Seattle Traffic Ticket Lawyer v. Seattle DUI Lawyer
Lately I have been noticing more and more so called DUI Lawyers in Court. I think a lot of this has to do with the lack of jobs in the legal field or the general practice lawyers that have moved into the DUI Defense world. Probably the biggest example of these new Attorneys practicing DUI Defense are attorneys who used to only fight traffic tickets. In my opinion if you’re facing a DUI charge it is best to hire an Attorney that exclusively does DUI defense. Not 50%, not 75% but exclusively. And here is why.
1. DUI Defense is a complicated area of the law
DUI Defense is becoming more and more complicated every day. Something has simple sounding as the breath test has infinite amount of challenges that can be raised by the competent DUI Lawyer. This takes years and years to learn and is not something that can be taught overnight. For example even though I’m a lawyer and I passed the Washington State Bar Exam if someone needed an Attorney to represent them on a eminent domain issue, I would not be the one to be hired. That is a niche in the practice of law that only those attorneys who represent regularly would understand. The same thing can be said in DUI Defense. Just because an attorney knows how to get someone out of a red light ticket, doesn’t mean they understand the intricacies of the field sobriety tests and the studies that have been done over the course of 25 years on them.
2. DUI Defense varies depending on each Court and County
Probably the most difficult thing I have had to learn as a Seattle DUI lawyer is the different practices in different Courthouse. Each Court has different rules, Judges, and Prosecutors. There are literally over 50 Courts in Western Washington that I can appear in at anytime. Think about that. And when it comes to DUIs not all are the same. Some Prosecutors may be willing to offer a plea deal another Prosecutor wouldn’t. Some Judge’s allow evidence that another Judge wouldn’t. It takes years and years of practice and familiarity with each Court to truly understand the differences and know what it takes to get the best outcome possible for a DUI client. An Attorney that only appears in a handful of Courts to fight speeding tickets is not going to have that knowledge.
3. Don’t forget the DOL hearing
One of the most unique aspects of Seattle DUI lawyers job is the DOL hearing. The DOL hearing is it’s own world with its own hearing examiners and rules. It is completely unlike anything any Attorney has done before. Much like the different Courts each hearing examiner is completly different. Some will grant a motion to dismiss the suspension when others wont. Some require briefing and exhibits and certain times, and some don’t. Not knowing the rules and different hearing examiners can mean the difference between a license suspension and none.
In my opinion the most important thing to look for when hiring a Seattle Bellevue DUI lawyer is whether they exclusively represent people on DUI cases. Or whether they dabble in a little bit of everything. Because chances are if they do different things and practice in different areas of law then there is probably a reason they do that, because they couldn’t maintain a business exclusively representing people on DUI offenses. Like I said it is a very specialized area of practice and unless an Attorney devotes themselves 100% to this area of law there is no possible way they can be effective in their representation.
Matthew A. Leyba is a Seattle Bellevue DUI Attorney. His practice is focused exclusively on representing those charged with DUI and other related offenses. He is rated as 10/10 by Avvo.com for DUI Defense, and was named a Rising Star in the area of DUI Law by Seattle Met Magazine.