This may seem pretty self explanatory. If you're charged with a DUI, then you want to hire an attorney that specifically and exclusively practices DUI defense. I mean if you needed open heart surgery you wouldn't go to a general practitioner would you? The same thinking applies here.
The reason I bring this up is because I have met 2 clients or potential clients I guess looking for representation on a DUI case. When I met with them, both of these individuals were completely misinformed about DUI laws, and specifically what their options are. As a Seattle DUI lawyer I practice exclusively in the area of DUI defense, so it is pretty easy for me to explain what your options are, Im up to date on the recent law changes, and Im familiar with individual courts, and prosecutors and I can probably give you a reasonable idea of what may happen with you case. If you're not a DUI lawyer than you probably cant do that. Just like I cant tell you would the recent laws are on environmental litigation.
Now going back to these two individuals. One person met with a family law attorney. This was a first offense, the individual was under 21. The family law attorney told the client about a deferred prosecution, told them that is what they should do, and then completely misinformed them about how to do it. If you know me, or read this blog at all you will know that I rarely recommend a deferred prosecution, but especially in this circumstance. As a general rule you never have someone do a deferred on a first offense, but you never do one when you're that young. You only get one per lifetime, you have to be found to be alcohol or drug dependence, and you have to agree to complete a 2 year alcohol and drug treatment program and be monitored by probation for 5 years.
The other individual I met with had previously met with a general practitioner attorney. Someone that does a little bit of everything I guess. In this case the client had actually blown under the legal limit, so there would be no need for a DOL hearing. However this attorney told them they had to have a DOL hearing, and tried telling the client it would be easy to win because they were under the legal limit. Im not sure if this was some kind of scam to overcharge the client, or if the attorney honestly thought a DOL hearing was necessary. But again, this was completely wrong advice. Nothing bad would have happened had the client paid the $200 and sent in the hearing request form, but if this attorney makes mistakes on something so simple, imagine what would happen when more complicated issues arose.
Now Im not trying to bag on these attorneys. These most likely were honest mistakes. I mean if someone came to me wanted me to draft a will, or sue some major corporation I wouldnt try it. To be honest I would screw something like that up. Even though Im a lawyer and I went to law school, I just dont know anything about these areas of the law. My philosophy on a lawyer practicing in every area of the law is that is just not feasible. There is no way that a lawyer can know everything about every area and facet of the law to be competent. It is simply impossible. This is why doctors commonly refer patients to specialists or other physicians in certain areas of medicine. Nobody knows everything, and the same things applies in Seattle DUI Defense.
Matthew Leyba is a Seattle DUI lawyer in Western WA. His practice focuses exclusively on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses. If you have been arrested for a DUI contact our office for a free no hassle 1 hour consultation.