Evading Arrest or Detention in a Motor Vehicle (W/Veh) in Texas Read More »
About Ben Michael
I'm Ben Michael, and I've been practicing criminal defense law for nearly a decade.
I've worked on cases ranging from DWIs, to assault, drug possession and many more. I won Top 40 under 40 and was named one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Texas, among many other awards.
After a decade at some of the top Criminal Defense firms in the country, I decided to start Michael & Associates to provide white-glove, high touch criminal defense services with one goal: to get you the best outcome possible.
A Different Type of Defense Attorney
Your Peace of Mind Matters
Being charged with a crime is one of the most stressful things you can go through. That's why we make it a point to explain every detail of our defense strategy, and all the steps that your case involves. Complete transparency.
Call or Text Me Anytime
When I take on a case, I give you my personal cell phone number for you to call or text anytime day or night. That's the commitment I make to you. Other firms will pawn you off on secretaries and legal assistants, and make you wait days for a callback.
I think that's ridiculous. When I defend you, you get direct access to me 24/7.
I Fight Til the Death
I legally can't promise outcomes, but what I can promise is that I will fight for the best possible outcome.
Larger, cheaper firms will treat you like a number. They apply the same formula to every case, and unfortunately don't get their clients great results.
Every case is different, so we take an approach specific to your case. Does it take us way more time and effort? Of course, but getting you a dismissal or the best outcome possible is worth it.
We Minimize Court Time
Going to court is stressful and usually not necessary. That's why I do my best to keep the time you have to spend in a courtroom to a minimum. If you don't legally have to be in a courtroom, don't go.
Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation today.
We Practice All Areas of Criminal Defense in the Austin, TX Area
We handle any type of felony or misdemeanor in the state of Texas - no case is too big or too small.
DUI / DWI
Our most common case type - our goal is to dismiss your DWI, keep it off your criminal record, and keep you driving.
Know someone stuck in jail? We'll get them out in a jiffy (limited to certain counties).
Charged with possession of a controlled substance? We've done everything from misdemeanors to felonies.
Assault & Battery
Penalties for assault range from a fine, to jail time, to life in prison. Let us help ensure it's not the latter.
Even threatening violence against a household member can lead to serious charges. Let us defend you against whatever you're facing.
Burglary is a felony in the state of Texas, and carries severe penalties if convicted. We'll mount an aggressive defense to help keep you out of prison.
More Practice Areas
And Pretty Much Everything Else
Meet Your Defense Team
At Michael & Associates, we strive to hire only the top 10% of Austin criminal defense lawyers who practice our value of Zealous Advocacy. Our attorneys have years of experience with diverse skillsets - trial lawyers, former prosecutors, advanced negotiators - in order to provide you with the best legal representation possible. When you hire Michael & Associates, you don't just get attorney-client relationship with one lawyer - you get the full force of our law firm to defend you.
Ben Michael is founder and Managing Partner of Michael & Associates, and has nearly a decade of experience in criminal defense here in Austin, TX. He is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has spent nearly a decade of helping those accused of a crime get the best outcome possible. He has successfully defended hundreds clients, handling all sorts of legal issues including DWI, assault, domestic violence, sex crimes, possession of controlled substance, expungement cases, and felony cases.
Ben originally studied political science at University of Florida, and subsequently attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. During law school, he clerked at a number of law firms, gaining experience in a variety of areas including personal injury, civil rights, wrongful death, and litigation. After passing the bar, Ben decided to dedicate his life to defending those accused of criminal charges, and eventually became partner at another Austin-area defense firm.
Attorney Bobby Leahey is a Senior Trial Lawyer at Michael & Associates. He traveled a circuitous path before finally joining the firm. As a child, he split time equally between Texas and California, and ultimately attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). While at UCLA, Bobby majored in Philosophy, earning his Bachelor's Degree in 2004.
Upon graduation from college, Bobby worked various jobs from management to high school educator. He decided to pursue his lifelong desire to practice law, and attended The University of Miami School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate degree in 2010. Shortly after graduation, he passed the Florida Bar Exam, and relocated to his home state of Texas, where he successfully passed the Texas Bar Exam as well. With a strong desire to help clients accused of crimes, he began his practice in Odessa, Texas, a city with one of the highest crime rates in the country.
Happy Clients All Over Austin
Recent Cases in Austin
Charge: Driving While Intoxicated
Location: Austin, TX
Allegations: Client was pulled over after police observed his car swerving. Police alleged client had alcohol on his breath, and failed sobriety test and blood test.
Result: Dismissed after motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence.
Charge: Driving While Intoxicated
Location: Austin, TX
Allegations: Client was driving while tired, and pulled over for swerving. She cooperated and passed a sobriety test. Arrested and charged with DWI based on poor driving and smell of alcohol.
Result: Case Dismissed due to Lack of Evidence
Charge: Felony Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon
Location: Austin, TX
Allegations: Client arrested at a bar with a legally permitted handgun holster.
Result: Case Dismissed
Unlawful Carrying of Weapon (UCW) in Texas: Definition, Penalties, Defenses Read More »
Assault Charges in Texas: Types, Penalties, Defense Read More »
Frequently Asked Questions
About Michael & Associates
What sets Michael & Associates apart?
Simply put, Michael & Associates gives you two things: the white glove treatment, and the best outcome possible.
There are dozens of lawyers out there that will charge you less and promise you the world. But when you have questions, are they there for you? Are they going to really give each case the best effort? More likely, they are going to take the easiest path forward. They are essentially factories for criminal cases.
