravated assault
- Intoxicated manslaughter
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Solicitation of capital murder
Jorge worked for the United States Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Texas.
As a federal prosecutor, he investigated large-scale drug trafficking organizations tied to violent Mexican drug cartels at the border.
He helped secure significant jury trial verdicts, including a life sentence for the head of a Laredo drug trafficking organization.
He also prosecuted and secured guilty verdicts against those accused of:
- Smuggling undocumented aliens
- Firearms trafficking
- Possession of child pornography
- Online solicitation of a minor
- U.S. visa fraud
A Defense Law Firm Dedicated to Fighting for the Best Possible Outcome in Your Case
When you find yourself charged with a criminal offense, learn that you have a warrant out for your arrest, or are facing a criminal investigation, you can turn to the Law Office of Jorge Vela. Our Central Texas criminal defense attorneys, have the time, expertise, and knowledge to guide you through this difficult process.
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get started on your defense. Even if you haven’t yet been charged with a crime, we may be able to help. Our attorneys handle all types of criminal offenses that are still in the investigative phase in Travis County and surrounding areas.
No matter what stage of the criminal justice process they are in, it is never too early to get an attorney to defend you.
Some of the cases that we have successfully defended included:
- Transporting, Bringing in, or harboring aliens (undocumented)
- Wire fraud
- Money laundering
- Firearms offenses
- Online solicitation of a minor
- Possession/distribution of child pornography
- Medicare fraud
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is crucial that you speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Don't wait, act now and contact a qualified criminal defense attorney today to schedule a consultation and defend your case.
At the Law Office of Jorge Vela, our attorneys have years of experience successfully representing clients just like yourself.
We have a team that includes former state and federal prosecutors with insider knowledge and skills they can leverage on your behalf.
Our firm has a proven track record of producing the best results possible for individuals facing all different types of crimes, from misdemeanors to serious felonies.
Our attorneys are always on call. We know that legal problems can arise both day and night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even if you are expecting to be arrested, actually being arrested can come as quite a shock. However, the steps you take next can make or break your case. By taking the right steps initially, you can help your attorney help you.
First, talk to a lawyer before anyone else; this will help protect your rights. Don’t talk to the police or federal agents, no matter how nice they may seem. They are not on your side, and anything you tell them can be used against you.
Even though you shouldn’t talk to a police officer, make it a point to be polite, respectful, courteous, and cooperative. Other behaviors, specifically touching, talking to, or yelling at officers, will likely escalate the situation and be used against you in court.
Once your attorney has arrived, they will guide you throughout the criminal process and tell you what you can expect. Share with them exactly what happened leading up to your arrest, how it was handled by law enforcement officers and all the details you can remember.
You should also share if you believe there are witnesses and if you need medical attention. Be open and honest with your attorney, even if you know they won’t like what you have to say. These details will help your criminal lawyer in Austin, TX, craft the best possible legal defense on your behalf.
It’s quite worrisome and disconcerting to have a friend or family member in a Travis County jail. You likely want nothing more than to get them released immediately. However, this is often a process that takes a minimum of several hours and involves an experienced jail release attorney.
If you need to get someone out of jail, call our office day or night. We can start the process and complete it as soon as possible.
The Law Office of Jorge Vela can help you in many ways if you’ve been charged with a crime or are being investigated. We can:
- Guide you through a criminal investigation if you haven’t been charged yet
- Visit with a Judge to get arrest warrants removed
- Arrange for you to peacefully turn yourself in to law enforcement if you have been charged
- Advise you on the charges you face and their potential consequences
- Explain how the judicial system works and prepare you for what to expect during each phase of the process
- Collect evidence in support of your defense
- Obtain witness testimony on your behalf
- Ensure law enforcement treated you and your case in accordance with state and federal laws
- Help you get out of jail
- Discuss and determine the best defense strategy for your specific situation
- Handle your arraignment, pre-trial motions, trial, and potential sentencing
- Negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser or dropped charges in some circumstances
- Save you money in the long run
There are several qualities you will want to look for.
Level of Experience
You want an attorney that not only has experience with the law but specifically with criminal law. With so much at stake, you want to ensure that the lawyer you hire understands the law inside and out. No one understands both sides of the law more than an attorney who has worked for the prosecution and the defense.
