Case Results/Case Studies

U.S. v. G., et al.

Member of a defense team representing a client accused of securities and wire fraud. The evidence in the cases consisted of more than one million documents, all of which needed to be reviewed and analyzed to determine the applicability to our client. At trial our client was the only defendant completely acquitted of all charges.

People v. R. R.

An appellate case where the client had been arrested on an allegation of transporting more than 2,000 pounds of illegal narcotics. Acting on an anonymous tip, Border Patrol stopped client, searched his vehicle and found the drugs and a gun. The client’s trial attorney filed a motion to suppress evidence on the basis of an illegal stop, but the motion was denied. The client then pleaded guilty and accepted a prison sentence. On appeal we successfully argued the initial stop by Border Patrol was illegal, and that the evidence (drugs, gun, client’s statement) should be suppressed. The Court of Appeal agreed, the conviction was reversed, and the client was released from prison.

In re J. G.

A published appellate case where the client, a minor, had been declared a ward of the court (Welfare & Institutions Code 602) in San Bernardino County and placed in a juvenile detention facility. The client had previously been declared a dependent of the court (Welfare & Institutions Code 300) in Imperial County, and a special hearing was required to determine which status better served the interests of the minor. The minor’s case was transferred from San Bernardino to Imperial County, and the juvenile court judge in Imperial County simply found the minor to be a ward. Unfortunately, the special hearing (Welfare & Institutions Code 241.1) to which the minor was entitled was never held. On appeal the juvenile court’s determination was reversed. The minor’s social worker and probation officer held the special hearing and determined that he was better served as dependent of the court. The child was released from the juvenile detention facility, was given job counseling, educational assistance, and a small monthly stipend. As a result of his dependent status, he could receive assistance from the county and the state until his 21st birthday.

U.S. v. A-F., et al.

Member of the defense team representing an alleged Designated Foreign Narcotic Drug Kingpin in a capital (death penalty) case. The defense team successfully presented mitigation evidence to the United States Attorney General, and favorably resolved the case for a sentence not involving the death penalty.

People v. M. N.

Client was arrested on suspicion of stealing items worth more than $25,000.00. Client was charged with felony burglary and receiving stolen property, and was facing a lengthy prison sentence. After extensive negotiation with the District Attorney, we were able to reach a resolution involving restitution, a felony reducible to a misdemeanor, community service, and no custody time whatsoever.

People v. A., et al.

Client gathered with a group of friends at the San Diego County Administration Building to protest a controversial countywide policy. Client and eight others were charged with interfering with a business and refusing to disperse after being ordered by officers. We filed motions and argued that the clients were engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment. The matter was set for trial, and three weeks before trial was set to begin the prosecution dismissed the case.

People v. D. R.

Client, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligible young man with no prior criminal history, and two co-defendants were charged with armed robbery, along with enhancements for personal use of a firearm and discharge of a firearm in the commission of a felony. After extensive investigation and negotiation with the District Attorney, we were able to resolve the case for a non-deportable felony offense with a short local jail sentence that preserved his ability to remain in the United States.

People v. A. R.

The client, a young professional with no prior criminal history, was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter stemming from a DUI related accident. Since the blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was twice the legal limit, as a condition of bail the client was ordered to wear a SCRAM (alcohol monitoring) bracelet and take Antabuse (a medication designed to make a person gravely ill if they consume alcohol). The client accepted full responsibility for the offense and, despite the prosecution’s vigorous arguments for an enhanced 10-year sentence, we successfully argued for a 6- year sentence to be served at Fire Camp.

People v. J. E.

Client, along with more than a dozen co-defendants were charged with conspiracy to engage in money laundering involving more than $12 million dollars. The primary defendants were owners of a currency exchange business in Tijuana. The other defendants were friends and family members who were asked to make large cash deposits into their own personal accounts and then immediately wire an equivalent sum of money to accounts in Mexico. The allegations arose after a lengthy investigation – involving covert surveillance, confidential informants, and wiretaps – into the suspicious wire transfers. After much negotiation with the prosecution, we were able to work a resolution involving no jail time, a 1-year period of probation, some community service, and a misdemeanor charge to be entered nunc pro tunc.

