Being arrested for driving under the influence (a DUI) in Seattle is a significant and frightening affair. Not only is the whole process complex and detailed, but the outcome of your case can have life altering ramifications. In order to ensure that there is a strong defense and an agreeable outcome to your case, you are going to need an experienced attorney by your side.
The task of choosing a Seattle attorney can seem impossible. With so many qualified and capable attorneys, how do you know when you’ve found the right one?
Once you have chosen an attorney, your case is in their hands. But until then, you have complete control over who gets to manage your case. The best way to get information about your attorney candidates is to ask them questions. These questions and how they are answered will reveal their capabilities, tendencies, preferences, and history while allowing you to whittle down your list to a one attorney. Here are some questions you can ask to start getting information about potential attorneys:
1. Where did you attend law school?
This question is meant to provide you with a general look into the kind of school each attorney graduated from, the training they’ve received, and the experience they had there.
2. How many years have you been in practice?
You want to know how much experience your attorney has with handling cases. A good follow-up question is to ask what kind of work they’ve completed during those years. Long-time lawyers with little experience or success are individuals you should steer clear from. On the other hand, a weathered attorney with a full schedule is a sign of a capability and experience.
3. How much experience do you have with DUI cases?
There are many areas of law, each with their own level of complexity and detail. While some attorneys may claim to be capable in multiple fields of the law, good attorneys will focus their attention on only a few. Your highest priority should be to find a Seattle attorney that is highly educated and experienced with handling DUI cases. If they try and stretch themselves across too many fields, it’s time to move on.
At Leyba Defense, Matthew Leyba is highly experienced in handling DUI cases. Working exclusively with criminal defense and DUI cases, Matthew Leyba has the professional training, experience, and education necessary to help defend your case.
4. How many cases have you taken to jury trial?
Many DUI cases end up going to trial. In order for your trial to play out in your favor, you need an aggressive and experienced attorney who is committed to meeting your needs and defending your side. In order to attain the outcome you deserve from your trial, your attorney must have the experience required for a successful jury trial.
5. What is your assessment of my case?
You may already have a personal assessment of your case, but it is important to get their opinion. What are the challenges they see to your case? Would they have you plead guilty, or would there be a plea agreement? Do they see your case going to trial? What are they expecting to see at various stages of the process?
As you meet with multiple attorneys, compare and contrast their assessments. Is there a common theme, or do they all see your case from different angles? Which attorney demonstrates the best knowledge and experience when it comes to handling your situation?
6. What would be the final outcome of my case?
When everything is all said and done, you want to be sure that the attorney you choose is willing to go the distance. After assessing your case, are they willing to dive in and get their hands dirty to ensure that your rights are protected? Or do they look for the easy way out?
If the attorney’s desired outcome does not match your goals for your case, don’t be afraid to move on. Remember, your case is still in your hands. Don’t give it away to an attorney that is not willing to take your case where it deserves to go.
7. Will you personally be handling my case or will it be someone else? Can I meet them?
A lot of DUI cases are not directly handled by the attorney, but are instead handed off to an assistant or fellow attorney. You want to be sure that the person your meet and know is going to be the one to carry your case through. If you find out that someone else will be handling your case, ask to meet them too. Don’t trust your case to someone you’ve never met, no matter how fantastic your meeting may seem.
At Leyba Defense, Matthew Leyba is committed to handling all of his cases personally. Without enlisting the help of a secretary or assistant, Matthew Leyba works personally on every case he agrees to take on.
8. What are your fees?
When it comes to rates and fees, every attorney is different. Find out what their general fees are and what they do and do not include in their rates. The total expense can change based on whether they charge a flat or hourly rate. There are even unrelated legal expense that can appear during our case, so getting these questions out of the way early is the best way to avoid future problems.
Final Questions: For You
At the end of the day, every consultation comes down to your impression of the attorney. It is important to ask yourself the right questions to uncover your real perspective of their experience, education, capabilities, personality, perspective, and goals. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself:
- What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?
- Did they demonstrate confidence?
- Were they honest?
- Did they willingly share the information I needed?
- Were their rates reasonable?
- Do they have enough experience?
If you still feel unsettled about whether or not an attorney is a good pick, ask to get in touch with some of their previous clients. Few sources will give a more accurate representation of an attorney’s skill than a previous client. Ask them what their initial impression was, how their cases concluded, what their experience was, and if they would recommend said attorney.
Contact Leyba Defense
At Leyba Defense, Matthew Leyba operates as one of Seattle’s most qualified, experienced, educated, and successful DUI attorneys. Matthew’s goal with every case is to ensure that every client is accurately represented and that their rights are always protected. To ensure that clients feel comfortable and informed, Matthew is available 24/7 to answer any questions a client may have about their case.
For more information about Leyba Defense, or to set up a free consultation, call 206.504.3131 or fill out our contact form.