As a former prosecutor, Attorney J.L. Carpenter has worked both sides of the aisle, prosecuting and now defending people facing criminal charges. What that means for you as a client is that she understands how the prosecution thinks, what they are likely to look for as evidence, and can help negotiate a plea bargain should the case not go to trial.

In addition to gaining trial experience as a prosecutor, Attorney Carpenter has trained under highly skilled defense lawyers. In 2006, J.L. Carpenter worked alongside the Honorable Craig A. Washington in United States v. Tyrone Mapletoft Williams what became known as the “truck driver case.”

In 2008, Lawyer Carpenter also assisted Attorney Chip B. Lewis in the State of Texas v. Timothy Shepherd a highly publicized murder trial in Harris County, Texas.

In 2019, J.L. Carpenter assisted attorneys Rick Detoto and Chris Collings in the State of Texas v. Antonio Armstrong, Jr. which resulted in a hung jury.

Attorney Carpenter has the respect of her colleagues in the courtroom. They know they can trust her judgment and you can, too.

A native Houstonian, J.L. Carpenter has also devoted many years to the local recovery community, including assisting with the Harris County S.O.B.E.R Court program. J.L. often says that she represents the “misunderstood.” This is because many folks who find themselves in the criminal justice system due to underlying issues such as drug and alcohol addiction. Attorney Carpenter regularly assists families in securing recovery resources for their loved ones struggling with addiction.

Compassionate, empathetic and dedicated are just a few words some used by J.L.’s clients used describe her.

You can find more of J.L.’s client reviews here.


J.L. Carpenter is not only the AVVO Client’s Choice, but she has also been recognized as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers and one of Houston’s Top 100 Professionals.

Lawyer Carpenter has maintained memberships and served in several local organizations over the past 20 years, including formerly serving as board member for the Harris County Criminal Lawyer’s Association, Fellow member of the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation (HYLF), Member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) and the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NCDLA).


  • 100% Criminal Defense


  • Texas, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas


  • Texas, 2000
  • Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, Texas, 1999 J.D.
  • Honors: Law Review - Member and Editor
  • University of Houston, Houston, Texas, 1997 B.S. Honors: Cum Laude


  • Texas, 2000
  • Honored in H Texas Magazine as 2010 Top Lawyers
  • Houston's Top 100 Professionals


  • Harris County Criminal Lawyer's Association Member
  • Houston Young Lawyers Foundation (HYLF) Fellow Member
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) Member
  • National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NCDLA) Member


Crystal Ayala serves as the Office Manager and spends quality time with each and every client. Mrs. Ayala has become a tremendous support for our clients as they journey through difficult times.


Mohammed Jaffery has a Bachelor Degree in accounting and is on a pathway to obtaining his law degree. Mr. Jaffery has an eye for detail and spends countless hours viewing and listening to clients’ videos and audio recordings, as well as assisting Attorney Carpenter in trial preparation.


For our Driving While Intoxicated cases, we partner with attorney Dustin King who conducts our clients’ Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearings and assists clients who need Occupational or Restricted Driver’s Licenses. Mr. King’s expertise in this administrative area of the law has assisted Attorney J.L. Carpenter in getting many dismissals for DWI clients, including felony DWI charges. He is an essential part of J.L. Carpenter’s DWI defense practice.You may learn more about Dustin King here.


When two or more clients have been charged out of the same criminal allegation, Attorney Carpenter partners with attorney Mekisha Walker to create clean, joint defenses. Lawyers Carpenter and Walker have successfully obtained dismissals in felony charges for “co-defendants” charged out of the same transaction. They are a powerful team.You may learn more about Mekisha Walker here.


In almost every criminal defense, it is also essential to have a quality private investigator. The Law Office of J.L. Carpenter has partnered for many years with Investigator Jim Willis. Many clients’ cases have resulted in dismissals based on the thorough work of Mr. Willis.
You may learn more about Investigator Jim Willis here.