The First Step in Your DUI Case: Choosing the Right Lawyer
Of all the decisions you’ll make during and after a DUI arrest, none is as important as choosing the right defense lawyer. You wouldn’t leave your life in the hands of an inexperienced doctor. Don’t leave your rights in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer. Likewise, just as you wouldn’t go to a general practitioner to operate on a brain tumor, don’t expect an attorney who provides a variety of legal services to be as knowledgeable and experienced in the highly specialized, complicated area of DUI defense as the lawyer who focuses on DUI exclusively.
Finding the right DUI lawyer can be a frightening process when you don’t know how to choose the lawyer. First, you should not hire any lawyer that you don’t feel comfortable with, or who doesn’t give you his or her full attention in a phone or face to face interview. Second, you should not hire any lawyer who you believe would act unethically in representing you.
Perhaps the most important aspect when searching for a quality DUI defense attorney is that attorney’s credentials and experience. You want a lawyer who is affiliated with organizations that focus on DUI defense and criminal defense, who is a member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association, and who has graduated from a respected law school. These credentials are the foundation.
In addition, a qualified DUI lawyer is one who attends DUI specific training conferences frequently so that he or she can stay current with changes and challenges in the area of DUI defense. If the lawyer teaches other lawyer's at DUI defense training conferences, you can have some confidence in that lawyers abilities and knowledge.
The Two Kinds of DUI Lawyers: Escorts and Fighters
An Escort will show up in court with you (or may not even show up) but will keep continuing your case for no strategic reason until you get so tired of having the charge hanging over your head and having to take time off that you just want to get it over with and plead guilty. He will not do an independent investigation on his own; he will assume that the way the police officer said it happened is the way it happened. He won’t bring any scientific challenges to the breath or blood test result because he doesn’t really understand the science or the machine, or how to challenge them. He charges a low fee, but because his fee is low he has to take lots of cases. And because he has so many cases, he doesn’t have time to return your calls, think creatively about your case, or research potential legal challenges. At some point, he will show you the police report (which is slanted and written with a bias against you) and convince you that you have no defense and should plead guilty. Then he will fill out a short form, escort you to the front of the courtroom and allow you to plead guilty as charged; something you could have done (but shouldn’t) without a lawyer.
A Fighter is a very different kind of lawyer. When you watch your Fighter in court and you see how other lawyers, even prosecutors and judges, respect your lawyer, you will feel relief that you made the right choice. Your Fighter may continue your case several times, but there is always a strategic reason for doing so. Your Fighter is extremely knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to DUIs, challenges that can be made to the evidence, and knows the players: the judge, prosecutor and often, the police officer. Your Fighter may obtain a quick result in your case merely because of his or her reputation with the prosecutor as a fair but aggressive Fighter. If there is no reduction of the charge on the table, your Fighter will prepare for battle, devising motions to exclude evidence. Some of these motions may be standard, but your Fighter will also seek to file motions that are novel and unfamiliar to the prosecutor. Prosecutors don’t have time to research novel and unique issues for a single case. By filing novel motions your Fighter may eventually obtain a reduction of the charge in your case. If the prosecutor will not reduce the charge, your Fighter will go to trial well-prepared, with all the experience, knowledge and skill he or she has acquired, to defend the presumption of your innocence.
How Do I Know Callahan Law is the Right Firm for Me?
Every lawyer at Callahan Law is a Fighter. If you are facing a DUI charge, you need a Fighter, not an Escort. You’ve come to the right place. Now let us help you. Choose Callahan Law: we are driven in defense of those who drive.