Attorney Shane Phelps
College Station Criminal Defense Lawyer
As founder of The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C., Bryan/College Station
criminal defense attorney Shane Phelps has a reputation as a leading trial lawyer in the
Central Texas area. With decades of experience as both a prosecutor and
a criminal defense attorney, Shane has tried more than 150 jury trials,
everything from DWI to Capital Murder. He is highly regarded for his meticulous
attention to detail, his exhaustive legal research skills, his leave-no-stone-unturned
trial preparation, and his ferocious defense of his clients’ rights.
Before entering private practice to found one of the most successful criminal
defense firms in Central Texas, Shane was the First Assistant District
Attorney in the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office, one of
the most successful prosecution offices in Texas during his tenure. Shane
founded The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. because he feels strongly
that formidable criminal defense attorneys make the criminal justice system
work best. He is dedicated to providing the best legal defense in every
case he handles.
Shane’s background, education, and experience speak volumes about
his dedication, tenacity, and ability. Shane is a former United States
Marine, achieving the rank of sergeant meritoriously in less than two
years, an accomplishment unheard of in the Marines. He graduated from
two of the best universities in the country, Rice University in Houston
(B.A. English, 1983) and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin
(J.D., 1987). After graduating from law school, Shane turned down lucrative
offers from civil law firms to start a career in the criminal justice
system with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston,
one of the busiest and best prosecutor offices in the United States. Shane
left the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 1990 to take
a position as a special prosecutor with the Texas Attorney General’s
Office, traveling Texas assisting prosecutors who needed special expertise
in complex and high profile cases. In 1993, Shane was promoted by then-Attorney
General Dan Morales to lead a new division, the Prosecutor Assistance
and Special Investigations Division. In 1998, Shane served as criminal
justice advisor to the John Cornyn for Attorney General Campaign in Austin
and upon General Cornyn’s election, was appointed Deputy Attorney
General for Criminal Justice.
Shane came to Central Texas in 2001 to accept the position as First Assistant
District Attorney, a position he held until leaving in 2011 to found The
Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C.
Shane is a board-certified criminal law specialist. Only a small percentage
of criminal defense attorneys in Texas hold this distinction. The certification
from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is awarded only after years
of experience, recommendations from colleagues and judges, extensive trial
experience, and successfully passing a rigorous examination. Shane has
been board-certified since 1992. Shane is also a member of the College
of the State Bar, an elite legal fraternity that recognizes attorneys
who exceed the minimum continuing legal education requirements every year.
Shane has been a popular lecturer on a variety of trial advocacy and legal
topics over the years, including white-collar crime, public corruption,
the death penalty, and search and seizure law. He was a frequent lecturer
for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association and is often asked
to speak to community groups about the criminal justice system. Since
he became a criminal defense attorney, Shane has been invited by elected
prosecutors and The Texas Rangers to train law enforcement officers. Shane
has also published numerous articles on public corruption, ethics, the
death penalty, and other legal issues.
Shane has appeared on television numerous times to discuss the criminal
justice system and topical legal issues. Shane is the legal analyst for
KBTX in Bryan/College Station and appears frequently on KAGS-TV in Bryan
College Station. Over his career, Shane has also been featured on Dateline
NBC, NPR, on the covers of two magazines (The Texas Lawyer and The Austin
Chronicle), in the Texas Bar Journal, and in numerous newspapers across Texas.
Shane is also a successful appellate lawyer having argued before several
courts of appeal in Texas and several times before Texas’s highest
criminal court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In 2013, Shane argued and won
The State of Texas v. Granville, 423 S.W.3d 399 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014), a significant case involving warrantless
searches of cell phones held in an inmate’s property.
Granville changed the law in Texas and required law enforcement to obtain a search
warrant before searching a cell phone.
A leader in the legal community, Shane founded, along with fellow attorney
Phil Banks of Bryan, Atticus Finch Day. This holiday celebrates the ideals
embodied in the fictional character of Atticus Finch from the Pulitzer
To Kill a Mockingbird. The event has become wildly successful and has attracted high-profile
speakers from all over Texas, including famed trial attorney Rusty Hardin,
civil and criminal defense attorney John Raley, who successfully won Michael
Morton’s freedom after years of unjust incarceration, legendary
Texas trial attorney and State Bar President Buck Files of Tyler, and
former Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Cathy Cochran.
Most importantly, Shane is a devoted husband and father. Shane’s
wife, Jean, is also an attorney as well as a CPA who works with him at
The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. Shane’s daughter, Mary Claire,
is an eighth-grader in College Station. As a father, Shane has a deep
appreciation for the concern parents have for their children and their
futures. Shane zealously represents students at Texas A&M and Blinn
College who have been accused of criminal offenses that threaten their futures.