Rick Cofer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Austin, TX

Cofer & Connelly, PLLC
1002 West Ave
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-200-3801
Email: Rick Cofer
Selected to Rising Stars: 2021
Licensed Since: 2008
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense (70%), Family Law (20%), Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (10%)
Languages Spoken: English, Spanish, Chinese-Mandarin
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

Attorney Rick Cofer is a partner with Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, law firm in Austin, Texas. Nationally known as among the top trial attorneys in the country, Mr. Cofer has more than 13 years of legal experience. Recognized in 2021 as Best Lawyer by the Austin Chronicle, a Rising Star by ThomsonReuters, and Top 1% by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, he provides unmatched counsel and support to clients throughout Texas who have legal needs involving any of the following:

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Cofer has served as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. He has tried more than 100 cases to a judge or jury, and has thousands of hours of courtroom experience.

Additionally, he is a statewide juvenile defense attorney, representing young adults in serious cases throughout Texas. He holds the distinction of being the only Austin attorney to have both prosecuted and defended Travis County juvenile murder charges.

Through his criminal defense practice, Mr. Cofer routinely handles some of the most complex and serious criminal cases across Central Texas, including murder charges, sex crimes, and other major felonies. He also handles DWI and drug possession cases, and he has notable experience with cannabis and marijuana laws.

From his efforts, Mr. Cofer has achieved a long record of securing successful outcomes for his clients, and he has earned numerous awards and honors for his outstanding professionalism and service. Among his accolades, he has received a Top 100 Trial Lawyers designation from The National Trial Lawyers, and Attorney & Practice Magazine named him among the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in 2019. He has also received Superb client ratings on Avvo along with the site's Clients' Choice Award.

Moreover, Mr. Cofer has received the Distinguished Service Certificate from the city of Austin along with the Individual Achievement Award from Keep Austin Beautiful. He has also received a Resolution of Appreciation from the Travis County Commissioners Court, and he is a graduate of the Austin Bar Association's Leadership Academy.

Mr. Cofer is also a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a board member of the Austin Bar Foundation. He is a member of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, the Austin and Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Associations, the Austin LBGT Bar Association, and other local, state, and national legal organizations.

A 2004 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Cofer obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 2007, where he was a member of the Leon Green Society and the American Constitution Society. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Cofer has deep Central Texas roots. He has served in a number of public roles, including:

  • Vice Chair, Texas Health Action Kind Clinic
  • Chair, City of Austin Zero Waste Commission
  • Vice Chair, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Board
  • Chair, Ending Community Homelessness Coalition Board of Directors
  • President, Pease Park Conservancy Board of Directors

Mr. Cofer is a 20 year resident of Central Texas. He splits time between his Clarksville neighborhood and Blanco ranch.

White Papers

  • TEENAGERS WHO CONFESS TO CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT (2020) - Here’s something you may find shocking: Your teenager could easily be forced into confessing to a crime they did not commit. In fact, studies have shown that this occurs far more frequently than most people know. According to a study published in May 2006 in the American Psychologist, researchers from the University of Virginia conducted a review of cases involving the exonerations of juveniles between 1989 and 2004. They found that, in 42 percent of the cases, juveniles falsely confessed to crimes that they did not actually commit. This is more than three times the rate at which adults falsely confess to crimes. Furthermore, the younger a teenager is, the more likely they are to confess to a crime they did not commit. While this finding may not surprise criminal defense attorneys, it would send most parents into a panic. In this post, we will take a practical approach in reviewing specific tips on how to prevent this from happening to your family. We’re also going to guide you in preparing yourself and your teenager in case it does occur.
  • TRAVIS COUNTY JUVENILE JUSTICE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS (2020) - Even with Texas Courts closed for routine business, crime has not skyrocketed in Austin or Travis County. On April 12, 2020, Texas Governor Abbott extended the Disaster Declaration regarding the coronavirus.1 Austin Mayor Steve Adler previously issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Austin, Texas as well.2 The Travis County Sheriff’s Office reports that jail bookings for new adult offenses have declined by 44%, from an average of 107 a day in early March (pre-COVID-19 restrictions), down to 60 a day in late March (post-COVID-19 restrictions).3
  • AUSTIN CRIME IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS (2020) - Cofer & Connelly, PLLC has conducted a snapshot-in-time analysis of Travis County jail bookings to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus response on crime in Austin. Using data obtained from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, we have evaluated how the local response to COVID-19 has impacted crime rates in Austin.

