This is Richard Jacobs from My DUI Attorney. I'm very excited because I'm here today with Attorney Robert B. He's a criminal defense attorney out of the Richmond, Virginia area. How are you doing, Robert?
Robert I'm doing great, Richard. Glad to be here.
interviewer I'm excited to speak to you because not only are you an attorney but you have all these unique factors about your practice that not only potential clients, but other attorneys, would like to hear. I'm very glad you took the time and I really appreciate it.
Robert Sure. My pleasure.
interviewer Now we'll get right into the questions. What motivates you to be a criminal defense attorney and why do you tend to focus on DUI and reckless driving speeding cases?
Robert I am a former prosecutor. I started out by law career 27 years ago clerking for a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. From 1986 to 1990, I was a prosecutor in Fairfax County. For those not familiar with Virginia, that's a suburb of DC and it's probably the busiest jurisdiction in the state. When I left there, like a lot of people, I said "I've got a lot of experience doing anything criminal or traffic" and I was focusing on the 100% trial level, but most of it criminal and traffic related.
Over time, I just found that I liked several things about the DUI and reckless driving aspects of a case, and that is that by far and away, I liked these clients a lot more than I did some of the other clients charged with different crimes. The other thing I liked about DUI defense is that to do it well, it is very complicated forensic law. There are a lot of different issues. Field sobriety tests are junk science; the machines or contraptions that the government tries to tell people are perfect, there are a lot of things that reinforced what I knew I could do for people with what I learned over years, not just because I liked the people, but I also liked the particular issues involved in DUI trials.
interviewer You said you liked the people better. Is there a typical person that comes to you? Are they men, women, older people?
Robert It's an interesting issue as to the mix of people that has changed over the years. I've got a theory. It's unscientific, but even 10 years ago, probably 85% to 90% of my clients were men. I would say now that the big thing I've seen is a lot more women are getting charged with DUI. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that so many women wind up getting prescribed different medications that I think leads them, and I don't think they realize that they've had too much to drink.
For example, anti-depressive medication works on the brain inhibitors that cause some people to feel depressed all the time but I think, also, it tells other people "Hey, you've had enough to drink". Some people as well, who I represent, they haven't been drinking alcohol. They've had some combination of even prescribed medications that caused them to be unable to drive the car. I would say probably 35% to 40% of my clients in the past couple years have been women.