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Washington State DUI Guide

Posted Friday, February 16, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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Charges for DUI are serious and Washington State has some of the toughest laws against DUI in the nation. The following guide is for you if you’ve been arrested for or formally charged with DUI in Washington State.

Washington State DUI Guide - The Legal Process

After you are arrested under suspicion of DUI formal charges will likely be filed against you. Some jurisdictions take months to file formal charges (especially King County). If you were arrested and then released without criminal charges being filed against you, do not assume your ordeal is over and that charges will never be filed.

Once charges are filed, the criminal process will move forward and typically involves: arraignment, pre-trial conference, evidentiary hearing and motions, readiness hearing, trial, and sentencing. At any stage of the criminal process after arraignment and prior to a verdict at trial, you and your DUI defense attorney may negotiate a plea agreement with the Prosecutor. Most criminal charges are resolved through plea bargaining. If you do get the charges dropped or plead out to lesser charges, then your case will proceed to trial, and if convicted, to sentencing.

Washington State DUI Guide - Your Driver License

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. If you refused to submit to a breath test your license will be automatically revoked for at least one year. (RCW 46.20.308(2)(a)).

If you are convicted of DUI then the Court will order suspension of your license. If you had no prior DUI’s in the past 7 years, you could face a 90 day license suspension. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, you could face a 2 year license suspension. In cases where there are multiple previous DUI’s, and depending on the severity of the incident, your license suspension will be for a longer period. The suspension will begin 45 days after your conviction.

You may apply for an Ignition Interlock Driver’s License, which if approved would allow you to drive a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked for a drug or alcohol–related offense. Under this license you must install an Ignition Interlock Device in any vehicle you drive.

Washington State DUI Guide - Legal Strategy to Defend Against DUI Charges

There are a number of ways to successfully defend against DUI charges, including the possibility of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to lesser charges. Most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely.

The unique facts of your case will dictate what defenses are available to you. Our DUI defense attorneys will craft a legal strategy specific to your case. For example, your defense may include attacking the admissibility of evidence against you. Perhaps the evidence was gathered in violation of your constitutional rights or the evidence is tainted because the proper chain of custody was not followed.

Washington State DUI Guide - Hire a DUI Defense Attorney

We urge you to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. When you have a skilled attorney on your side you are more likely to get the best outcome possible in your case. Your attorney will serve as your guide, your advocate, and will protect your rights through the legal process.

Our attorneys specialize in DUIs. In fact, attorney Lizanne Padula built her outstanding reputation winning unwinnable DUI cases. For over 20 years we have been fierce advocates defending our clients against state’s accusations.

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.