Attorney Chad Barnett with Hands in Pockets

After 15 years in law enforcement, I decided it was time for a change. I ventured out into the workforce and landed myself a job in the advertising industry, and guess what? I hated it. Still, I decided to give the non-legal world another try and wound up working for a short time at a trucking company. Once again, I hated my job.

That’s when it dawned on me — I wasn’t meant to leave the legal world. I simply needed to approach it from another angle. Within months of that realization, I was well on my way to law school. Now, looking back on my transition from cop to lawyer, I know with absolute certainty that fighting the good fight for my clients is what keeps me coming to work each day.

The Benefits of Hiring a Former Police Officer

Many of my clients (namely, the criminally accused) are hesitant to work with a former police officer. After all, it’s the police who put them in this position in the first place. I can’t speak for all ex-cops, but I can tell you that there are three key qualities I have that can only strengthen your case:

  1. I am absolutely committed to justice,
  2. I understand how the other side thinks, and
  3. I don’t back down from a challenge.

My philosophy: fight for what’s right, even when it’s difficult.

Committed to Justice

When I say I’m committed to justice, what I mean to say is that I know there are two sides to every story. At a glance, someone else may believe that you’re guilty of a crime or that your ex-spouse deserves custody of your children. If so, they are probably only looking at your situation from one angle.

But I understand that there’s more to the story. You could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could have a manipulative or unyielding ex, or you could be completely innocent of whatever offense you’ve been accused of. What others think is not my concern. What matters is finding the truth and doing everything in my power to help you arrive at a fair and just resolution.

Knowledgeable about the Other Side

One of the biggest advantages of working with a former cop is knowing that your lawyer is already intimately familiar with the justice system. In my time on the police force, my work primarily centered around drug crimes and crimes of violence. As a result, I am extremely adept at handling similar cases.

When it comes to non-criminal matters, I am equally adept at analyzing, anticipating, and proactively combatting the other side. In other words, whether your legal concern involves peaceful negotiations or an aggressive approach in trial, I’ll be prepared to handle it.

Unintimidated By Challenging Cases

Although my career as an officer has guided much of my work as a criminal defender, make no mistake — I am always up for a challenging case, whether or not it falls within the criminal defense realm. If it’s a divorce, for instance, a contract dispute, landlord-tenant issue, probate matter, or an entirely different issue causing you grief, I am here to help. I don’t back down from a challenge, and I certainly want to put that ferocity to work on your case if you feel you’ve been wronged.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama


  • B.A. in Political Science - University of Alabama, 1993
    • Minor: Criminal Justice
  • APOSTC Certification - Session 108 University, Alabama Law Enforcement Academy, 1992

Professional Associations & Membership

  • Tuscaloosa County Bar Association
  • Alabama Bar Association
  • Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association