Attorneys of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC walking

Joe Hoelscher

Trial Lawyer
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Joseph Hoelscher


  • Baylor University School Of Law, Waco, Texas
    • J.D
  • St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas
    • M.A. – 2002
    • Major: MA-Communications Studies, MA -International Relations
  • Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas
    • B.A. Major: Political Science, Communications Studies, International Relations

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2007
  • S. District Court Western District Of Texas, 2007

Published Works

  • Speedy Trial: Punishing the System for Making Us Wait
  • Voice For The Defense Magazine, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, Nov., 2015
  • “Sealing Criminal Records”, The Defender Magazine, San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, Summer, 2012
  • Contributor, “Foreign Corrupt Trade Practices Act”, Chester’s Practical Guide to International Trade Law, 2008

Honors And Awards

  • Top 10 DWI Lawyers in Texas, American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys, 2014 – 2015
  • Client Distinction Award, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015
  • Top 30 DWI Lawyers, S.A. Scene Magazine, 2015
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, 2014 – 2015
  • Best Lawyers of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, S.A. Scene Magazine, 2012 – 2015
  • Top 30 Criminal Defense Attorneys, S.A. Scene Magazine, 2014
  • Best Family Lawyers in San Antonio, S.A. Scene Magazine, 2014
  • Best of the Best – Criminal Practice, Texas Lawyers’ Group, 2012
  • Top 30 Criminal Lawyers in San Antonio according to Scene in SA Magazine, August 2015 edition

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), Member, 2014 – Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers(NACDL), Member, 2009 – Present
  • San Antonio Bar Association (SABA) Mentorship Committee, Mentor, 2013 – Present
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee, Member, 2007 – Present
  • National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyer, 2014 – Present
  • Christian Legal Society, Member, 2014 – Present
  • Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, Member, 2014 – Present
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, Member, 2008 – Present
  • American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys(AIDUIA), Member, 2014 – Present
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association(TCDLA), Member, 2007 – Present
  • San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association(SACDLA), Member, 2007 – Present
  • Pi Kappa Delta Forensics Honors Society, Member, 1996 – Present

Past Employment Positions

  • 54th District Court Judge George Allen, Law Clerk, 2006 – 2007
  • Texas Military Institute, Director of Forensics, 1999 – 2001
  • Goldstein Goldstein&Hiley, Law Clerk, 2005


  • English (Primary)
  • Spanish


  • Phi Kappa Sigma
  • Alpha Phi Omega

Joe Hoelscher

Trial Lawyer

Joseph “Joe” Hoelscher is an award-winning child protection, criminal, and family law trial lawyer based in San Antonio, Texas. Having been involved with the legal system since his mother’s disappearance and murder in 1986, Joe knows how tough court is on clients and families in need of legal assistance.

He has dedicated his law practice to helping his clients navigate the legal system so they can gain closure and find peace.

As a result, Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC’s holistic approach to client services integrates the use of experts and counselors to help clients develop their cases while overcoming the problems that led them to be involved with the legal system, whether in civil, criminal, Texas state, or federal court. Hoelscher advocates a client-centered approach to legal representation and an aggressive, trial-oriented approach to the practice of law.

Hoelscher has earned national recognition, having successfully represented clients in high-profile, complex, civil, and criminal cases covered by media outlets such as America’s Most Wanted, Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC, The New York Daily News, and Washington Times. Journalists often cite his expert commentary on legal matters, including The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, O: The Oprah Magazine, and U.S. News & World Report.

Joe’s professional recognition is extensive. He is a published legal scholar, author of the “Texas Drunk Driving Law” textbook, and a regular speaker at public events and legal seminars throughout Texas. He is honored to serve, or to have served, on the ABA Advisory Panel, San Antonio Bar Association’s Mentorship Committee, as Co-Chair of the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association Retention Committee, on a multi-organizational committee raising funds to support the Bexar County Children’s Courts and foster children in San Antonio, and on the Board of Directors for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is a repeat member of the College of the State Bar of Texas and the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas. In 2020, Hoelscher was voted both the Best Family Lawyer in San Antonio and the Best DWI Lawyer in San Antonio in a poll of San Antonio lawyers conducted by SA Scene Magazine.

A native San Antonian, Joe graduated MacArthur High School in 1994 and has three graduate degrees from St. Mary’s University and Baylor Law School. Outside his legal career, Joe has taught at the Texas Military Institute, was the Assistant Director of Forensics at St. Mary’s University, and worked as an Adjunct Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University. He and his wife, Melissa, have three kids: Louisa, Cecilia, and Wolfgang. Both Melissa and Joe are active in the San Antonio community, serving on non-profit boards and committees and volunteering for or supporting their church, arts organizations, and schools. Joe supports a variety of social causes through his pro bono legal work which focuses on child welfare, the rights of the indigent accused, and First and Second Amendment issues.

After being licensed to practice law, Joe helped locate his mother, missing 30 years, allowing her to be laid to rest and his family to find the peace Joe seeks for all of his clients.

Joe familyjoe with family

Areas Of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • DWI
  • Drug Charges
  • Assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Traffic Ticket
  • Child Protective Services
  • Family Law
  • Child Custody & Support
  • Foster Parents and Grandparents Rights
  • White Collar Crime
  • Domestic Violence
  • Expungement

Representative Cases

  • In Re Z.C.J., CM 04-12-00010-CV Mem. Op. (Tex. App.)-San Antonio 2012 (Texas 227th 2012)
  • State v. Lorraine Badillo, 2006-CR-9862 (Texas 144th 2010)
  • State v. Frank Dotson 2010-CR-0565, CM 04-10-00234-CR Mem. Op. (Tex. App.) -San Antonio 2011 (Texas 290th 2010)
  • State v. Randy Buentello, CC288068 (Bexar County Court 5 2009)
  • State v. LuAnn Chase, CC267200 (Bexar County Court 5 2008)
  • State v. Sergio Garza, 2009-CR-6912 (Texas 226th 2010)
  • State v. Maurice Long, 2007-CR-1392 (Texas 187th 2008)
  • State v. Jermaine Guerra, 2007-CR-5005 (Texas 175th 2008)
  • State v. Marcus Cooper, 2013-CR-11661 (Texas 186th 2014)
  • State v. Hilda Valadez, 2012-CR-6852 (Texas 227th 2014)


  • Communicating with Clients With PTSD, PTSD: The Elephant In The Courtroom CLE, Nov. 6 2015
  • Cops As Witnesses: Friend or Foe., CLE Plaintiff’s Litigation Insight Seminar, July 2015
  • Unsinking the Ship: Techniques for Saving Clients Who Confessed, San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (“SACDLA”) CLE, 2015
  • Contract Systems for Indigent Defense, Bexar County Task Force, 2011
  • The Role of Non-Profit Organizations in Criminal Justice Show KRTU, Get Up! Radio, 2009
  • Changing Lanes: New Directions in Vehicle Search Law CLE, SACDL Monthly, 2009
  • Issues in Non-Profit Formation and Service, Community Legal Forum, 2009
  • Starting a Law Practice, Baylor Law School, 2008