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Shawn Moody McDonald

Violent crime Attorney at Sugar Land, TX

4.9   15 reviews
  • Licensed for 44 years
    State TX
    Acquired 1979
    Eligible to Practice in Texas No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Shawn

Learn Shawn’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Violent crime
    Capital Murder Murder Aggravated Robbery Aggravated Assault (shootings) Manslaughter Criminally Negligent Homicide

    23 years, 400 cases

  2. DUI and DWI
    Intoxication Manslaughter Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or more Driving while Intoxicated with a Child Passenger

    23 years, 250 cases

  3. Sex crime
    Aggravated Sexual Assault Against a Child Sexual Assault of a Child Indecency with a Child Possession Child Porn Enticing a Child

    23 years, 250 cases

  4. Juvenile law
    Possession Marijuana Possession Dangerous Drug All Delinquent Conduct Vast majority are felony offenses

    23 years, 300 cases

  5. White collar crime
    Embezzlement Welfare Fraud Credit Card Abuse Corporate Fraud

    23 years, 100 cases

McDonald began his legal career in 2001 as a felony trial prosecutor in Henderson County where he prosecuted thousands of felony cases ranging from capital murder to minor felony drug cases. McDonald tried well over fifty (50) felony cases sitting as a first chair in his first 3 1/2 years, led the fight against eradicating and prosecuting methamphetamine labs (Henderson County was widely regarded as the meth capital of the world during his time in East Texas), created course material and taught at multiple law enforcement departments and countless officers, trained incoming assistant district attorneys, and served as the law enforcement liaison to the multi-jurisdictional drug task force. McDonald prosecuted countless crimes against children and received an award from CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for the outstanding commitment to the successful prosecution of sex crimes against children.

In 2004, McDonald moved closer to home and began prosecuting felony cases in the Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office, which included prosecuting felony crimes in the 400th Dsitrict Court and being an instructor at the Fort Bend County Gus George Law Enforcement Academy as well as teaching at many local police departments.

In 2006, McDonald opened his own Criminal Trial Practice focusing solely on representing clients who have been charged with criminal offenses throughout the great State of Texas. In 2010 McDonald became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He was the youngest attorney in the history of Fort Bend County to attain this level of expertise. Substantially less than 1% of attorneys in the State of Texas are Board Certified in Criminal Law. McDonald currently holds that certification and has maintained it continuously since 2010. He can advertise and represent to clients that he is a criminal law expert. He has served on countless panels and symposiums as a criminal law expert throughout the State.

In addition to extensive criminal trial experience, McDonald also has substantial teaching experience. He was a law school professor teaching criminal trial simulation and criminal law at Thurgood Marshall School of Law where he had the opportunity to mentor and teach hundreds of law students. He was the supervising attorney of the Criminal Trial Clinic in which he supervised and led a team of law students as they defended clients charged with criminal offenses in the State of Texas. McDonald also created the nationally recognized Innocence Project at Thurgood Marshall and was the director of that project for two (2) years. McDonald is currently an adjunct professor of government at Houston Baptist University

McDonald has extensive appellate experience as both a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. He has authored and submitted excess of twenty (20) criminal appellate briefs to the Court of Appeals throughout the State of Texas.

In 2015, McDonald was appointed as a special prosecutor on the nationally debated and highly scrutinized Sandra Bland case in which he led a team of five (5) attorneys and numerous law enforcement officers through an extensive grand jury investigation in the nationally profiled proceedings. A quick Google search will reveal a video of McDonald giving the press conference that released the results of the Grand Jury Investigation that was carried live throughout the United States and covered worldwide.

McDonald has been criminal trial attorney for Eighteen (18) years and is fast approaching one hundred (100) jury trials sitting as first chair, the vast majority of which are felony cases. McDonald has represented thousands of clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the State of Texas ranging from murder to low level drug offenses. He is licensed by the Supreme Court, is a member of the Fort Bend and Brazoria County Bar Associations, and a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has twice appeared on Fox News as a criminal law expert and has appeared on almost every major news station in the country. He has also been a frequent guest on prison radio, which is streamed to prison inmates throughout the State of Texas. Lastly, he is also a member of the Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers Board.

