This review is to highlight who I believe is one of best criminal defense lawyers in Virginia. After having the criminal defense lawyer I hired be deployed to serve our country as a JAG Officer he handed off his case files to Paula BernsteinHough on very short notice. I was very skeptical at first being that I was only one week away from court. However, looking back I see that he handed the cases off to the absolute best choice. As someone who has had 20 years of experience in the Federal and State criminal justice system I have seen all types of lawyers, some good, some bad and some great. I would easily put Paula as one of the best. To bring perspective to that statement I have been represented by the same lawyers as the Governor of Connecticut and the Kennedy Cousin Michael Skakel to name just a few.
Facing sentencing guidelines that called for a period of incarceration of 18-24 months for my first violation I knew that my entire case was going to come down to my lawyer digging deep into my whole story not just the small window that my violation portrayed. Paula spent countless days and NIGHTS working on my case. She was diligent in tracking down all of the relevant information needed to present me with the absolute best defense. Having been through three jury trials in my life I would say that she put as much effort into this revocation hearing as some lawyers put into prep for a jury trial. I saw her no less than three times at the jail, I know that she had several lengthy conversations with the Commonwealth Attorney and answered her phone personally EVERY time I called.
On my hearing date there were 39 cases on the docket. Many of which were about 5-10 minutes in length. My case was second to last and lasted a record 30 minutes. Paula called witnesses, submitted 58 pages of evidence and presented one of the best defenses I have ever had in a courtroom. Of the 39 cases called that day I was one of two with the worst-case scenario calling for a lengthy jail sentence. The other guy received the full two years and I was sentenced to 2 months in jail and was only 1 of 5 to go home from jail that day. When I say Paula put everything into my case, I mean that. She left no stone unturned, no loose end flapping in the wind and lived up to her billing as an incredible lawyer. Most people when searching for a lawyer want a Pitbull. Someone who is going to get in there and fight tooth and nail for their freedom. Who is ferocious when needed and can finish what they start. After my experience with Paula I would say that she is a lion. She has an incredible work ethic, is fearless in front of a judge and fights hard no matter the adversity. I have never written a review in my life but I do not hesitate for a second to recommend her to anybody who is reading this review. She is definitely an honorable woman who hits like a 300-pound linebacker when needed. If you need a criminal defense lawyer who is able to make the absolute impossible, possible than she is your woman. Although I will say as a sidebar she does not mince words. She will tell you like it is and in a world where many lawyers will tell you what you want to hear, Paula will not. She will tell you like it is, then get in there and get the job done.