Doug aggressively defends persons accused of the simplest misdemeanor or DUI or the most complicated felony. In addition, he represents persons on appeal from criminal convictions or Department of Licensing suspensions. He believes in addressing the individual needs of each client.
Doug teaches on various topics at continuing legal education seminars. Among the subjects he has presented on, are Effective Use of Case Law in Trial, DUI Legislation, Character Evidence and Mental Defenses. Doug is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL), the Washington Defender Association andThe National College for DUI Defense.
Doug was born in Bellingham and attended Lynden High School and Western Washington University. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He then attended law school at the University of Washington School of Law, where he earned his J.D. in 1983. From 1984 to 1987 he worked as a Tribal Defender for the Quinault Indian Nation and in private practice with the law firm of Shepherd and Abbott in Everson. From 1987 to 2003, he practiced at the Whatcom County Public Defenders Office. There, he represented clients charged with all levels of felonies and misdemeanors in adult and juvenile courts. He has acted as lead counsel in five murder cases, and has acted as co-counsel in several others including a capital case. He has extensive courtroom experience in all classes of felonies and misdemeanors.
He served as Training Coordinator for the Whatcom County Public Defenders Office from 1995 to 2003. Doug currently serves as President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has served as its Secretary, Treasurer and on its Board of Directors, and is co-chair of its Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee. He also serves on the CLE Committee of the Whatcom County Bar Association, and is a past member of the Washington State Bar Association Committee on Public Defense and Judicial Recommendation Committee.
Doug joined Tom Lester in 2003 to form Lester and Hyldahl, PLLC, where he continues, along with Tom Lester, to provide high quality criminal defense. In his spare time, Doug enjoys music, cycling and living in Whatcom County.