Environmental Crimes Lawyer

The mistakes of one individual can result in an environmental charge against an entire company.

An environmental law attorney can defend you and your company against these charges.

Paul Doyle has successfully defended residents of Houston, TX, against environmental charges since 2010. 

A Great Review From a Houston Client

"Paul is the best lawyer in town! If you are aiming for dismissal this is your guy!" Ben Sanderson, 2023 5-Star Review

Common Environmental Crimes

The most common type of environmental crime prosecuted at the Texas state level is illegal dumping. Other types of environmental crimes are:

  • Illegal logging
  • Illegal fishing
  • Air quality violations
  • Safety violations involving oil spills
  • Toxic or hazardous waste disposal
  • Water contamination violations
  • Water drainage violations
  • Improper storage of chemicals
  • Chemical dumping

Environmental Law Doesn't Account for Intent


Many people are criminally charged for an environmental legal offense without knowledge or intent. This is because, unlike most areas of criminal law, individuals can be prosecuted due to their negligent behavior rather than intentional or knowing behavior.

Common Violation Scenarios

The environmental crimes listed above can play out in many different ways. Here are a few examples of environmental act violations that Paul commonly sees at his Houston, TX, defense attorney's office.


Clean Air Act Scenario

The owner of the office space solicits bids for old tiles from the building. Two bidders determine that the tiles contain dangerous asbestos fibers and raise their bid to accommodate the costs of adhering to the act. In doing the removal, they must follow the federal standards that apply to asbestos removal. The third bidder proposes to save the owner money by removing the tiles without following the federal standards. The owner hires the third bidder for this reason, so the work is done without following federal standards. The manager is criminally liable for a violation of the Clean Air Act.

Water Treatment Plant

Clean Water Act Scenario

A manager at a production company directs employees to bypass the facility’s wastewater treatment unit in order to save money and avoid having to purchase the chemicals necessary to run the wastewater treatment unit. The company then sends untreated wastewater directly to the sewer system in violation of the permit issued by the municipal sewer authority. The manager is criminally liable for a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Toxic Waste Barrels

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Scenario

In order to save money for the proper treatment of its hazardous waste, the owner of a company places the hazardous waste into its dumpster for disposal at a local municipal landfill that is not authorized to receive hazardous waste. The owner is criminally liable for a violation of the RCRA. 

Early Action is Vital  for Case Success


Prosecutors have enormous discretion in whether or not to bring charges. Because of the government’s discretion in choosing between civil and criminal remedies, it is crucial to hire an experienced environmental criminal lawyer early. As your lawyer, Paul Doyle can persuade agencies and prosecutors to withhold criminal charges.

Is Your Company Under an EPA Investigation?

Request a Free Consultation

If you are currently being investigated or charged with an environmental violation, you need an attorney to help defend you.

As a lawyer, Paul Doyle has worked with numerous companies and individuals in Houston, TX, under EPA investigation that only initially include the civil liabilities and avoid the threat of possible criminal charges. He's able to make sense of the many complex environmental statutes and guide you through the civil and regulatory investigative procedures that accompany a criminal environmental investigation.

Paul Doyle is a lawyer who will fight to protect you or your company from EPA charges. He has your best interest in mind from the onset of the investigation and, if necessary, to the end of the trial. Request a free consultation with our Houston, TX, firm by contacting us at:

(713) 228-9200

5-Star Reviews From Houston, TX, Clients

"When i was referred to Paul Doyle I knew he was the high powered well connected Attorney I need. Just google him. Trevor is a pleasure to work with and always very easy to get in touch with call or text."

Bronco Teño, 2023 5-Star Review

Environmental Charges Can Mean More Than Just a Fine


Violations of federal environmental laws can result not only in civil fines but also in felony criminal convictions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal and state agencies are more and more often pursuing criminal charges against both business entities and the individuals employed by them. 

The Most Prominent Federal Statutes

Dozens of statutes define environmental criminal offenses and cover virtually all industries potentially impacting the environment. The most commonly used federal statutes are:

  • The Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • The Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • The Refuse Act
  • The Clean Air Act (CAA)

Texas State Statutes

Against Environmental Crimes

In addition to the federal statutes, states have their own environmental laws. As a lawyer, Paul is aware that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) codes can also impact the environmental charges brought against you. You'll need an attorney who's well-versed in various state statutes, such as:

  • The Texas Water Code
  • The Texas Health and Safety Code
Attorney Paul Doyle

Paul Was Chosen As a Top Defense Attorney

A Prestigious Honor

Thanks to his continued success in protecting Texan clients and their rights, Paul was named one of America's Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys. This organization, which limits membership to 100 lawyers in each state, selects its honorees through the use of proprietary algorithms that assess legal achievements, peer reputation, community impact, and more. 

Request His Help

If he takes on your case, Paul will do everything in his power to protect you, your company, and your freedom. Call (713) 228-9200 to get started.

"10/10 Recommend" More 5-Star Reviews from Houston, TX, Clients

"Excellent Service 10/10 Recommend. You will not be disappointed with the outcome of your case! Trevor Sharon Is THE BEST  #1 ! Criminal Justice Lawyer In Houston Hands Down! Guaranteed 100%" Yander Noguera, 2023 5-Star Review

There Are Many
Water Crimes Defenses

The Texas Water Code specifies various acceptable defenses to environmental crimes allegations. These include:

Act of God Defense

If the violation you are charged with was entirely caused by any of the following, your case may be dismissed: natural catastrophe, strike, riot, or war.

Normal Employment Activities

If you were carrying out your normal employment activities under orders from your employer or supervisor, Paul can defend you from your charges as long as it cannot be proven that you knowingly committed an environmental crime.

Compliance With Legal Standards

With Paul's deep understanding of Environmental Protection Agency laws, he may be able to prove that even if your actions do violate a given statute, your behavior was caused by compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This would render your actions legal. 

pollution coming from a smokestack

Malfunction May
Be a Defense

For Pollution Crimes

If you are charged with certain offenses under the Clean Air Act, our Houston attorney's office may be able to affirmatively defend you by proving that the pollution was caused by equipment or device malfunction. 

There are various factors that must be proven to assert malfunction. Even the legal definition of the term within this context is highly specific, as any malfunction must be infrequent, sudden, and not reasonably preventable. 

Beyond proving the presence of an unavoidable malfunction, we must also be able to demonstrate that you and your company made repairs as fast as possible after the violation and that all control and emissions monitoring systems were kept as operational as possible following the breakdown. Paul can work with industry-renowned experts to assess your situation and testify if necessary.

Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle & Associates

Paul Doyle & Associates was named "The Best of the Best in Criminal Defense" by the Houston Chronicle in 2021. No matter the criminal charges you face, attorney Paul Doyle and his team can defend your rights and, if necessary, represent you in court. Paul Doyle is proud to be affiliated with:

  • The Houston Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Houston Young Lawyers Association
  • The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association

Request a free consultation with our firm right now by contacting us online or by calling (713) 228-9200.

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