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Washington DUI Handbook

Selecting a DUI Defense Attorney in Bellingham

Law Firm of David N Jolly
Choosing a DUI Attorney

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Whatcom County DUI Handbook

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In Whatcom County those in need of a criminal defense attorney are spoiled for choice. There are several wonderful local lawyers who work hard, have previous success, and have many years of valuable and related experience. However, as in any environment, there are examples of both good and not-so-good professionals.

So, how do you choose the
best DUI defense attorney in Whatcom County?

Here is a quick summary:

Experience: Although the number of years in a criminal court system should be examined, I'm talking about the number of years of focused experienced and range of focused experience. The attorney you are looking for should have several years of criminal court experience, local court experience, dozens of trial (preferably hundreds of trials), and some experience in a prosecutor or public defense office. There is no magic number of years, but I believe at least 5 years and even 10 years would be preferred.
Focus: Your attorney should primarily focus on criminal defense and more particularly, defending those accused of driving under the influence.
Knowledge: Focus and Experience should merge into "knowledge," but it doesn't always. Has the prospective attorney been interviewed by the media on the subject? Has the attorney spoken at public events regarding the subject? Has the lawyer written and had published books on the subject? Research the background of the DUI Defense Attorney.
Reputation: An attorney's reputation in the court system with the Judges and Prosecutors is invaluable to obtaining the best deal possible. Judges and prosecutors who respect the defense attorney and who understand that the criminal lawyer knows what he/she is talking about, carries significant weight in a court system.  This might mean the difference between no deal or a great deal. So, how do you find this out? Look for reputable online review websites (i.e. Avvo - but not places like Yelp (not for an attorney)). Has anyone recommended this lawyer to you?
Compatibility: When you meet with the lawyer - and yes, you should before you hire - do you trust the lawyer? Does the attorney make you feel at ease? Does he communicate well to you? Does it sound like he/she knows what he is talking about? Sometimes it comes down to going with your gut feeling!
Cost: Cost shouldn't come into it, but it does. If you are debating between two attorneys, then cost maybe a deciding factor. Does the attorney give a payment plan? Are the fees well laid out and easy to understand? Does the quoted fee cover everything? Ask lots of questions and be sure the quote is in writing before you sign everything.

There are so many for factors when deciding who should represent you in your Whatcom County DUI case, but this is a quick outline of the most important factors when deciding which attorney to chose in your criminal matter. Good luck and remember, there are several really
good Bellingham DUI defense attorneys to choose from. But still do your homework and be sure you pick the best of the bunch.