McDonald has extensive work as both a prosecutor, a professor, a criminal law expert, law enforcement instructor, and as a criminal trial attorney. He knows exactly how prosecutors are trained, what they look for in reviewing cases and what they will argue in court. McDonald understands precisely what it takes to fight and win against criminal charges that have been filed against our clients. McDonald knows immediately where the weak points are in the State’s case and how to exploit those weaknesses to secure the freedom of our clients.

McDonald takes pride in being an honest and ethical attorney, all the while being one who will be extremely aggressive in representing you. He will return your calls promptly, provides his cell phone number to clients and makes himself available day or night to answer any and all of your questions. In closing, he wants you to come away from this experience knowing there are truly honest lawyers out there who will treat you with respect and put your needs above their own.

Photos and videos


Shawn McDonald Attorney At Law
77 Sugar Creek Center Blvd. Ste. 230
Sugar Land, TX, 77478

Violent Crime lawyers nearby


4.9 / 5.0
  15 customer reviews
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Posted by Nicole | August 21, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Case Dismissed
A drug addiction is tough to beat. I had been struggling with drug addiction and caught a case, for the second time, because of it. Mr. McDonald was always present and available to answer my many calls and texts. The first time we spoke he gave me nothing but truth letting me know that he would be there to help fight my case but that I also needed to dig deeper into help with my addiction. I fought and worked on my recovery while also trying to fight this case and six months later the case was dismissed. I have been clean and sober for two years now and I owe a lot to Attorney Shawn McDonald!
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Posted by Michael | June 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Shawn provided top-notch, ethical legal advice and was extremely helpful in resolving my matter favorably. I have recommended him to many friends and would do so again if necessary.
Posted by Joshua | June 14, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
We have consulted with Shawn for several cases over the last few years both personal and business. He has helped with contract disputes, employment issues and counseled us on a frivolous suit which he got dismissed very quickly. He is quick to respond and always has a well thought out plan for success. I highly recommend Shawn McDonald as your legal counsel.
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Posted by Dan | June 13, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Experienced Lawyer
Shawn has a great deal of experience in his field of practice. He is the 1st attorney I would use or recommend for a case dealing with DWI, DUI, or criminal.
Posted by Lori | June 13, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent, knowledgable, amazingly quick.
I had an issue with a vehicle leaking gasoline that my dealership would not assist me with. They consistently told me it wasn't gas and they would not research the problem. I called Shawn McDonald and he was on it right away. He not only dealt with the service department but went on to contact the owner of the dealership to ensure that this was taken care of efficiently and quickly. He did such an amazing job, the dealership was even considering buying the vehicle back and getting me a new one. They did end up being able to find the issue, my vehicle was brought in and repaired the following day. Shawn did AWESOME helping me solve this problem and helping feel safe again!
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Posted by Garrett | June 5, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent Lawyer
Honest, Responsive and Professional Lawyer! You can depend on Shawn. He listens and addresses your needs and provides you with a clear path forward.
Posted by anonymous | June 5, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Shawn is my Lawyer and wouldn't have it any other way.
Shawn knows criminal defense and I wouldn't have anyone else represent me or my family. He's been an amazing consultant, helped me be proactive and protecting my family and has helped me in some legal matters that had and outstanding outcome. If you're looking for a lawyer, you found em...
Posted by Ryan | June 1, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
They say "It's not what you know but who you know"
And in the Fort Bend criminal defense arena there is not a single person I would want to know more than Mr. McDonald. He is professional, honest and fair. He did not sugar coat the possible outcome I was facing nor did he give me false hope in what he could or could not do. He did let me know I was not going to go through this process alone and that he would do his absolute best to get the best outcome for me. Simply because did not over promise nor try and tell me what I wanted to hear, my family and I hired him, and it was the best decision I made. After hiring Mr. McDonald, with less than a week until my initial court appearance, he had my court reset and told me to come see him that week to discuss the case. I went in and gave my recount of the events which lead me to his door. I do not know what happened after that meeting but it was coming up on 5 pm the following day and I looked at the Fort Bend Court records and noticed a new file. I opened the file and it was a letter of rejection of my case submitted to the court by the Assistant DA of Fort Bend County. I was texting with Shawn when I found the letter and I can't tell you how it felt to know it was over and I was free from that feeling of not knowing if it was day or night outside, free of the fear of not being free. Freedom is a precious gift that is taken for granted in this country because we don't know what not having it is like, until for a moment it is taken away. In that moment, you are powerless, helpless and terrified beyond belief. I can't thank Shawn enough for giving me back my freedom!!