About Rick Cofer

Admitted: 2008, Texas

Professional Webpage: https://coferconnelly.com/rick-cofer/

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Supreme Court of the United State of America
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas 
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2020
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas, 2021
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2021
  • Member, Board of Directors - Austin Bar Foundation, 2020
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association , 2021
  • Member, Cannabis Committee - Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2020
  • Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2021
  • Treasurer, Criminal Law Section of the Austin Bar Association, 2020
  • Austin LGBT Bar Association, 2021
  • Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, 2021
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2021
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, 2021
  • Texas County and District Attorneys Association (2009-2018), 2018

Educational Background

  • University of Texas School of Law - JD, 2007
  • University of Texas at Austin, BA with Honors (Government and History) Temple Scholar Normandy Scholar LBJ Fellow Junior Fellow Liberal Arts Honors, 2004

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Texas Guardianship Certification, 2018

Videos

  • 93 firearms with 76 being loaded all found over the course of a year at ABIA. “The law is pretty strict and it's a severe law you cannot bring a firearm into the secure portion of an airport it's a 3rd degree felony period full stop,” Rick Cofer, a local attorney whose dealt with these cases.  The TSA released their stats for 2018 and with it a record number of guns discovered in airport carry-on bags across the nation. “If you are caught with a handgun at the airport it's likely that you are going to be arrested and that you'll be charged with a 3rd degree felony punishable for up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000,” said Cofer. This high number lands Austin in the number 8 spot for the top 10 airports across the nation where guns were found. “Previously Austin hadn't even ranked in the top 10,” said Cofer., ABIA is among highest ranked airports for guns seized, Criminal, 2019

Transactions

  • Led formation and structuring of Texas real estate investment company, 2020
  • Advised on formation and structure of Texas cannabis cultivation and transportation business, 2020

Honors/Awards

  • Best Lawyer in Austin, Best Lawyer - Best of Austin, The Austin Chronicle, 2021
  • 2021 Rising Star, Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2021
  • Top 100 - Criminal Defense, Top 100 Trial Lawyer - Criminal Defense, The National Trial Lawyers, 2021
  • , Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Austin, Expertise.com, 2021
  • 2021 Elite Lawyer - Criminal Defense, Elite Lawyer - Criminal Defense, Elite Lawyer, 2021
  • Nation's Top 1%Rick Cofer, of Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, has been selected to the 2021 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate. Members are thoroughly vetted by a research team, selected by a blue ribbon panel of attorneys with podium status from independently neutral organizations, and approved by a judicial review board as exhibiting virtue in the practice of law. Due to the incredible selectivity of the appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in NADC. This elite class of advocates consists of the finest leaders of the legal profession from across the nation., Nation's Top 1%, National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2021
  • Lead Counsel Verified, LawInfo.com, 2021
  • , DWI Scholar Award, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2021
  • , Clients' Choice Award, Avvo, 2021
  • , Member, Texas Bar College, 2021
  • , Clients' Choice Award, Avvo, 2020
  • Mr. Richard L. Cofer with Cofer & Connelly, PLLC has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.  Fellows of the Foundation are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas.  Election is a mark of distinction and recognition of Mr. Cofer’s contributions to the legal profession.  Selection as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation is restricted to members of the State Bar of Texas.  Each year one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys are invited to become Fellows.  Once nominees are selected, they must be elected by the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees.  Membership has grown from an initial 255 Charter Members in 1965 to more than 10,000 Fellows throughout Texas today. The Texas Bar Foundation is the largest charitably funded bar foundation in the country.  Founded in 1965 by lawyers determined to assist the public and improve the profession of law, the Texas Bar Foundation has maintained its mission of using the financial contributions of its membership to build a strong justice system for all Texans.  To date, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed more than $21 million throughout Texas to assist nonprofit organizations with a wide range of justice-related programs and services.  For more information, contact the Texas Bar Foundation at www.txbf.org.  , Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2020
  • , Top 10 - Criminal Defense, Attorney & Practice Magazine, 2019

