The ability to drive, make a living to provide for their families, and freedom from incarceration are things that most people take for granted. All these essential rights that you now enjoy are at stake if you have been charged with DUI / DWI or Physical Control in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, or Thurston County.
We at Callahan law have found that initially, persons charged with DUI are traumatized. Typically, they have been law-abiding all their lives. They have also always seen themselves as against drunk-driving. Often, they are overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, depression, and are disgusted with either themselves or the humiliating process they have just experienced.
What we have also found is that these feelings tend to subside as the person becomes informed, understands the potential consequences, and becomes aware of options and strategies that give them hope. At Callahan Law, this is what we do: we offer hope, and the reduction of anxiety. We hope the following information will be helpful in that regard. However, if you need someone to talk to at this moment, we are here for you to give you the information you need. You can reach one of our attorneys at 1-877-DUI-Answer (1-877-384-2679) to talk about your case, and in particular, how such cases are handled in the Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, or Thurston County jurisdictions.
If you have been arrested for DUI or Physical Control in the City of Olympia, the City of Lacey, or Thurston County, you will be required to appear before a judge in a very short time following your arrest, usually, the next business day. If you have any prior alcohol-related offenses, it is imperative that you have an attorney at your side for your first court appearance. If not, you will face the judge alone and that may result in the judge imposing severe restrictions on you, such as taking you into custody, requiring a high bail amount be posted, requiring that you take Anabuse, or the requirement that you have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you drive.
At the first court hearing, you will be advised of the charge against you and of your constitutional rights. You will be asked to enter a plea: guilty or not guilty. In most cases, a plea of “not guilty” is recommended. Following this, the court will determine what conditions are necessary to ensure that you will return for your next hearing, and that you will not commit a similar offense pending that hearing. If this is your first offense and there is no accident or high breath test involved, you will likely be released on your own recognizance (PR’d). You will have to maintain certain conditions the judge imposes to continue on this status.
However, if you have a prior alcohol-related offense, an extremely high breath or blood test result, or if an accident happened, the prosecutor may ask the court to impose more stringent restrictions of release, including the posting of bail. This may require that you have a friend or family member engage a bail-bondsperson to pay a premium and post a bond for your release.
While DUI / DWI is illegal and punishable by law in all states, Washington is known for having one of the most punitive approaches to dealing with drunk-drivers. A good attorney, one who is practiced in DUI defense, may help you avoid the most serious consequences that accompany a conviction for DUI which include:
Mandatory jail time
Mandatory fines, costs and assessments
Mandatory suspension or revocation of your license
Mandatory ignition interlock device installation to start and drive your vehicle
Mandatory substance abuse evaluation, and treatment, if required
Attendance at Alcohol Drug Information School and/or a DUI Victim’s Impact Panel
Five years on probation
If you have a history of certain prior offenses, they may count against you, resulting in enhanced penalties including significant extended confinement in jail, higher fines and a longer license revocation and ignition interlock period. As of July 1, 2007, a fifth DUI in ten years will be prosecuted as a felony and conviction would require incarceration in prison.
Aside from the penalties the court will impose, consequences follow you outside of the courtroom. You will need to obtain SR22 insurance and your insurance rates may rise. You may have difficulty renting a vehicle on business trips or vacation. You may be prevented from entering foreign countries, such as Canada. You may have problems with current or future employment. If you have a specialized license or board certification related to your employment, there may be problems with your employer following a DUI conviction. Aside from all these, you cannot overlook the anxiety, depression, embarrassment and humiliation that accompany an arrest for drunk driving.
It is also important that you realize that you also have a civil case pending against your license. Your license will be automatically suspended or revoked 60 days from the date of your arrest, unless you request a hearing within 20 days of the date of your arrest. At Callahan Law, we recommend that you mail your hearing request on the 19th day following your DUI arrest for strategic reasons.
At Callahan Law, we fight to get you the best possible result for your case. We know the system, the judges, the prosecutors, and often, the officer who arrested you. We have a database consisting of police reports so that we can compare your police report to others the arresting officer has written. We aggressively research and prepare legal motions designed to attack the evidence against you. Sometimes, because of these efforts, the prosecution is willing to reduce the charge to something lesser than a DUI. When the facts of the case are particularly difficult and do not allow for a reduction, we will almost always require the prosecution prove the case at trial. Either way, we are driven in your defense and in our mission to resolve your case with the least possible consequences to you.
Why should you fight your case? Because if you don’t fight, you can’t win. A guilty plea results in a conviction and all the attendant consequences.
As you realize you need good legal counsel, you are probably wondering how to select a lawyer. You want an attorney who will “think outside the box,” introducing creative and innovative strategies in your defense. This is the hallmark of Callahan Law; we constantly employ new strategies to seek to find and unravel the prosecution’s case. We conduct an independent investigation seeking to uncover facts favorable to you, then use those facts to your best interest.
Having an attorney who is prominent in the field and who has earned the respect of her peers, judges and adversaries can only help your case. Ms. Callahan has been voted a SuperLawyer Rising Star. She has earned the respect of judges and prosecutors in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Thurston County and throughout the state, for the earnest efforts she makes to defend her clients. She has argued before the state supreme court and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court. Law enforcement officers respect her courtroom skills; often they refer friends and family members charged with DUI to Callahan Law. She is a published author in the field, her book, DUI Book, Washington Edition, will soon be released.
At Callahan Law, we really care about our clients. We seek winning strategies and employ creative and innovative approaches for our clients. We will do the same for you. Call us at 360 426-8788, or at 1 877 DUI-Answer (1-877-384-2679). Our lawyers are here for you.