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I am dealing with a DUI felony case in San Mateo county. Is it a bad idea to hire an attorney from a different county?

Daly City, CA |

I'm concerned that San Mateo county is a bit different in its procedures for a lawyer from a different county and we're concerned about how relevant it is to consider an attorney's relationship with the DA of that county. Is the DA more likely to make better offers if they know/like/respect that attorney? How much weight should I put on this aspect vs. just being concerned in finding the best DUI lawyer I can afford?

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Attorney answers 8


Generally speaking, for a variety of reasons, it is a good idea to hire somebody with experience in the same county where the case has been filed.


speaking from the standpoint of a DUI lawyer who handles cases apll over the state I would have to say that it's experience not relationships that count in your situation.

especially when dealing with a felony DUI where are the consequences are much more severe


Narrow your list of lawyer down to the top 3. Then from there you can decide whether being from the same town is a good thing or a bad thing. Nothing in San Mateo's procedure would phase any experienced DUI lawyer from anywhere in the state. Most procedures are part of criminal procedure everywhere.

HIre the best lawyer. There are sometime advantages of hiring local counsel and sometimes not. It depends on the facts of the case.

The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.


It depends. By and large, most counties do have slightly different procedures. However, the law is the same no matter where you are. Therefore, an experienced attorney should not really have much difficulty moving from one county to the next.

Practically speaking, the nature of the practice here in the Bay Area means attorneys are often in several counties frequently. Even though my main office in Contra Costa County, I have cases throughout the Bay Area. Believe it or not, I have roughly the same number of cases in other counties as I do in CoCo. Therefore, my practice is fairly evenly spread out.

So, I wouldn't let office location be the determining factor.

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There can be advantages to hiring an attorney that regularly practices in the court that your matter in. Also, having a qualified and experienced DUI defense attorney is also important. Finding a combination of the two is always a good idea. That being said, I would hesitate to hire an attorney simply because they claim to be close personal friends of a Judge or prosecutor.

Legal disclaimer: This message does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This message does not establish an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established once a retainer agreement has been fully executed between you and this firm.


As a former prosecutor in San Mateo County, I would advise you to hire a a local attorney. There is a benefit to hiring someone who knows the specific district attorney who will be prosecuting your case, as well as, has the respect and understanding of the local judges. Feel free to call my office, The Law Offices of Ross Green, 650-780-0707 x 11, for a free consultation, and to discuss in more detail your case and the benefits of local attorney.


Experience over office location. As a former DA I have never made better or worse offers to someone because I was familiar with them or their work. My offers did get better once the attorney demonstrated to me that my case was not as great as I thought. That takes experience.


If you feel comfortable with the attorney, then that is the right attorney for you.

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