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3 DUI FAQ's - Seattle DUI Defense

Posted Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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When you are facing a DUI in Washington State a lot is at stake. We’ve been defending the rights of people accused of DUI for over 15 years. It is important for you to understand the criminal DUI process, what to expect, and what your rights are. Many of our clients asks the same questions, so we complied the top 3 DUI Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Will I go to jail if I am convicted of DUI?

Washington State has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the United States. Whether or not you will serve a jail or prison sentence depends heavily on the specific facts of your case and if you have prior convictions.

If you receive a criminal conviction in court and have no prior DUIs in the past 7 years, you could face the following penalties:

• Sentence of 1 day to 364 days in jail.

• Driver license suspension of 90 days (not including any administrative suspension of your license by the Washington State Department of Licensing).

• And/or fines ranging from $940 to $5,000.

• You may also be required to attend Alcohol/Drug Education, Victim Impact, or Treatment programs.

The above are the possible penalties for a first time DUI conviction in court. If you have prior convictions or other aggravating circumstances, the penalties will be harsher. You can view Washington State’s DUI penalty schedule here.

It is important to understand that sentencing laws are complex. Even when a statute lists a minimum sentence a defendant may actually serve less than that amount of time. Numerous factors can affect the punishment handed down in DUI cases. Discuss the possible punishment and penalties you may be facing with your DUI defense attorney.

2. Will I Lose my license if I am convicted of DUI?

The answer to this question is most likely yes.

First, your license can be suspended for 90 days to 2 years administratively. After an arrest for suspected DUI, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your license administratively, unless you request a hearing to contest the suspension within 20 days of the date you were arrested and the hearing examiner decides in your favor.

Second, if convicted of DUI your license will be suspended as part of your punishment. The suspension will begin 45 days after your conviction. If the DOL and the Court suspends your license, the term will most likely run concurrently (rather than being added together).

During a license suspension you may apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License, which if granted allows you to drive during your license suspension under certain conditions. RCW 46.20.385. One of the conditions is to install an Ignition Interlock Device into any vehicle you will be driving.

3. Do I have to go through a criminal trial?

You will probably not have to go through a criminal trial, but it is a possibility.

The majority of criminal cases are resolved prior to trial. Often criminal charges are either dropped or resolved through negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor. There are a number of legal strategies available to successfully get DUI charges dropped or reduced to lesser charges. In fact, most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely.

Consult With an Experienced Washington DUI Defense Attorney

The penalties and punishments for a DUI conviction in Washington State are steep. If you’re facing DUI charges or have questions about the penalties you may be facing, please contact us here or call (425)883-3366 for a free consultation.

Understand that every DUI case is different. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys will be able to evaluate the evidence against you and pinpoint the weaknesses in the Prosecution’s case that can be leveraged in your defense. When you hire the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC, we will fight to prevent the interruption of your ability to drive.

Not every DUI can be beat, but we are able to eliminate or reduce most of them. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Our attorneys have outstanding reputations. Lizanne Padula is a tireless negotiator and a tenacious litigator. Padula & Associates, LLC will fiercely advocate on your behalf. For more than 20 years we have proudly defended the rights of people in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.