Having obtained his Abitur degree in 1931, he studied law at the Berlin Frederick William University, at the Aix-Marseille University, and at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
He served as Federal Ministry of the Interior from 1961 to 1965 and as Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forests from 1965 to 1969
He passed the Second State Examination in 1938 and first served as a Gerichtsassessor, from 1940 as a public prosecutor in Regensburg. He had joined the Nazi Party in 1931. After leaving it in 1932, he rejoined in 1935.
In 1942 he volunteered for the Wehrmacht armed forces in the rank of Lieutenant, with his service being in Nazi occupied Poland, and later in combat in Greece, Finland and Soviet Russia
After the war, Höcherl from 1948 practised as a lawyer
In 1950 he was again appointed public prosecutor in Deggendorf and judge in Regensburg in 1951. Höcherl was first elected to the Bundestag in 1953, representing Regensburg.
Upon the 1961 federal election, he became Minister of the Interior in the cabinet of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and retained this office, when Adenauer was succeeded by Ludwig Erhard in 1963. His term of office as Interior Minister was overshadowed by a bugging affair at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in 1963.
Höcherl joined the Christian Social Union in 1949. After the 1965 election, he was appointed Minister for Food, Agriculture and Forests and held this office in the grand coalition government of Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger until 1969.
He soon became a board member in the Upper Palatinate district and in 1952 also a member of the state executive committee.