Together Jorge Vela and his attorney partner Miguel Aguilera bring first-hand knowledge and experience. With former law enforcement experience, the lawyers at the Law Office of Jorge Vela know how the prosecution approaches, investigates, and charges criminal cases. This gives them the upper hand as criminal defense lawyers. They have insider knowledge that can help ensure the best possible outcome in their case.
While there’s no substitute for real-life experience, experience without success may not help much when facing the consequences of a crime. Ensuring the legal team you hire has a proven track record of helping clients in similar situations is equally important as experience.
Does the attorney have time for your case? Criminal charges need the full attention of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. You need a criminal defense firm that can devote its time and attention to your case, not one that will fit it in between when they can or make it a low priority.
In fact, many charged with a crime consider using a public defender in order to avoid the cost of legal representation. Unfortunately, most of them are loaded with cases and have very little time and attention to give each case the personalized attention it deserves.
As such, they may not have time to address your case or answer your questions. Due to their sheer workload, they are also less likely unable to dedicate their attention to fighting on your behalf. On the other hand, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have the time and attention your case needs and deserves.
Communication and Accessibility
You also want a criminal defense attorney in Austin, TX that communicates with you and is easily accessible. Criminal accusations often come with many questions and concerns. When they arise, you want to be able to reach out to your lawyer for answers sooner rather than later.
While your attorney may not be available every time you call, it’s essential that you have the reassurance that they are working on your case and will return your calls.
Hiring a criminal trial lawyer in Austin, TX who has worked in the local area and established relationships with the local courts, judges, prosecutors, district attorneys, and other legal teams is in your best interest. You want an attorney who is knowledgeable about the process and options you might have.
Someone who is well-connected will have first-hand experience that will help them handle your criminal charges in the best way possible. Coming up with the best winning strategy for your case will be easier when they are armed with this knowledge.
It’s only natural to gravitate toward the criminal defense attorney that charges the least amount in fees. However, this has backfired for far too many in the justice system. Remember, even when it comes to finding a criminal defense attorney, you get what you pay for.
If you hire the cheapest lawyer you can find, you may get the cheapest service around. You don’t want to jeopardize your future, now is the time to make a good decision to invest in an attorney who can get the job done for you.
Be thorough in your research for a criminal lawyer in Austin, TX, and choose wisely. The pending outcome and what your life will look like once the case is closed depends highly on it. Selecting the lawyer that is right for you involves investing your time and energy.
It’s one of the most critical decisions you’ll make as it impacts how your case will go and what the outcome will be. Defending yourself against criminal charges isn’t something you should leave to chance. The outcome of these looming charges can affect your entire future, making it imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense law firm who knows exactly how to help you.
When two or more people agree to commit a crime with a goal in mind, it’s known as a conspiracy. You can be charged with a federal conspiracy if the government thinks that more than one person was involved in committing a federal crime. You can be charged with conspiracy to commit a variety of different crimes, including:
- Drug possession
- Importation of Drugs into the United States
- Money laundering
- Bank robbery
- Medicare fraud
- Transport undocumented aliens
All that must occur to be charged with this crime is an agreement with at least one other person to commit a criminal act. Typically, the government will charge every individual alleged to have participated in the conspiracy.
Conspiracy cases only require that the government prove that an agreement was made to commit the crime, not that the actual crime occurred. As such, these charges can be quite risky, requiring the skill of a seasoned trial attorney in Austin, TX.
- Manufacturing a controlled substance – “Manufacturing” refers to any activity involved in the production, processing, preparing, or extracting of a controlled substance. For example, growing a marijuana plant or pressing pills both fall under this type of federal drug charge
- Distributing a controlled substance – putting a drug from your possession into someone else’s possession, even if there is no money exchanged for it
- Possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it – Simply having an illegal drug is a separate and less severe charge than manufacturing or distributing an illegal substance. However, suppose the prosecution can prove the person accused was planning on distributing the drugs they had in their possession. In that case, the consequences will be the same as if they actually distributed them
- Importing a controlled substance – Similar to distribution, this crime involves bringing illegal drugs into the U.S., typically by misleading U.S. Customs or Border Patrol