People v. K. K.

Client, a young business owner, was involved in a hit and run accident that resulted in great bodily injury to the other driver. Witnesses recognized the client’s vehicle and police soon arrived at the client’s home to investigate the collision. A DUI investigation was conducted and the client admitted to drinking before driving. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.39, nearly 5 times the legal limit. The client was charged with felony DUI and felony hit and run driving. The client had previously been convicted of 3 other DUI offenses. We took a very proactive approach to the case, and had the client participate in intensive counseling and rehabilitation. We also had the client fitted with a SCRAM (alcohol monitoring) bracelet. Extensive negotiation with the prosecution and the presentation of mitigating information to the court resulted in a sentence of just 120 days to be served through CPAC (electronic monitoring/house arrest). The electronic monitoring/house arrest sentence afforded the client an opportunity to continue to work, to provide for his family, to provide restitution to the victim, and to participate in ongoing counseling and therapy.

People v. W. R.

Client, a manager with a youth sports league, was charged with felony conspiracy and grand theft after he was alleged to have collected and misappropriated more than $60,000.00 from players for purchasing uniforms. The client had agreed to order uniforms with a specific design and logo. However, the league received a cease and desist letter from a professional sports team to prevent the league from using its infringing logo. The uniforms were never delivered and the money collected from the players was not refunded. We conducted legal research and found an obscure misdemeanor code section that fit the offense perfectly. After negotiating with the prosecution, an agreement was reached that would allow the client to accept responsibility for an offense, set out sentencing more than 6 months to allow for reimbursement to the players, and then enter a plea to a misdemeanor retroactively.

U.S. v. S. W.

Client, a small business owner, and his business partner were charged with counterfeiting. Over the course of more than 2 years, the client and his partner were alleged to have counterfeited U.S. Postal Service shipping labels worth more than $300,000.00. We engaged in pre-charging investigation of the matter, and worked to resolve the case for a minimal sentence. The client received a sentence of only 18 months.

U.S. v. R. O.

Client was arrested at the border and charged with smuggling more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine. While the client was out of custody on bail, he married his long-term girlfriend and fathered a baby. After very extensive negotiation with the prosecution, we agreed to a resolution that minimized the client’s maximum sentence. At sentencing, the judge was moved by the client’s newfound purpose and self-improvement, his commitment to his family, and his dedication to his work. The client received a sentence of just 20 months.

U.S. v. A. R.

Client and a friend were arrested for attempting to smuggle endangered species into the United States. The client had driven to the port of entry at the U.S./Mexico border at San Ysidro. The Customs officer conducted a brief inspection of the client’s vehicle and baggage. When the Customs officer observed strange items in the client’s luggage, the client and his passenger were sent to secondary inspection. After further inspection, federal agents found more than 2000 specimens of 2 endangered species. Negotiation with the U.S. Attorney, along with restitution to a natural resource and environmental protection agency in Mexico, resulted in an agreement that would minimize the potential criminal penalty. The client received a sentence of only 10 months.

U.S. v. A.F.

Client, with an extensive history of drug addiction stretching back to age 13, crossed the border into the United States with a significant quantity of heroin and fentanyl concealed within her body. The client was granted bail and was ordered to participate in rehabilitation at a residential treatment facility. The client did exceptionally well, and upon her graduation from the rehabilitation program, she was offered a full-time job (including residence) with the treatment provider. In her criminal case, the client accepted responsibility for her offense and pleaded guilty. The judge was moved by client’s statement to the court about her recommitment to her faith and sobriety, was impressed by the familial and community support she had present in court with her, and imposed a time-served sentence.

People v. R.S.

Client, an independent building contractor with multiple projects and employees, failed to maintain workers compensation insurance or pay income tax for his employees. Additionally, client was charged with misrepresenting facts, failure to file tax returns and possession of an assault weapon. Facing a lengthy jail term, we presented a full picture of the client’s arduous path to the United States, his commitment to his church and his community, and his tremendous efforts to regain the public’s trust and confidence. The court subsequently sentenced the client to 365 days of home confinement (a curfew with the expectation that he work or go to school) and two years of probation.

