Honesty and Genuine Client Care: How Veitch Ault Defense Grew Into One of Washington’s Leading DUI Defense Firms
Veitch Ault Defense is an award-winning law firm located in Bellevue, Washington with satellite offices in Lynnwood. Their managing partner, Robert Ault, leads the firm with years of experience successfully defending clients charged with DUI and other criminal offenses. His success has been guided by a set of principles that aren’t always associated with defense attorneys. Those principles are honesty, sincerity, and genuine care for the client. From the early days of his legal career, Robert learned the importance of being genuinely invested in the well-being of his clients rather than considering them just another case in the pile. This compassion, combined with sincere honesty and authenticity of character, has served him and his clients over an 18-year career. The result has been the development of one of the best DUI defense firms in Washington.
After being recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in DUI defense four times over, Robert continued to receive recognition from his peers. He has now received the title of Washington State Super Lawyer for the past six years running, along with a position in The National Trial Lawyers’ top 100 rankings, and Avvo’s 2020 Clients’ Choice Award with over one hundred genuine positive reviews from appreciative clients. These awards are the result of years of tireless work and continuous refinement of his legal skills and education. Robert is a graduate of the National College of DUI Defense’s Summer Session held at Harvard Law School. He’s received specialized training in many subjects relating to DUI, including DUI Drug Recognition Investigation. He is also qualified under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards to administer roadside Field Sobriety Tests and is one of only a limited number of Washington State DUI Defense attorneys who has successfully completed the NHTSA Advanced Roadside Impairment Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course.
Early in his career, when Robert began working in private practice, he received a piece of advice from a friend working in the King County prosecutor’s office who imparted some of the best wisdom Robert ever received. His friend told him, “More than anything else, always be honest and sincere. Just be straight with everyone. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it.” The advice stuck like glue and has been at the forefront of Robert’s approach to his entire career.
Often, young and old attorneys alike have a preconceived notion of how a lawyer should act. Some believe they are meant to display a sense of confidence, often perceived as arrogance. Others think a lawyer should be strong, never backing down from a challenge, which inadvertently creates an abrasive character that isn’t always well received.
Yet, suppose an attorney approaches their career with sincerity and honesty. In that case, it frees them from maintaining an image and allows them to focus on what’s important, creating the best result for their clients. As Robert explains, “For me, it came down to being myself instead of pretending to be someone I’m not.” His intent is to treat everyone with sincerity, honesty, and the utmost respect, whether interacting with the client, an officer, a court clerk, a judge, the prosecutor, or anyone else. Experience has proven that every case tends to turn out better for all parties when approached in this manner versus being obstinate and combative.
The second guiding principle of Robert’s career was shared with him by his mentor who shared their belief that the best criminal defense attorneys in the world aren’t only equipped with a vast knowledge of the law, but couple that knowledge with a genuine sense of care for their clients. Initially, this seemed to go without saying. Yet, genuine attorney-client care is less common than one might expect. Robert explains, “The longer I’m in practice, the more I’m convinced that my mentor was absolutely right. You can’t change the facts of a case or anything like that. But if you genuinely care about your client, you end up going above and beyond. You feel a very real responsibility for your client from the moment you’re hired. You end up doing everything in your power to put them in the best possible situation because that’s what you’ve been retained to do. Lawyers who consider this their duty are going to fight for their clients every step of the way.”
This kind of care extends beyond advocacy in the courtroom. It begins with understanding the client’s circumstances and how they ended up in an attorney’s office in the first place. Understanding the circumstances creates a sense of empathy that develops into a genuine sense of care. That compassion for the client initiates the drive to serve them in the best way possible to get them on the right path. As Robert puts it,
“People are vulnerable when they call me. They’ve just been arrested. Sometimes their parents are involved. Other times, their spouse is furious. They may be afraid of the example they’ve set for their children. Their employer might even know, or they’re concerned about being able to get a job in the future. These people are frightened, embarrassed, and sad… I believe that people are good at their core and I am fortunate to sincerely like the very large majority of my clients. These are rarely bad people. They either made a mistake or have been wrongly accused. Either way, they find themselves in a frightening predicament. We all make mistakes. My wife points out that I make mistakes daily… Often something is going on in their personal life that led them to this point. Other people struggle with addiction. Today’s strong emphasis on mental health, counseling, and therapy is a very positive change. In the past, it was a taboo subject. Now, most will agree that talking with a professional is not only a smart thing to do, but it takes courage and should be commended… Driving under the influence is a terrible mistake to make. The consequences of a momentary decision made with impaired judgment are, without question, capable of ruining people’s lives. However, many factors lead to a bad decision. That single decision isn’t necessarily an example of who a person is.”
When a client first begins working with Robert, he explains that putting them in the best position possible is only half the job. The other half is providing them with peace of mind along the way. Every client receives his personal number and is welcome to call, text, or email whenever they need something. No one is passed off to an assistant. He’s their guy. Together, they will navigate the process and make the best of a bad situation. Experience has made Robert an expert on every detail of the process, and he knows which corners hide potential problems. Each detail and nuance is explained and addressed along the way, no step is missed. If a client needs additional support, he helps them accordingly and, when warranted, makes sure opposing parties and the court are aware of positive steps the client is taking to address the issues. Then when the time comes, he’s ready to be their best advocate in court.
Washington is one of the strictest states in the country when it comes to prosecuting DUI arrests. This intolerance is undoubtedly a positive standard that keeps citizens safe. However, punishments are severe and don’t always match up with a client’s mistake. Additionally, there are several points in the process of sobriety assessment that are exposed to human error, leaving room for false arrests and prosecutions. At the core of any defense practice is the understanding that every person deserves their day in court. Robert explains, “The State must be held accountable for proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt for our system to work the way it’s supposed to. If the government isn’t forced to do things the right way, it’s a recipe or disaster.”
When a client begins working with Robert, he first reviews their case thoroughly. Upon review, he’s entirely transparent about the evidence, or lack thereof, being offered against the client. He then works as hard as possible to prepare the most robust case possible. While the majority of Robert’s cases are resolved before going to trial, he’s always ready and willing to put the case in front of a jury. Regardless of the case’s strength, he continually communicates with prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officers throughout the process. He ensures to communicate how sincerely his client is working to improve themselves and how incredibly important the outcome of this process is for them. It’s this communication and advocacy, made sincerely, without any manipulation, that makes all the difference. Veitch Ault Defense’ verdict portfolio and customer satisfaction speak for themselves regarding the effect.
While nobody wants to find themselves in a situation where they need a DUI defense attorney, people make mistakes. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, it’s best to hire an attorney as soon as possible. There are crucial steps that need to be taken immediately after the incident to create the most robust case possible. Hiring just any lawyer simply won’t suffice. You need an excellent representative who genuinely cares about your case and will be there with you every step of the way. Robert Ault is here if you need support. He’s developed his practice based on honesty, genuine care, and the belief that people are good despite their mistakes. He promises to be prepared, respectful, and work hard for his clients. If this sounds like the kind of attorney you’re looking for, contact Veitch Ault Defense to schedule a free consultation. You can do so through the contact form on their website or by calling (425) 452-1600 today.