Hernan Law Firm
Invest In Real Estate With Confidence
A real estate deal involves a lot of small print. Just one little technical mistake could haunt you for years and cost you unknowable amounts of time and money.
Whether you're a first-time home buyer, investing in rental properties, or growing your business, your real estate transaction is a complex investments with many secondary financial implications.
We promise to provide you with the security you need to purchase real estate with confidence. Work with us to ensure make sure your contract is rock solid and that there are no surprises waiting for you.
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What is a bond?
A judge can grant a bond to a Defendant in order to allow the Defendant to be released from jail prior to trial after posting security meant to ensure that the individual will return to court. In the event that the Defendant does not appear in court, the judge can forfeit the bond and issue a bench warrant for such individual’s arrest. The bond can also include conditions (such as an order to stay away from an alleged victim) and the judge can revoke the bond if he or she believes the Defendant has violated any of the bond’s conditions.
What is a Preliminary Hearing?
After a prosecutor has initiated a case against a Defendant, a preliminary hearing can be requested or held in order to determine whether or not sufficient evidence exists to hold an individual in detention or continue with the prosecution of a case. Essentially, the judge determines whether or not there is probable cause to continue with the case. The level of proof is lower than what is needed to obtain a conviction and often evidence is allowed to be presented that might not be allowed at trial (such as hearsay evidence).
What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?
A misdemeanor offense in the State of Georgia includes traffic and minor criminal offenses that are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00 (or higher for certain repeat offenses and high and aggravated misdemeanors) and up to one year in jail. Felonies are more serious offenses that are punishable by a fine and a sentence of one year or more in jail. Some offenses, such as local ordinance violations, may not fall into either category and are usually punishable by only a fine or less time in jail.
What is the Difference Between a Solicitor and a District Attorney?
The State of Georgia is broken down into forty nine judicial circuits. Each circuit, which includes one to eight counties, has a District Attorney who is the circuit’s chief prosecuting attorney. In sixty one of the one hundred fifty nine counties in Georgia, misdemeanor offenses are prosecuted by an elected Solicitor General rather than by the District Attorney. The Solicitor General and District Attorney are elected officials that use assistant solicitors or assistant district attorneys to handle cases prosecuted by their office. You can find the prosecuting attorney for your judicial circuit by using the “Find Your Prosecutor” function on the website of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (http://www.pacga.org/site/fyp).
What is the difference between Superior Court, State Court, Magistrate Court, Recorders Court, Probate Court and Municipal Court?
While it is different from circuit to circuit, in general felonies are prosecuted by the Superior Courts of the State of Georgia (which can also prosecute misdemeanors) and the State Courts handle the prosecution of misdemeanor offenses. In some locations, minor offenses and traffic cases are handled in recorders or probate courts. City courts are usually referred to as Municipal Courts.
What is an Arraignment?
An arraignment in many courts is the first appearance and the opportunity for the Court to formally present the charges against the Defendant and allow the Defendant the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It is important to be represented by an attorney from the beginning of the case because certain time limits are involved (including, for example, requirements to file certain motions within a brief time after the arraignment).
What is a Pre-Trial Conference?
A pre-trial conference, usually held during a scheduled court appearance but sometimes held outside of court between an attorney and the prosecutor, is an opportunity for your attorney to discuss the facts of the case with the prosecutor and attempt to work out a resolution through dismissal, modification of charges and/or a plea agreement.
What is a Plea?
A plea is a declaration by a Defendant that he or she is guilty, not guilty or desires to resolve the case without contesting the charges but also without pleading guilty (called a nolo contendre plea). A negotiated plea agreement is used when the prosecutor and Defendant’s attorney are able to work out a proposed resolution to a case through either a guilty or nolo plea and present the agreement for consideration by the judge presiding over the case. The judge does not have to accept the plea, but will likely accept the agreement unless it is unreasonable. A non-negotiated plea is used when the prosecutor and Defendant’s attorney are not able to come to an agreement for resolution of the case, but when the Defendant desires to put himself or herself at the mercy of the judge and let the judge enter the sentence in the case. Usually the judge will afford the Defendant the opportunity to withdraw a non-negotiated plea and proceed to trial if the Defendant does not accept the sentence ordered by the judge.
Listen To What Our Clients Say...
Because It's Our Client's That Matter Most
Yale was great... affordable, accessible, responsive and knowledgeable. He spent time with me one-on-one and achieved a positive outcome for my family and me.
With his many years of experience, Mr. Lewis was very knowledgeable in response to my case. While he acted as my council, he was prompt in his responses and clear about what had to be done, saving me time and money..
If you need an attorney to tell you the truth and get the job done, Mr. Lewis is definitely the right attorney. I have been a Paralegal in the legal field for more than 5 years and have met many attorneys and Mr. Lewis is by far one of the most well-versed attorneys in his field that I have ever met.
Debunking Some Real Estate Myths
I have a real estate broker so I don't need a lawyer.
A real estate broker is paid to close deals, not to look out for your interests. They are not qualified to offer legal advice and may not be too concerned about the finer details of your contract. Legal advice from an experienced real estate attorney protects your interests and helps avoid significant issues down the road.
Real estate attorneys are too expensive.
The pricing is determined by the firm you choose, but there are many quality real estate attorneys that perform basic real estate services like title searches, contract reviews, and closings for very reasonable fees. In any case, it is much more affordable then ending up in costly litigation due to issues that were easily avoidable.
Lawyers just complicate the process.
A good real estate attorney should actually make your transaction go more smoothly. We reduce the chances of last-second surprises that delay or disrupt your transaction by doing our due-diligence up front.
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Hear What Clients Like You Are Saying About Us:
I am going to be very honest: my case has not gone before the judge yet. Knowing that I am still absolutely comfortable giving Mr. Lewis a 5-star rating. He has already earned my trust and admiration. He is beyond attentive; he is proactive and I can tell he spends a lot of time and energy on my case. He is in constant email and phone communication. Any question I have is answered promptly, thoroughly and honestly. Quite simply put, he is the best lawyer I have ever worked with. I can not recommend him enough.