Choosing a DUI Lawyer
The single most important decision you will make in your DUI criminal case, is the choice of your lawyer. The Washington state bar association will allow any lawyer to take on a DUI case, and many lawyers who don't even practice DUI law, will accept DUI cases. The last thing you want is a divorce or business lawyer handling your DUI case.
Once you have narrowed your choice of lawyers to those that practice criminal law, you need to ensure that your lawyer is familiar with DUI practice in the jurisdiction that you are being prosecuted in. Criminal prosecutions are not handled the same among the different jurisdictions, and some judges and prosecutors are considerably tougher than others. A lawyer who practices in Bellingham or Spokane may not know the local customs regarding how DUI charges are handled in Kent or Seattle.
It can be difficult to decide who is the best lawyer to choose, and sometimes people make assumptions that prove incorrect. For instance they may hire the lawyer who has the most experience. However, experience may not be the best choice, we know of lawyers with the most experience who are terrible lawyers, as they have stopped learning and fighting for their clients. A young lawyer could be more motivated and willing to look at your case from many angles, but they may lack the experience necessary to know what judges and prosecutors are looking for, or they may chase ideas that a more experienced lawyer would know are not likely to succeed. The best way to choose your lawyer is to meet with them, this way you can hear in their own words what they believe they are able to do for you.
The best DUI lawyers are in demand, and they will charge a fair price for their services. Picking a lawyer based on price may put you at a disadvantage. Many lawyers will charge a very low fee in order to sign up clients, and they are hoping that they can make up the difference in fee by taking on a large volume of business. The problem with this model is that they end up with so many clients, that they cannot effectively service any of them. These lawyers are generally unwilling to go to trial, as it would take too much time. If they do go to trial, they will try to finish the trial as quickly as possible, so they can get back to their high volume caseload. A quick trial is not usually in your best interest! This does not mean you need to hire the most expensive lawyer in the state, but alarm bells should sound in your head if your lawyer is only charging you a few thousand dollars for a DUI case. In order to spend the time necessary on your case, fight for you in a Department of Licensing hearing, and be willing to take your case to trial, your attorney will need to spent a significant amount of time on your case, and this will require a significant payment on your part.
Our criminal defense experience is your advantage and makes us the right choice when choosing a DUI lawyer
When you are facing a DUI charge we can help. Call us at (253) 867-2675 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys are standing by.