The other day I was in Seattle Municipal Court for a "pre-trial conference" for a Seattle DUI case. At these hearings, negotiations occur between the prosecutor and defense attorney in a room directly outside the courtroom prior to going before the court. As I awaited my turn, I overheard another attorney make his "pitch" to the prosecutor. During the few moments, it became abundantly clear the atttorney had never handled a DUI case before - let alone appeared in Seattle Municipal Court. His inexperience and unfamiliarity with the process was clearly to the detriment of his DUI client. It led to me think of some of the worst things an accused might hear when speaking with a Seattle DUI attorney.
1. "I have never handled a DUI case before" OR "I have never appeared in the court where your case will be filed."
Washington STate DUI law is complex and ever-changing. If a person faces a Seattle DUI charge, they should be seeking an attorney whose practice is either limited to, or largely devoted to, DUI defense and who has appeared regularly in the court where the case is filed. Just because a person might have a license to practice law does not mean they are qualified to represent a Washington State DUI defendant. I cannot stress enough the importance of experience when it comes to selecting a Seattle DUI Attorney. Maybe in some other fields of law experience it is not as critical, but it certainly is when it comes to Seattle DUI defense.
2. "I am CERTAIN that I can get this result for your DUI charge."
Let me make clear that no lawyer can ever guarantee a certain result. They are prohibited from doing such a thing by the rules of professional conduct. But there have been times when a DUI attorney has led a person to believe that he or she could achieve results that are unrealistic. They will do or say anything to get the person to hire them. There are no certainties in the field of DUI defense. Only after an attorney has seen all of the evidence could he or she be able to discuss possibilities of potential outcomes.
3. "Please dont call me with questions. I will call you when needed."
For many people, getting arrested for a DUI is a traumatic and frightening experience. And it only worsens when there is no communication with the DUI lawyer. Most Seattle DUI cases go on for several weeks (or months). Having a high level of communication with an attorney plays an important role in helping a person get through the tumultous times following a Seattle DUI arrest.