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About me

Criminal defense attorney with over 3000 DUI and criminal cases. Practice focused on DUI defense and appeals since 1991. Board Certified in DUI Defense from the National College for DUI Defense. Graduate, National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Certified in NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and trained on the BAC Datamaster. Guest speaker at numerous DUI defense training seminars over last 20 years.


Biography of Vernon A. Smith

I have been defending those accused of DUIs for most of my 20 plus year career in the law, first as a public defender and since ’91 in private practice. I am not only one of the founding members of the National College for DUI Defense, but I am also one of the first lawyers in the nation to be Board Certified in DUI defense by that organization.* I am one of only 3 lawyers so certified in Washington currently.

I am also a member of the following organizations:

  • The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Board of Governors, 2001-2002)

  • The Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice, a state organization dedicated to DUI defense

  • Washington State Bar Association

A 1975 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, and recipient of a law degree from the University of Puget Sound Law School (Magna Cum Laude 1987), I have over 20 years experience defending DUIs. I have well earned my reputation as a tenacious trial advocate in well over 1,000 DUI and criminal cases, beginning as a Staff Attorney for the Seattle-King County Public Defenders Association and in over 15 years of private practice. In addition to being a graduate of the rigorous National Institute for Trial Advocacy, I was certified in administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in 1996, and again in 2001. I was named "Super Lawyer" by Washington Law & Politics in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

I am recognized by my colleagues as a seasoned DUI defense pro. I have lectured or conducted workshops for other lawyers on such diverse topics as "Cross-examination of the Arresting Officer," "The DataMaster," "Cross-examination of the State's Breath Test Expert," "Jury Selection in DUI Cases," "Winning Administrative License Suspension Hearings Before the Department of Licensing," and on the significant changes in Washington's DUI laws over the years.

I have received Certificates of Appreciation or Recognition from the following organizations:

  • The National College for DUI Defense

  • The University of Washington Law School Foundation

  • The Northwest College for DUI Defense

  • The Washington Foundation For Criminal Justice

  • The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association

  • The Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice

  • The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

I am also a commercial rated pilot, a former certified flight and instrument flight instructor, and an aerobatics flight instructor. I have also been a high school head lacrosse coach for the past 18 years. My wife Nancy and I have 3 children and six grandchildren.


Contact info

Vernon A. Smith

400 - 108th Ave. N.E.
Suite 500
Bellevue, WA, 98004-5890

Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 95%
    28 years
  2. Criminal Defense: 5%



Fixed (always), Free consultation (60 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

10 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse Vernon. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.


    Michael Waddington Military law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Markus William Louvier

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Markus Louvier Medical malpractice Attorney
    Relationship: Friend


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics2015
Super LawyerWashington Super Lawyers2014
Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2013
Super LawyerWashington Law & Policitcs2012
Board CertificationNational College for DUI Defense2010
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2009
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2008
Super LawyerN/A2007
Super LawyerN/A2006
Board CertificationNational College for DUI Defense2005
Certificate of AppreciationWashington Association for Criminal Justice2003
Certificate of AppreciationWashington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers2003
Board CertificationNational College for DUI Defense2000
Certificate of AppreciationWashington Foundation for Criminal Justice1996
Certificate of DistinctionUniversity of Washington Law School Foundation1995
Certificate of AppreciationWashington Foundation for Criminal Justice1994
Certificate of AppreciationWashington Foundation for Criminal Justice1993
Certificate of AppreciationWashington State Trial Lawyers Association1991
DiplomaNational Institute for Trial Advocacy1988
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney at LawVernon A. Smith2008 - Present
PartnerCowan Smith Kirk Gaston1997 - 2008
N/AVernon A. Smith, Attorney at Law1991 - 1997
N/AHallmark, Keating & Abbott1990 - 1991
N/AThe Public Defenders Association1987 - 1989
N/AU.S. Army1968 - 1971
Association namePosition nameDuration
National College of DUI DefenseFounding Member1995 - Present
Lawyer Pilots Bar Associationmember1992 - Present
Washington Foundation for Criminal JusticeMember1991 - Present
Aircraft Owners & Pilots AssociationParticipating Lawyer Panel1989 - Present
Aircraft Owners & Pilots AssociationParticipating Lawyer Panel Member1989 - Present
Washington Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysMember1987 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1987 - Present
King County Bar Associationmember, judicial screeing committee2006 - 2008
Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneysliason to WSBA2001 - 2002
Washington Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysBoard of Governors2001 - 2002
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember1987 - 1997
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
State v. KnoxChallenge to DUI stop of sleeping driver on ferry.
Bothel v. Guttschmidtover 300 cases dismissed
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
National College for DUI DefenseN/ABoard Certification2000
University of Puget Sound School of LawN/AJD Magna Cum Laude1987
Johns Hopkins UniversityN/AN/A1975
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
DUI Defense Skills Certification ProgramCross of the BAC breath test technician1995