People v. R. M

Client was in an abusive relationship, and escaped her home and abuser with two small children, eventually taking up residence in a hotel in near the U.S./Mexico border. Lacking financial support and with two children to feed, client agreed to drive across the border in a vehicle containing concealed narcotics. Client was arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and deported to Peru in 1998. In 2021, we filed a motion under California Penal Code 1473.7 to vacate the conviction based on the failure of previous counsel to fully explain the specific immigration consequences of client’s guilty plea. The court and prosecutor agreed, and the court ordered the conviction vacated on Constitutional grounds. The client was thereby eligible to pursue re-entry to the United States and reunification with her children.

People v. E.Q.

Client is a citizen of Mexico and was arrested in 1995 while driving across the border in a car carrying more than 60 pounds of marijuana. Client pleaded guilty was sentenced to 61 days in custody, and was then deported to Mexico. In 2021, we filed a motion under California Penal Code 1473.7 to vacate the conviction based on the failure of previous counsel to fully explain the specific immigration consequences of client’s guilty plea. The court and prosecutor agreed, and the court ordered the conviction vacated on Constitutional grounds. The client was able to seek re-entry to the United States to visit with his mother, sister, and brother, and to take his daughter to Disneyland.



DUI Case, Highly Recommended

I was referred to Michael Hernandez by a lawyer I had used in another county. Michael came highly recommended and after working with him on a few issues I can understand why. Michael represented me on a DUI case where he negotiated my BAC from a .24 to a .15, reduced my financial obligations and kept me from doing jail time. I didn’t have to miss time from work to show up in court since he was there on my behalf. The results were fantastic but what really impressed me about Michael was his professionalism. He was able to answer all of my questions, explain the potential outcomes I was facing, devise a defense strategy and explain the next steps in the judicial process. He put me in a better place mentally and emotionally during a stressful time. Michael always is available to answer any follow up questions I might have or to point me in the right direction when other legal matters come up. I know I was receiving the best advice with Michael, and I recommend him to others.
C.T., San Diego

Integrity, Compassion & Dedication.

Integrity, compassion and dedication. Those are the words I use to describe the level of care I received on my criminal case from Mr. Hernandez. He was very understanding of all of my concerns and was able to clearly demonstrate to me what to expect from him in regards to the best outcome of my case. I know Mr. Hernandez worked tirelessly with the City Attorney to reach the outcome I received because Mr. Hernandez was in constant contact with me every step of the way; he even called me from court to discuss my options as he was being summoned by court officials. Mr. Hernandez has been in touch with me regularly, just to see how I'm doing. He is an exceptional person, an amazing advocate and I would highly recommend his services to anyone who thinks they require an attorney.
D.O., San Diego

Competent, Kind & Compassionate Defense Attorney

Michael Hernandez is a most competent, kind, and compassionate defense attorney and counselor for the accused. I feel he had my best interests always in mind, and thoroughly explained all aspects of my case as we went through the legal process. I would certainly recommend him to my friends and colleagues.
M.R., San Diego

Discounted bail & out of Jail. Cleared Record!

I was a college student when I got arrested on drug charges. Michael Hernandez helped get me out of jail, got me a discount on my bail, and got me into an out-patient treatment program. Michael helped me avoid a conviction, which helped me keep my federal financial aid. Today I have a bachelor's degree and no criminal record.
M.H., San Diego

Three Felony Charges To One Misdemeanor

Michael was our criminal defense attorney in December 2012. Michael had a creative idea to eliminate some of my husband's felony charges and it worked!! My husband was initially charged with 3 felonies, but thanks to Michael's strategy my husband was only convicted of one misdemeanor at the end. Michael truly has his clients' best interests at heart. He consulted with an immigration attorney to make sure that my husband's charges would not hinder his pending immigration case. Michael also is very professional, and returns calls and emails in a very timely manner. My favorite, he mails you letters after any court proceedings to sum up what happened in court and let you know what the next step will be. If needed, I would without question hire Michael again.
R.Z., Newport Beach