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Jay Karahan

Jay Karahan is a retired Texas trial judge, a former state and federal prosecutor, a board-certified criminal law specialist, and a mediator certified by the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center.  Jay has been licensed by the Texas Supreme Court to practice law since 1983, and the United States District Court-Southern District of Texas since 1987, and he has been board certified as a criminal law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1988.

Jay was elected by popular vote and served as Judge of Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law No. 8 from January 2003 through December 2018.  He presided over 500 jury trials through verdict and he managed the disposition of over 75,000 cases, including DWI, domestic violence, Clean Air & Water Act violations, and drug cases. Jay served as one of five therapeutic court judges in the nationally recognized SOBER Court program for repeat DWI offenders, and he helped with piloting one of the first five courts in Harris County.  Throughout his judicial service Jay was consistently recognized by lawyers of the 11,000+ member Houston Bar Association, anonymously voting in the judicial evaluation and preference polls, as one of the most highly-rated judges of the Harris County, Texas criminal courts. In 2017, South Texas College of Law – Houston honored Jay by inviting him to serve as the judge of the first-ever formal mock trial of the fictional case of State of Texas v. Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Jay also received the South Texas College of Law Houston Alumni Association’s 2018 Public Service Award for his many years of public service as a trial judge and prosecutor.

Jay is one of a select few criminal practitioners who are Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Less than 7.5% of licensed lawyers in Texas are board certified specialists.  Certification requires extensive trial and appellate experience, peer recognition and the successful completion of a rigorous written examination.

In over 20 years as a practicing attorney as a Harris County Assistant District Attorney, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas and a criminal defense attorney before he became a judge Jay tried over 150 criminal state and federal white collar and other cases through verdict, including state securities fraud, bank fraud, murder, misdemeanor and felony DWI, domestic violence, and sex crimes. Jay has also authored over 50 appellate briefs.

As a Texas state prosecutor from 1983-1987 Jay served on the Child Abuse Committee (before the office established the current Sex Crimes Division) specializing in the prosecution of child sex crimes.

As a United States federal prosecutor from 1987-1991 Jay served in the Major Crimes Section and Bank Fraud Task Force.  Jay also served as a federal district coordinator for child pornography investigations and prosecutions.  Jay received the 1989 United States Attorney Generals Special Achievement Award and an FBI Commendation for the successful prosecution of two FBI Top Ten fugitives charged with an interstate kidnapping and robbery crime spree.

From 1991-1995 Jay served as compliance and litigation counsel to a Fortune 100 company based in Houston where he designed and implemented the company’s compliance policy and various internal investigations.  He also assisted company corporate counsel in due diligence investigations for mergers and acquisitions, as well as managing significant civil nationwide litigation.

From 1995 through 2002 Jay was principal of Jay Karahan & Associates, a full-service white collar criminal defense firm.  During this time he became a certified mediator and successfully mediated over 75 civil cases by both judicial appointment and private retainer.

Jay has written and lectured to bar associations and corporate law firms on various topics including DWI, the use of experts in eyewitness identification cases, family violence cases, law practice in criminal court, and evidence.

Explore Your Best Options

Jay Karahan Law will work closely with you to ensure that you are fully aware of your options. Every charge, case, and client is different and we understand the importance of treating each client individually and tailoring our defense strategies and staffing accordingly.

Jay Karahan Law’s ultimate goal is to obtain the best possible resolution for you. By leveraging legal and practical knowledge refined during decades of criminal law experience we craft customized and effective defense strategies for your individual needs. By working with other experienced professionals when necessary, we are able to efficiently yet effectively staff large and complex cases, smaller cases, or cases that require specific expertise.

Because Experience is the Most Powerful Defense

Your Legal Solution

Your role in this process is critical in our ability to craft strategies that best meet your particular needs and objectives. By selecting the most appropriate action with you, we can work toward applying our investigative, negotiation and trial skills to protect your future.

Why Choose Jay Karahan Law?

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and other investigative agents are working to prosecute you, and may be a threat to your personal freedom and financial well-being. Do not entrust your future to a less than adequate defense. Whether you are facing misdemeanor State or felony Federal charges, Jay Karahan Law has the expertise to defend you.

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1221 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008

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