Austin criminal attorney Rhett Braniff was born in Houston, Texas. He graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he studied visual art. After high school, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute focusing on film and video.
Rhett returned to Texas to finish his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin. While a student in Austin, Rhett began working for State Senator John Whitmire, the current Dean of the Texas Senate. He was a Legislative Assistant to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice for 4 years. During this time, the Texas Legislature completely rewrote the Penal Code, and dramatically increased the size of the Texas prison system. It was during this time that Rhett gained an understanding, appreciation, and at times, fear of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Law school, and an eventual career in Criminal Law was inevitable.
Rhett attended the St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. During law school he interned for United States Magistrate Judge Pamela Mathy, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Upon graduation Rhett began his career as an Assistant District Attorney for Cameron County, Texas. He prosecuted and tried cases from Class C Misdemeanors to First Degree Felonies. He was a felony court chief, and one of a few attorneys responsible for reviewing and making charging decisions on all cases involving child sexual abuse.
Rhett continued his career as a prosecutor as an Assistant District Attorney in Travis County, Texas. As a prosecutor assigned to the 390th District Court, Rhett tried every type of felony case, including a non-death capital murder case.
Rhett eventually left the District Attorney’s Office to pursue a career in private practice. He maintains a practice focused on State and Federal criminal defense. He has represented clients charged with every class of felony and misdemeanor case from Class C Misdemeanors, to First Degree Felonies, including white collar crimes.
He is a member of the Austin Bar Association, the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.