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Response from Shawn McDonald June 5, 2019
Thank you Ryan. I am glad we could give you some peace of mind!
Posted by melanie | December 11, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
GREAT attorney!! Got my assault case DISMISSED when I thought all odds were against me just because I have a criminal record already. But Mr. McDonald did a great job in defending me and got my case DIMISSED! I recommend him for all your legal needs!!! And please VOTE for him to be the next district attorney!
Posted by Joshua | March 1, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Looking for an exceptional Attorney, Shawn McDonald's the right guy for the job.
Oh, he is an exceptional and outstanding attorney. Definitely one of few who actually care about you and rights for what's best for you. If you've been wrongfully accused, Shawn McDonald's your guy. Thanks for helping me. I really appreciate beyond measure.
Posted by Victor | October 26, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend Shawn McDonald
I was referred to Shawn by a family member in the criminal justice system. She said if she was ever charged with a crime Shawn would be the lawyer she would hire. I found myself in an unusual situation and was charged with assault. 64 years old and never arrested before. Shawn believed in my innocence and worked judiciously on my behalf throughout this whole ordeal which lasted exactly a year. I was found NOT GUILTY and if ever I need a lawyer again I won't hesitate to retain Shawn McDonald again.
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Posted by anonymous | October 3, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Shawn is the BEST
Mr. McDonald is a very professional lawyer and knows his stuff. He represented my boyfriend in a criminal case who was found NOT GUILTY in 19 minutes. Mr. McDonald embarrassed the prosecution that was scrambling for evidence they didn't have to begin with. I highly recommend Shawn as a lawyer that is there to work for you.
Posted by Jessi | September 2, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer!
Shawn is a great lawyer! He was able to get my case dismissed with no problems. He also has a great sense of humor which makes the whole court process a lot more bearable. Hire him! You won't regret it.
Posted by anonymous | January 7, 2013
Serious professional
This lawyer finished my divorce divorce after being taken for a ride by another lawyer. Patrice is very straightfoward, technically-minded and gets the job done efficiently without playing games.
Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Felony charges
Shawn responded to my phone call and answered my questions regarding my son's case. He is my son's port appointed attorney and has been responsive to my text and phone calls.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.5 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Partner
  • Smith | McDonald | Bolin
  • 2006 - Present
  • Professor
  • Houston Baptist University
  • 2016 - 2019
  • Professor
  • Thurgood Marshall School of Law
  • 2006 - 2008
  • Felony Prosecuting Attorney
  • Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office
  • 2004 - 2006
  • Felony Prosecutor
  • Henderson County District Attorney's Office
  • 2001 - 2004
View all work experience


  • St. Marys University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2000
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1997


  • Brazoria County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2006 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Board Certified - Criminal Law
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2010

Speaking Engagements

  • Harmony School
  • Qualified Immunity Panel Member
  • 2016
  • Rosenburg City Police Department
  • Search and Seizure
  • 2012
  • Prison Radio
  • Post Conviction Writs
  • 2009
  • Academic Forum
  • Evolution of Evidence
  • 2009
  • DNA Evidence
  • Innocence Project
  • 2008
  • Johnny Cochran Symposium
  • Post Conviction Writ
  • 2007
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (3)
Endorse Shawn
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jul 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Shawn is an amazing attorney that truly has a passion for Criminal Defense. He is confident in the courtroom and gets consistent, favorable results for his clients. I highly endorse this lawyer and would be happy to send my friends and family his way."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Jun 13
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I whole heartedly endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have worked with Shawn on several cases and I can tell you that he is an amazing lawyer. He cares about his clients and works very hard for them. He is tough, he understands the preparation it takes to go to trial and is more than willing to do the work. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 11
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I worked with Mr. McDonald at the District Attorneys Office for several years and he is very knowledgeable in the area of criminal law and acts in a very professional manner. He is also an excellent trial attorney."
View more endorsements
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Criminal defense