Any licensed attorney can legally represent a criminal defendant - however, I always advice retaining the services of an attorney who handles a great deal of criminal matters & who is familiar with the local prosecutors, judges, & court procedures.
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.
Any attorney licensed in this state can potentially be a criminal defense lawyer. They are ethically bound, however, not to accept cases that they are not competent to handle. It basically boils down to what experience they have in the area. For instance, a "bankruptcy attorney" might also practice a lot of tax law because their clients often have both of those needs. I practice only family law and criminal defense (the guy I defend for slapping his wife around is probably going to need a divorce lawyer, right?). For the charge you are facing, you definitely need a lawyer with a strong background in criminal defense.
24 years in Family Law and Criminal Defense. 713-627-0010 Nights/Wknds OK
Even though any attorney licensed in the state can represent a criminal defendant without practical experience in that area, they may still come up against ethical restrictions that may require that they seek assistance from more practiced attorneys, or other restrictions or considerations. This is especially true when representing a client with felony charges. The attorney you choose for representation should be aware of this, and you need to understand the implications as well.
Once you pass the bar you can practice any kind of law you desire. There is no prerequisite to be this kind of lawyer or that kind of lawyer. I do believe that a person who does 10 criminal cases a year as opposed to someone who does 100 or more a year should not call himself a criminal lawyer. I do more than 100 cases a year, but I do not call myself and oil and gas lawyer.