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Vice Chair, Board of Directors - Texas Health Action, 2021
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2021
  • Member, Board of Directors - Austin Bar Foundation, 2020
  • Member, Visiting Committee - University of Texas at Austin History Department, 2020
  • Vice Chair, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Board, 2019
  • Chair, Board of Directors - Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, 2018
  • President, Board of Directors - Pease Park Conservancy, 2018
  • Chair, Vice Chair, and Commissioner, City of Austin Zero Waste Advisory Commission (2007-2015)
  • Chair, City of Austin Recycling Ordinance Reform Committee (2009-2012)
  • Founder and Chair, Austin Bag the Bags Coalition (2007-2012)
  • Member, Salvage Vanguard Theater Board of Directors (2008-2010) 
  • Board Member, City of Austin South Central Waterfront Advisory Board (2018)
  • Member, City of Austin Parkland Events Task Force (2015-2016)
  • Delegate, Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council (2009-2018)
  • Chair, City of Austin Aquatic Master Plan Task Force (2017-2018)
  • Vice Chair and Member, City of Austin Parks & Recreation Board (2015-2019)
  • Board Member and former Chair, Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) Board of Directors
  • Secretary and Board Member, KIND Clinic Board of Directors​
  • Member, Travis County Civil and Family Courthouse Citizen Advisory Committee, 2016

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Best Lawyer Finalist - Austin Chronicle Best of Austin , 2021
  • Board Chair Award - Pease Park Conversancy, 2017

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Multi-million dollar settlement, 2021
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. M.H. - DWI with Child Passenger (State Jail Felony), 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. G.F. - Assault - Family Violence, Strangulation (Third Degree Felony), 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. R.B. - Assault-Family Violence with Prior Conviction (Third Degree Felony), 2021
  • Dismissal - In the Matter of S.J, a child - Indecency with a Child by Contact, 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. A.F. - Forgery of a Financial Instrument, 2021
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. B.M. - Strangulation Assault 3rd Degree Felony, 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. G.T. - Felon in Possession of Firearm, 2021
  • Dismissed - In the Matter of T.S., a child - Indecent Assault, 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. D.S. - Possession of Marijuana, More than 5 pounds Less than 50 pounds, 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. R.T. - Possession of Controlled Substance 2nd Degree Felony, 2021
  • Dismissal - State v. G.T. - Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon, 2021
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. R.P. - Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon, 2019
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. S.T. - Burglary of Habitation, 2019
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. R.P - Assault Family Violence Strangulation, 2020
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. J.A. - Driving While Intoxicated 2nd, 2020
  • Dismissal - In the Matter of C.E., a child - Five Counts of Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury, 2020
  • Dismissal - In the Matter of S.R., a child - Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, 2020
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. A.B. - Assault Family Violence, 2020
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. R.J. - Driving While Intoxicated, 2020
  • Dismissal - State of Texas v. E.S. - Third Degree Felony Stalking, 2020
  • Not Guilty - In the Matter of J.R, a child - Contested Adjudication Hearing - Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle, Possession of Controlled Substance, 2020
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Office Location for Rick Cofer

1002 West Ave
Austin, TX 78701

Last Updated: 5/27/2021

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