1. How Many DUI Jury Trials have you conducted?
DUI attorneys know that about 5-10 percent of their clients will not receive acceptable plea bargains and will go to trial. When faced with trial, many lawyers advise their clients to plead guilty. As an example, I represented about 90 DUI clients in 2005 and took nine cases to trial. I am a skilled defense attorney who won’t back down.
Some attorneys do not take a DUI case to trial because they took the prosecutor’s first offer to a reduced charge. While many DUI cases do end with reduced charges, I know when to call the prosecutor’s bluff and say, “No. That is not good enough for my client.”
2. How Many of Your DUI Clients Plead Guilty as Charged?
I will not plead you guilty as charged. If you really want to plead guilty as charged, you do not need to pay an attorney for that. Call me, and I will tell you how to plead guilty for free.
3. Will I Ever See You Again?
Beware of “team approach” attorneys. They give you a free consultation, take your money and then an associate meets you in court. Make sure the attorney you paid for will be with you throughout the process, from beginning to end.
4. What Percentage of Your Clients Opted for a Deferred Prosecution?
In Washington, you are entitled to one “deferred prosecution” for a DUI in your lifetime. To do this, you must be in need of serious substance abuse treatment and you have to tell the judge that you were driving under the influence. You then are placed on probation for five years during which you must complete a two-year treatment program. If you make it, your DUI is dismissed. If you fail to comply with treatment, get a new charge, etc., the court will take you off your deferred prosecution and find you guilty of DUI.
Many defendants with their first DUI will find their attorney encouraging them to take this option. That’s the easy way for the attorney and the hard way for the client. Experienced DUI defense attorneys know a deferred prosecution should almost never be used on a person’s first DUI. Of my clients last year who were facing their first DUI, only one entered a deferred prosecution and that was because he was an alcoholic in need of serious treatment, was already making great strides in his treatment program and it made sense to him.
5. Are You Qualified to teach Police Officers How to Conduct the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?
Most defendants were subjected to roadside sobriety testing by their arresting officer. Very few attorneys claiming to defend DUIs have actually gone through the rigorous training to be certified in administering these tests. Not only have I completed this training and am certified to administer these tests, I am also certified as an instructor in the NHTSA curriculum and am qualified to teach police officers how to conduct these roadside tests. I use this training to cross-examine officers, to suppress evidence and to counter allegations that you were “affected by” alcohol or drugs.