Recently I was in a local court in King County when I happened to catch the tail end of a heated conversation between a fellow Seattle DUI Attorney (who is well respected among defense attorneys) and a Prosecutor. Afterwards I was just shooting the bull with this particular Prosecutor when they told me something interesting. They told me everybody in their office dislikes that DUI Attorney and they will never give any of their clients a break because of it.
Now this got me thinking. Here is a DUI Attorney who has a very good reputation among the defense bar. However because of how that Attorney practices law and how they deal with Prosecutors all of that Attorney’s clients will suffer because of it. It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances but that particular DUI Lawyer has nobody to blame but themselves.
So where does that leave their clients. They have no idea this particular DUI Defense Lawyer has pissed off an entire office and in the end they will suffer. So if you’re looking for a DUI lawyer how do you go about making sure the lawyer you hire will not backfire due to their reputation.
Personally I don’t know how a client would figure that out. Probably the easiest way to determine the relationship between a Prosecutor and a DUI Attorney is to flat out ask. Although I’m not sure a defense attorney would admit to having a strained relationship with a particular Prosecutor. So how do you find out.
The best way I could think of would be to look at two things: How many trials is the DUI Lawyer doing compared to the number of favorable plea deals they are getting. For example if you look at 10 cases and the DUI Attorney has gotten reduced charges on 7 or 8 and went to trial on the remaining that is a pretty good record. However if they go to trial on 7 or 8 and only gotten plea deals on 2 or 3. That should tell you something.
Now don’t get me wrong. If a DUI lawyer is going to trial 7 or 8 times out of 10. That is really commendable. That means the lawyer is not just pleading people guilty. However the question to ask is why are they going to trial so much, how come they can’t get their clients deals. Have they ruined their relationship with Prosecutors to the point they get “blacklisted?” In the case of the DUI Attorney I described above it sounds like that is whats happening to them and subsequently it is unfairly affecting their clients. And that’s a shame.
_ About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle. He has been repeatedly named a Rising Star in the field of DUI Defense by the Seattle Met Magazine, an honor only 2.5% of all Lawyers receive. Additionally he is rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com and listed as a Superb DUI Lawyer.