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Vernon Smith

I have been defending those accused of DUIs for most of my legal 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.*  Currently, 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, I received my law degree from the University of Puget Sound Law School (now Seattle University Law School) Magna Cum Laude in 1987, I have over 25 years experience defending DUIs.  I have a 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 20 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 from 2006 thru 2015. 

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

My wife, Nancy, and I have three children and 7 grandchildren. I am a commercial rated pilot, a former certified flight and instrument flight instructor, and a former aerobatics flight instructor.  I also was a high school head lacrosse coach for 22 years with 3 state championships. In October 2008, I was inducted into the State Lacrosse Hall of Fame by the Washington Chapter of US Lacrosse.

Recent Blog Posts


  • Vern got my case completely dismissed.

    I hired Vern after receiving my dui and he handled every step of the process in an expert and professional manner! He was always very kind, showed up to court early and sent me a reminder, and was always over prepared. Vern got my case completely dismissed. It was obvious that he was well respect...
  • Vern Smith took care of it brilliantly!

    Had the misfortune of forgetting my firearm in my bag before boarding a plane! Vern Smith took care of it brilliantly! I was a first year UW student, heading from Seattle to Hawaii for some much needed sun. I had recently brought my pistol up (properly and legally) from Florida to Seattle. In ...
  • Vern Smith IS THE BEST!

    I found myself in the unfortunate position of having 2 outstanding DUI warrants dating back to 1998 and 1999. I had used Vern in the past as counsel and went right to him after my arrest in April of 2013 for these very old charges. Vern is so knowledgeable, competent, and was vigilant in his defe...
  • 5 Out of 5 Stars!

    Vern Smith has the experience and expertise I was looking for to defend me on my second DUI charge in a decade. The previously DUI lawyer I hired sold me on his ability in the interview but the moment he got my check he began trying to convince me to take a plea deal. This was not the case with M...
  • Contacting Vernon A. Smith was one of the best decisions that I've ever made.

    He was very responsive and kept me well informed, while minimizing the amount of time I had to spend dealing with the issue in and out of court. Vern's ability to minimize the disruption to my life was absolutely fantastic, and greatly appreciated by me, since I have a ridiculously busy life. ...
  • Vernon A. Smith, is without a doubt, the most accomplished lawyer I have had the privilege to work with.

    When it became clear, at the 25th hour, that my client was going to need representation far beyond the scope of the public defender's office, I called Vernon A. Smith as was recommended to me by another colleague. Both he and I were unsure as to whether the court would allow a change in repres...
  • Respected by Colleagues, Judges and Prosecutors

    Vern has defended my wife and I in separate DUI cases and neither of us have a DUI on our record. In my case, I failed field sobriety tests and blew a .22. I was guilty. I was also involved in a boating accident where, while in command of a large power boat, I collided with a dark blue sailing ve...

    I have had the severe misfortune of having to use MR. Smith 3 times since 2004. The good news is that in 3 DUI arrests, I do not even have 1 DUI on my record thanks to Vern Smith! One of my arrests happened to be a high profile arrest involving my Ferrari F430 that was recorded coming across the ...
  • Recommending Vern Smith

    I highly recommend Vern Smith to anyone that is currently facing a charge of DUI, or other potential ramifications due to drinking and driving. Vern represented me during 2008. He was there every step of the way, and was always honest and up front with regards to the options that I had. He's pers...
  • Simply put, Vern Smith is the man for your DUI concerns.

    I recently needed Mr. Smith's expertise in a DUI case. I sat down with many potential lawyers and had them review the specifics of my case and all of them recommended that I take my concerns to Vern. I immediately called Mr. Smith and was promptly given a time to meet face to face. I was impresse...
  • I would most definitely recommend Mr. Smith.

    He is very informative, organized, confident, and trustworthy. I felt very confident having him as my attorney and would never go elsewhere for representation. He also successfully completed my case to where we wanted to be!
  • I truly owe to the hard work of Vern!

    The day I got my DUI was one of the worst of my life. I felt like I had no chance of getting the DUI off my record and I would have to live with it for the rest of my life. Being young and not having a lot of money, I nearly went the Public Defender route, but after talking with friends and famil...
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