If you were recently arrested for DUI, you probably feel like your world is suddenly upside down. You can’t believe this has happened to you.
Maybe you felt that you were ok to drive until suddenly you were at the roadside doing abnormal walking and balancing tests, humiliated as people in cars going by watched.
Now you are probably in shock, afraid for your future and how this will affect you and those you love.
We understand. We have helped thousands of people in this situation get past the anxiety and stress, develop strategies to take proactive steps to move forward, and put this all behind them. We can help you do that too.
You may be very worried about your job. The ability to drive a car and have gainful employment go hand in hand.
A DUI arrest puts your license in jeopardy: 60 days from the date of your arrest your license will be taken away if you blew over the limit or refused to blow.
However, there are things you can do to keep driving; you can request a hearing or apply for a restricted license that allows you to drive during the period your license is suspended or revoked. We can help you to keep driving, legally.
The first thing you will need to do is decide whether you want to request a hearing with the Department of Licensing (DOL) to contest your license being suspended, or to apply for a restricted license to keep driving.
You only have 7 days to postmark your request for a DUI hearing or to apply online with the DOL, so you need to make your decision soon.
We can help. We will explain the hearing process, the odds of success under the circumstances of your arrest, and advise you of the best course to take to keep driving.
But do not delay; the sooner you know what to do and how to do it, the better you will feel.
If you were not booked into jail, you will receive a summons in the mail requiring you to appear for you “arraignment,” the formal opening of your case in court.
The judge will ask you to verify your mailing address and to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Then, the prosecutor will ask the judge to impose conditions upon you while your case is pending.
The severity of these conditions depends upon a number of factors. If you have prior DUI arrests, were in an accident in connection with the DUI, or if your breath test result is high (above .15), in the worst-case scenario, the prosecutor may ask the judge to take you into custody.
You would then have to post bail to be released. The amount of bail could be almost any amount; commonly bail ranges anywhere from $2,500 to $100,000 or more if there you have prior offenses.
Before the judge decides on bail or other conditions he or she will impose upon you, the judge will turn to your lawyer to respond. If you do not have a lawyer present, the judge will not necessarily ask you to speak against the prosecutor’s request, because anything you say in court is recorded and may be used against you.
This is why it is very important for you to have a lawyer at your side at your arraignment. We can point out why it is not necessary for you to be taken into custody and suggest alternatives for the judge to consider that will keep you out of jail.
If this is your first offense, you have a low risk of being taken into custody. More likely, the judge will impose standard conditions: that you refrain from consuming alcohol, marijuana, and non-prescribed drugs, not drive without a valid license and insurance, and that you have law-abiding behavior while your case proceeds.
The court clerk will give you notice of your next hearing, a “pretrial hearing” which will be 4 to 6 weeks later.
A pretrial hearing is essentially a status conference; you will have a few of these before your case is resolved. In this stage of the case, we are diligently gathering evidence and scrutinizing it to find a mistake, problem, or issue that may lead to suppression of the evidence against you.
We use the issues we find to confidently negotiate a reduction of the charge with the prosecution.
The penalties and consequences of a DUI conviction are very severe. While the number of DUIs that are outright dismissed is extremely low in Washington State, it is considered a “win” to get the DUI charge amended to a less serious charge, such as reckless or negligent driving.
Besides losing your license, you may face the following penalties if convicted of DUI:
If you have been convicted of a DUI within the last 7 years, you may already be familiar with these penalties from your first offense. But the penalties increase dramatically with a second or subsequent offense. If the thought of any of these penalties worries you, you would do well to find the best DUI legal representation.
Seattle DUI Attorney
If you were stopped or arrested for a DUI in the City of Seattle visit our dedicated page here.
Our Team of Attorneys and Paralegals have over 30 years of combined experience. We know the law and understand how to apply it to your case.
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We create a custom defense for every client. Not all cases are the same and we know that. Your concerns and goals are our top priority.
As a long time author and speaker Ms. Callahan is respected across the county for her trial skills and investigative knowledge. He reputation proceeds herself when appearing in court.
plan of action
Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in our nation. These laws carry increasingly severe penalties for those who drink and drive. Washington lowered the BAC limit from .10 to 0.08 in January of 1999. Drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 or above can now be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, because public sentiment is so very negative toward drunk drivers, prosecutors will often pursue a DUI conviction even when the driver’s test result is well under .08! This is possible because they can obtain a conviction if they can show the person drove while “affected by” alcohol, and/or marijuana or any drug, including prescription or over-the-counter medications.
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Disclaimer: The legal information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Washington.
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