Collin County Criminal Lawyer

Derk A. Wadas

The Wadas Law Office maintains a practice dedicated solely to providing superior representation in federal criminal cases, as well as Texas state charges. If you have been arrested or are under investigation for a criminal offense, you need a Collin County criminal lawyer with the experience, judgment, and expertise to effectively represent you.

    Derk Wadas is an experienced and respected attorney with decades of law practice experience in nearly every aspect of criminal law and procedure.  Derk has been successfully practicing criminal law  for twenty three years. He has been helping people avoid or minimize the harsh outcomes of the criminal justice system since 2005, after first spending six years as a prosecutor

    He has received numerous awards and recognition, including Board Certification in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction he earned and has maintained since 2011. He has been named a Super Lawyer by Texas Super Lawyers Magazine every years since 2014.  This is  an award only given to less than 5% of the attorneys in the state.

  Derk is a former Collin County Assistant District Attorney where he served a felony criminal prosecutor, and was the chief misdemeanor prosecutor in County Courts at Law Number One and Two. As a prosecutor, Derk tried over seventy five cases to a jury and handled hundreds more successfully.  In addition Derk successfully represented the State on appeals in dozens of cases.  As a defense attorney, he has tried many, many more cases and has achieved numerous not guilty verdicts, charge reductions and outright dismissals. He also has successfully represented numerous clients on appeal and in post conviction litigation.  In 2015 he secured the reversal of a life sentence for a client in a Federal Appeals Court,

It is very important to Derk to remain at the forefront of the developing law and defenses in his field. For this reason he is a member of organizations such as the Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, an organization of which he is past President, Vice President and Board Member,  the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Bar Association for the Federal Fifth Circuit, and the Association of Federal Defense Attorneys.

Outside of the courtroom, Derk is a serious and very competitive runner and racer.  To be a successful racer, attention to detail, relentless and consistent preparation, and desire to win are all critical.  The same traits are also necessary and critical to successfully defending someone who stands accused of a criminal offense. 

Criminal Defense

Crimes may be misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies are more serious crimes that are punishable with more than one year in jail. In Texas, common examples of felonies include robbery, burglary, arson, aggravated assault and battery, murder, and kidnapping. All crimes must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. While this is a tough standard, charges are usually brought only once a prosecutor believes that they have gathered a sufficient amount of evidence to support the charge. It is critical to retain a skillful criminal attorney in the McKinney area to protect your rights.

Federal Criminal Defense

Federal criminal charges are very serious, and they can result in substantial mandatory minimum sentences. These are sentences over which the judge has no discretion, such that they must impose a certain amount of prison time if you are convicted. Federal criminal defense requires that you retain an experienced attorney with good judgment who has a deep understanding of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, federal criminal laws, and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Mr. Wadas stays abreast of developments in federal criminal conspiracy law, the sentencing guidelines, and federal criminal practice case law. He provides defenses to federal charges such as drug trafficking, drug conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy to transport or harbor illegal aliens, firearms violations, and fraud.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes are treated harshly in Texas. They may involve heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, or prescription drugs. A conviction can haunt you far into the future, affecting a job search or housing search. You should retain a McKinney criminal attorney who can look for ways in which your statutory or constitutional rights may have been violated while the police were getting evidence. Evidence seized in violation of your rights may be subject to a motion to suppress. Mr. Wadas has handled drug cases since 1998, first as a prosecutor and now as a criminal defense attorney.

Federal Drug Crimes

Drug charges may be brought under state or federal laws. In most cases, federal punishments for drug crimes are harsher than state punishments because of mandatory minimum sentences. This makes it especially important to retain a skillful criminal defense attorney with experience in federal drug cases. Often, federal charges are brought because a drug crime was related to organized crime, was related to another serious offense like money laundering, involved crossing state lines or crossing international borders, or occurred on federal property. Generally, when a small amount of drugs is involved, local and state authorities will handle the case. If you are involved with a large quantity of drugs, such as a major manufacturing or importing operation, you probably will face federal charges.


Theft is a broad category that encompasses everything from shoplifting from a store to stealing a valuable item like a car or jewels. A theft conviction can substantially affect your ability to get a job in the future, since many employers are unwilling to hire someone who has stolen property. You should retain a criminal lawyer in McKinney who will fight to keep your record clean. The value of the item or items stolen will determine the severity of the charge. For example, if you stole services or property that was worth $500-$1,500, you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor, which means that you could face a one-year jail term, a fine of up to $4,000, or both. However, if the property or services that you stole were worth $200,000 or more, you can be charged with first-degree felony theft, which means that you could face five or more years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Assault and Violent Crimes

Assaults are taken seriously in Texas. They range from simple assault to family violence to aggravated assault. You can be charged with assault for intentionally causing a bodily injury, intentionally inflicting physical contact when you know that the contact will be considered offensive, or threatening somebody with an imminent bodily injury. Simple assault is a class A misdemeanor. If the assault does not involve an injury and is only charged because of a threat, it will be charged as a class C misdemeanor. However, you could face felony assault charges if you have a prior domestic violence conviction, and certain circumstances apply. You can be charged with the second-degree felony of aggravated assault if you use a weapon during the assault or inflict a serious injury.

Probation Violations

Probation is also known as community supervision. You are expected to abide by the terms and conditions of probation. Otherwise, your probation officer may file a motion to revoke your probation, or a judge may issue a warrant for your arrest, depending on the circumstances. Some common probation violations include failing to pass a drug test, not coming to appointments with a probation officer, getting arrested or convicted on new charges, failing to perform court-ordered community service, or not going to alcohol or drug treatment as ordered. A judge has the authority to revoke your probation even for the first instance of a probation violation, and you may be sent back to serve your original jail sentence. Usually, a minor probation violation does not result in being sentenced to jail, but the judge has discretion over this issue, so it is important to have a McKinney criminal lawyer on your side to advocate for you.

Expunction and Non-Disclosure

Certain categories of people may be eligible for an expunction, such as people who were arrested but acquitted, as well as people who were arrested but had their case dismissed or never filed in court. Expunctions are orders issued by courts to law enforcement agencies in possession of criminal records. The expunction order tells the agency to destroy all the records that they possess related to the case being expunged. This means that you can lawfully deny that you were arrested, and you may deny that an expunction order exists. If you successfully completed deferred adjudication requirements, you may be eligible for an order of non-disclosure.

Consult an Experienced Criminal Attorney

If you have been arrested for or charged with a crime, this is very likely a bewildering time for you. Derk A. Wadas offers a free consultation, during which he can explore the unique facts of your situation, advise you on the law, evaluate the likely outcomes of your case, and answer your questions. Call us at 972-548-7167 or contact us online to discuss your case with an experienced criminal attorney in McKinney. We also represent clients in Plano, Frisco, Dallas, and the surrounding areas.

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