Having used numerous attorneys in the past I know that it is hard to find a good one that does not want to retire on you. I have used D. A'Hern for several different cases with myself and my family and I will continue to use him in the future as well as refer family and friends. He took the time to explain the process that I was going through and at each step explained what was happening, what I could expect, and how we were going to achieve the desired result. I found that he was very knowledgeable and responded in a timely manner when I asked questions about the probate process and how to proceed. This process has been very difficult to deal with since there are several family members involved and he has continued to help focus on the task at hand even when your personal character is attacked for trying to fulfill the last wishes of a loved one. He has provided several avenues to proceed with each situation and allowed us the time to think about them before making a decision and not pushing us in one way or the other. - James
Douglas A'Hern is an outstanding attorney. He is able to handle all kinds of cases. He searches to understand what his client's needs are and works towards a fair resolution. He is honest and works hard for his clients and is always accessible. Douglas is an excellent attorney - Donna
Best lawyer ever!
Will not back down
I endorse this lawyer. We have worked together as opposing counsel on family law matters in the past, and I found him to be highly professional, competent and an effective communicator. Since then, Mr. A'Hern has helped some of my clients with immigration matters, and I would not hesitate to send future immigration clients to Mr. A'Hern. With his extensive background in customs and immigration enforcement, he has a great knowledge base and high integrity. - Eric
You gave me my life back
I'll never forget you. - Derrick
The vast majority of cases result in favorable outcomes for our clients.
There are a number of results on our face page, but not everyone is happy with the outcome because the outcome is not guaranteed. Recently we had a FaceBook Post saying that they had paid me $3,000 and we did nothing. She even filed a complaint. What is not posted is that her family member was deported after several convictions that disqualified her for multiple forms of relief. The best possible outcome was a voluntary departure which allows her to reapply for admission without formal removal. Moreover, I was only paid for an immigration bond hearing and the other work we did on the case was for free. The fact that this was the best possible outcome under the circumstances at a seriously reduced rate is obviously not appreciated by the family, but we are secure in knowing we actually served the client very well.
Another recent post complains of a criminal case where I was paid $1500, and according to the client, we did nothing for him. The truth is that we spent quite a bit of time before the very first court date working with witnesses to provide statements and video evidence to the District Attorney's office. After multiple conversations with them, the District Attorney dismissed the case based on our efforts. Great outcome for the client. However, he had some disputes with the bonding company afterward and wanted our help. Unless the attorney themselves is the bonding entity, that is a separate contractual relationship and we could not assist him. The fact that the actual criminal case we were retained to defend was dismissed without ever going to court was overshadowed by this issue.
We routinely do bond cases for asylum seekers. They have no right to have an attorney in the process. We work through the process of getting the client prepared for the credible fear interview. After the interview, which is around 25% nationwide and 75-80% for my office, the client can seek bond and then transfer the case wherever they are going. We had a client with a really good case, we fully prepared him for the interview and somehow he failed the credible fear determination. The family blames our office for not doing enough. Not sure what else we could have done.
A while back, I undertook to prosecute a car accident for a client in Lousiana. After the consult, we settled for the maximum allowed in the policy, $15,000. I took no money and tried contacting him repeatedly. He later had a separate legal issue and came demanding I pay him before I pay any medical providers, something you cannot ethically do. He complained to the State Bar of Texas. They thought I should have done more to try to communicate with him. Okay, fair enough. I accepted a public reprimand which is available for review on the internet, with each page initialed by me. Lesson learned. As a side note, I recently learned that someone I do not know, a "David Palmer" runs an ongoing website complaining about lawyers, judges, and the legal system in America. Apparently, he has been on a revenge tour for over 30 years because of personal interaction with a court. Because of the reprimand, he highlighted my case on his website and referred to me as an "ethical dwarf". I kind of laughed. I have been around many years and my ethics have never been called into question, especially for lack of communication, but I suppose Mr. Palmer - who was cited by the Supreme Court of Ohio in an ongoing unauthorized practice of law accusation - is allowed to judge me. The irony is ironic.
Hopefully, any current, past, or future clients can work with us to focus on the results and outcome of the case.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the difference between Federal Criminal charges and Criminal Charges in state court?
In state court cases, most often the police see a crime or are called about a crime. They respond, make an arrest, and then have to investigate.
That's not what normally happens in federal court. When the federal government begins investigating you, you will likely not even be aware of it for weeks, months, or even longer. I have seen FBI cases take years to develop.
They may have already drafted court orders for wiretaps or GPS monitoring; they may have helped debrief cooperating sources; they may have obtained and reviewed financial records or communication records such as the contents of webmail accounts, cellphone location data or social media accounts.
Once they feel they have enough, they will indict you under often secret Grand Jury proceedings. You could have an arrest warrant on file for a while until they decide that it comes out from under being sealed, then it is executed. So once you are arrested, the federal government already knows around 85% of the case.
REMEMBER: If you know or believe that you are involved in something that has become part of a federal investigation, it is critical to your defense that you become proactive and find out how you are exposed to possible criminal or civil prosecution. Hire an attorney as soon as you believe you are exposed.
What are my options if I am arrested by the federal government?
This process will move very quickly. You will usually plead not guilty within a few days to a federal magistrate judge. That judge will give you a trial date with certain deadlines for legal matters. That deadline is normally about SIX WEEKS after your hearing. That means you have SIX weeks to prepare for a trial that could result in decades in prison. You have a few options:
Option A - get ready for trial.
Before doing so, you MUST participate in a parallel investigation with your legal counsel. You MUST analyze all of the evidence to determine whether you think the government can convict you.
Option B - seek a plea agreement that minimizes how much time you have to serve.
Few cases in the federal courts have probation. Most will result in months of a sentence and there is no parole. Most sentences are determined by the United States Sentencing Commission in a complicated scheme. Remember that for most federal narcotics cases, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years or most often 10 years. This means that no matter what you put in front of the court, you will not receive a sentence of less than 5 years (60 months) or 10 years (120 months).
Option C - cooperate and seek a reduction under Section 5k1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, requesting a sentence below the guidelines based on substantial assistance by the defendant (aka 5k). Or, you can seek relief under Rule 35 (b). Upon the government's motion made within one year of sentencing, the Court may reduce your sentence by providing substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person.