With Michael & Associates, we take on a limited number of cases so that we can treat each one as if it were own.
You get Ben Michael's personal cell phone, and are encouraged to text him anytime day or night. Other firms? You get stuck with a secretary and maybe a call back 3 days later if you're lucky.
Ben will walk you through every step and detail, and make sure that you feel comfortable the whole way through. We get that this is a stressful time, and it's our goal not only to get you the best possible outcome, but to also make this as painless as possible.
What types of cases can Michael & Associates help with?
Michael & Associates takes on pretty much all types of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, including the following:
- DUI / DWI
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Assault & Battery
- Family Violence
- Domestic Abuse
We do not do:
- Traffic Law
- Family Law
- Immigration Law
- Civil Law
What jurisdictions does Michael & Associates practice in?
We're licensed to practice throughout Texas. Currently we're taking on cases for all counties between Austin & San Antonio. Most of our cases are in Travis, Bastrop, Hays, Williamson, Bexar and Bell Counties.
Criminal Law in Austin
What are the types of criminal assault charges in Texas?
Texas law states that a person commits assault if they:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person's spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Additionally, there is a difference between simple and aggravated assault.
- Simple Assault is when someone intentionally, knowingly or recklessly threatens bodily injury to a person.
- Aggravated Assault is when someone causes serious bodily injury or uses a deadly weapon during the assault.
Additionally, if the victim is a certain type of person - such as a child, a disabled person or an elderly person - the charge can vary.
Assault cases are not one-size fits all, so we recommend you get a free case review in order for us to better advise you.
When can someone be charged with domestic assault in Austin?
Domestic assault, as defined by Texas Penal Code 22.01, is the same definition of assault but directed to a family member, household member, or someone that person is in a dating relationship with.
Driving While Intoxicated in Austin
What is the legal limit for drunk driving in Austin?
In Austin, Travis County, and the rest of Texas, any driver caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher can be charged with driving while intoxicated. BAC is a measure of what percent of your blood is made up of alcohol.
The number of drinks that will put you at a BAC of 0.08% depends on a number of factors, including the strength of the drinks, the time passed since consuming, your gender, your weight, and your tolerance.
What are the penalties for a DWI in Austin?
In Austin, the penalties vary based on how many offenses you have had.
- Up to a $2,000 fine
- Up to 180 jails upon conviction, with three mandatory days in jail
- Loss of driver's license for up to a year
- Up to a $4,000 fine
- One month to a year in jail
- Loss of driver's license for up to two years
- A $10,000 fine
- Two to ten years in prison
- Loss of driver's license up to two years
Additional penalties apply if driving with a child passenger, which include:
- Additional fines up to $10,000
- Up to two years in jail
- Additional 180 days of driver's license suspension
What should I do if I'm pulled over and accused of drunk driving?
For starters, pull over immediately and safely. Do not attempt to evade the police as you will likely fail to outrun them and will face further charges.
Once the officer approaches your vehicle, be extremely polite and obedient. The officer will first ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Tell the officer where these are located, and slowly move to retrieve these items.
Officers will typically ask if you know why they pulled you over. Simply say "No Sir" or "No Ma'am". Because in court, an officer must have a reason to justify pulling you over. So you don't want to admit to the officer that he or she had a good reason.
You have the right to refuse both a field sobriety test and a preliminary breathalyzer test. If you believe you will fail, it is a good idea to refuse these. Simply state that you are not comfortable doing these, and would like to speak with your attorney before doing so. Always assume you are on video, so be as polite and even-keeled as possible.
You may still be arrested on the grounds of slurred speech, alcohol smell, or bloodshot eyes. Once arrested, you will likely be asked to take a blood or breath test to establish BAC. If you do refuse, you are subject to a license suspension. However, if you fail the test, you are also subject to a license suspension. In either case, a lawyer can help you fight this.
The officer may obtain a warrant to compel you to take the test, but this takes time.
Always remain silent during questioning, and contact an attorney at the first chance you get.
Should I fight my DWI?
Yes, you should never plead guilty or give up when charged with a DWI. Whether it's your first or third DWI, fighting it will almost always yield a better outcome for you.
General Legal, Jail, and Court Procedures
What do I do if I'm arrested and put in jail?
Once someone has been arrested, placed into custody, and charged with a criminal offense, they typically will have to post bail by. paying the full amount or by paying a bondsman to get them out. In some cases, you may be able to be released without bond or with an unsecured bond.
The best thing to do if arrested is to contact a lawyer at first chance possible. Do not give any details of what occurred, as these can be used against you later. Simply tell your lawyer what you were charged with, and follow their instructions.
What rights do I have when police question me?
First off, you should never resist arrest. Resisting arrest can lead to more charges. You should comply with their orders and provide identification if asked.
When questioned about anything related to a crime, simply state that you are not comfortable discussing until you have an attorney present.
Many police offers will attempt to make you seem guilty or try and convince you to speak before consulting an attorney. Remember that anything you say can be used against you later on, so it's best to wait until you have an attorney present.
Do police have to read me my Miranda rights? What if they did not?
Police do not have to read you your Miranda rights in order to detain you, arrest you, or charge you with a crime.
However, police are required to read you Miranda rights before questioning you. These rights include:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to have an attorney present during questioning, and if you can't afford one, to have a court-appointed defense attorney
- Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law
Whether you were read your rights or not, it is best to speak with a lawyer who is knowledgable about your rights, and to always have a lawyer present during any questioning.