If you have been arrested in Seattle for a DUI, or in Washington State for that matter then you face two separate legal actions. One of the legal actions is with the Washington State Department of Licensing. Depending on whether you took the breath test and you were over the legal limit, or if you declined the breath test, you're facing a suspension of your drivers license or privilege to drive in Washington State.
Now you have the right to challenge this proposed suspension. However as most DUI Attorneys will tell you it is an uphill battle. Just to give you an idea of how difficult it is to prevail and avoid the license suspension you need not look and further than the dismissal rates statewide. These rates vary from year to year, but generally the dismissal rate hovers around 25%. Meaning statewide 75% of people that get arrested for a DUI in Washington State get their license suspended administratively if they choose to challenge the suspension from DOL. That fact doesn't give a lot of hope to people, both attorneys, and individuals facing the suspension.
With that being said, Leyba Defense PLLC currently has a 50% dismissal rate in the last 20 DOL Administrative Hearing cases we have defended. That is twice the statewide average! How is that possible you ask? How can one attorney have double the success when it comes to these hearings?
Well the answer is very simple. I don't mail it in. Meaning many so called DUI Attorneys out there look at the statewide average. Figure they are going to lose the hearing anyway, so why prepare for it? Why spend time doing something when you're going to lose. Well obviously I don't agree with this line of thinking, and I think that is probably the biggest reason why I have been so successful recently.
Now obviously winning these hearings have more to do with preparation. Often times there is a little bit of luck involved. But in most cases hard work often pays off and being creative with your arguments. In addition to spending hours preparing for the hearing instead of instead of a few minutes as most DUI Attorneys do, Im able to see things others don't. Knowing what issues you're looking for, and what issues will be successful with a particular hearing officer is half the battle. Knowing when to subpoena an arresting officer and when not to is a factor. Since I have opened my own practice I have spend hundreds of hours perfecting this game plan.
When I first started I spoke with another DUI Attorney who I thought was a good attorney. I asked him point blank what he does if on the surface he doesn't spot any legal issues that would help him prevail at this hearing. He told me in those cases he will subpoena the arresting officer. Hope they don't show up, if they do tell the hearing judge he has nothing and just accept the loss. Not even try, not even ask any questions, not even may any legal arguments. I couldn't believe that is how he conducted his practice, and needless to say I don't ask him any questions anymore. But that is the problem out there. Not to bag on how other attorneys conduct their practice, but to not even try or not even give it 100% effort is malpractice in my eyes. And unfortunately in my opinion from what I see out there, a good chunk of Attorneys do this.
Matthew A. Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle, WA. His practice if focused on representing those accused of DUI and other related offenses. If you have been arrested for a DUI contact our office immediately to set up a free no hassle consultation where we will discuss all your options, what to expect, and how we can help you.