How Do You Know If Your Lawyer Has The Best Experience And Is Local?

Are you researching how to find the best or most experienced criminal defense lawyer in Kitsap County for your DUI, Hit & Run, Assault, Domestic Violence case or some other misdemeanor offense? It really is hard because so much is on the line and how many of you know a criminal defense attorney? Probably, not many.

Do you really want to ask your friends, family, or boss for a recommendation for a criminal lawyer? Most people don’t. So, you are randomly searching the internet, reading reviews, watching videos and then calling. 

Check out Zoom Courts

If you’re still in the stage of researching and just not ready to call, I would suggest you check out courtrooms in action. Thanks to the pandemic, most courtrooms are now accessible publicly through a daily zoom link. You can search the courthouse where you will need to appear and there should be zoom links to various courtrooms.

If you are charged with a felony in Washington, you would want to look at Superior Court (many Superior Courts are requiring in-person attendance). If you were charged with a DUI, Assault, or other misdemeanor, you should look at the District Court or Municipal Courts where you were charged. If you watch long enough, you will probably figure who are the public defenders and who are the private defense attorneys.

Is It Best To Appear On Zoom?

Zoom court has been a great change and allowed cases to keep moving along even when people are sick (since you can appear from home). For busy attorneys, it’s been amazingly helpful. Commute time can now be spent working on cases and negotiating with prosecutors.

Zoom court has been a win for clients, too! Other than Pierce County (now back in person), you can just step out of work for a few minutes and appear on your phone or laptop. In most cases, you no longer have to take a whole day off of work for a 10 minute hearing. 

So, if you have time, log into the various court zoom hearings where you have been charged. They are open to the public. For example, Ryan Witt in our office, will usually be in Kitsap District Court almost every day of the week and probably every time slot such as 9:00, 1:30, and even in Superior court at 3:00. You might also see him bouncing in and out to join court in Kitsap Superior Court, Port Orchard Municipal, Poulsbo Municipal, Bainbridge Municipal, or Bremerton Municipal courts. It is a rare day that he isn’t in a courtroom in Kitsap County.

Make A Quick Appearance

There is no need to watch an entire criminal calendar because most lawyers will appear on the screen within the first 5 minutes of court starting. If you scroll through, you will see the same faces several days a week. That can help you narrow down the most experienced lawyers in the area.

What you will also likely notice is that those with the ads that sound like DUI Go Away, DUI Dismissed or other clever jingles are not actually in Kitsap courtrooms on a regular basis. They don’t regularly negotiate cases in Kitsap or surrounding courts. They are based in Seattle or Tacoma and simply want to pick up a case or two in the area. That can be a big risk.

What Is The Risk Hiring Out Of Town Lawyers

Recently, we had a call from someone who hired a big name out of Seattle but the attorney had no idea about certain alternative resolution options in Kitsap. The client had a funny feeling and was calling around to talk to local attorneys. Unfortunately, from what the caller was saying, the client was missing out on a great way to resolve the case simply because the lawyer may have been very experienced in the law of DUI cases but not on the local options for resolving the case.

Do Your Research. Make Sure The Lawyer Is Local.

So do your research but don’t delay too long. There are very critical timelines especially for DUI cases. If you blow past your DOL hearing request date, you are out of luck. Also, if you have a legitimate argument for probably cause, you really want your lawyer on board prior to your Arraignment. So, do some research but there is no substitute for just talking with a lawyer about the specific facts of your case. 

And, remember to call a LOCAL attorney where you were charged. A Spokane lawyer doesn’t know Kitsap just like we don’t know the best practices in Whatcom. Therefore, we do not advertise or take cases in Whatcom County. Additionally, if your case is outside of Washington state, calling a lawyer here will not help you. Lawyers are licensed state by state. We are licensed in Washington and are not allowed to give ANY advice on a case outside of Washington. 

If you were charged with a crime in Kitsap or Jefferson counties, or cities such as Port Orchard, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Bainbridge, Kingston, Silverdale, Seabeck, or Gig Harbor, please give us a call at (360) 792-1000. We do not take cases in Mason county but we can provide you a referral.