J. Gary Trichter

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J. Gary Trichter is the senior lawyer with the Houston & Bandera, Texas, Law Firm of Trichter & Murphy, PC. Gary served as the 2011-2012 President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has been in practice for approximately 31 years and represents clients throughout Texas. Co-author of the two-volume treatise entitled Texas Drunk Driving Law (4th Edition), he is author of over forty journal articles on topics ranging from DWI, grand jury, and drug couriers to aviation. Gary is past Dean and Regent for the National College for DUI Defense. He is a former Director and former DWI co-chair for the DWI Committee for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and past chairman of NACDL’s Drunk Driving Committee.

Stories from J. Gary Trichter

The Defense Lawyer: Understanding the True Role of Defense Counsel
Wednesday, February 27th, 2019


Probably one of the most misunderstood jobs in the American culture is that of the criminal defense lawyer.

When Does a Driver Have to Submit to a Law Enforcement Officer’s Request to Take a Breath or Blood Test? What Every Driver Should Know
Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

In Texas, there appears to be significant confusion among citizens, law enforcement, and even lawyers as to when it is proper for a law enforcement officer to ask for a breath or blood specimen.

Expediting Production of DWI Audio/Video Recordings Even Where Charges Have Not Been Filed-1
Saturday, June 11th, 2016



We have all been there. Your new DWI client gets arrested in a county where the prosecutor steadfastly declines to provide any discovery, including audio/video electronic recordings, until formal charges are filed.

PBTs for Drugs: Oral Fluid Collection Devices
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Historically, impaired driving was most often linked to alcohol impairment. As such, governments and researchers devised roadside portable breath test (PBT) tools for police to use to identify intoxicated drivers. No such roadside test was possible or necessary for drivers suspected of drug impaired driving—at least until now.

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

As I reflect on the events of the last two years, I must say first what a privilege it has been to be your President. I have not been humbled by the the honor, but rather, inspired by it. The Presidency and Providence have taught me much about others and about being human. My term has been no more and no less of a success than those that preceded me—we all build on the accomplishments of those who came first just as those who follow will build on what we have done.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Texan Roy Benavidez was born near Quero, Texas, in 1935. His parents were of Mexican and Yaqui Indian descent. Roy lost his father when he was but two years old and his mother when he was but seven years old—both to tuberculosis. He was then raised by his grandfather, uncle, and aunt in El Campo, Texas.

Roy dropped out of school at age 15 to help support his family. He worked at picking cotton, selling newspapers, shining shoes, and at a tire shop. Roy soon learned the need for education and looked for a place to get it. He chose the United States Army.

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

SCRAPPYISM from the recent Napa seminar: “TCDLA was built on relationships between friends who were also fine lawyers. Those relationships were forged by those who understood that it was the time together that was the most important component in building a strong association. Indeed, time together after the seminar was just as important as time spent in the seminar—maybe more important in the grand scheme of things! Time spent on trips together transcended those fine lawyers into brothers and sisters.”

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We criminal defense lawyers are citizen soldiers who have been sworn to uphold the Constitutions of Texas and the United States. Our oath and duty demand that we render both ethical and professional assistance of counsel. It is not enough that we provide competent help, but rather, we must provide effective help. Further, it is not enough that we provide effective assistance of counsel in most of our cases because our oath promise compels us to be effective in every case—no exceptions!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The days of being a generalist in criminal law are long gone. Today, to be effective and professional, the criminal defense practitioner must at least know immigration law, many aspects of forensic science and appellate law. Keeping up with case and statutory law, we lawyers have a never ending ethical duty to stay current. Enter TCDLA!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

It was on April 19, 1775, at places called Lexington and Concord, a shot was heard around the world that changed it forever. It was then and there that ordinary citizens, but not so ordinary men, chose to openly defy an unjust government by standing in defense of others. Having been forewarned by Paul Revere and Billy Dawes of the British Army’s plan to seize their arms and munitions, select members of the colonial partisan militia immediately responded as a strike force to stop the Red Coat advance.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

I am the 41st President of TCDLA. As your president, I have both an awesome responsibility and a great honor. The presidential responsibility I speak of is not only to the membership, but also to the presidents that preceded me.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

TCDLA Brothers and Sisters:

I have been writing and rewriting this first President’s page for one year. Many thoughts as to what I wanted to say have come and gone, but many have stayed. I now begin with those that have remained. First, I want to especially thank our outgoing President, Bill Harris, for being an insightful, dedicated, and effective leader. His boot will be difficult to fill.