Arrested for a DUI by the Washington State Patrol in King County?
Then you will most likely face a DUI charge in King County District Court. Depending on who the Trooper is that arrests you will determine where your case is filed. It can be filed in downtown Seattle, Redmond, or at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The King County District Court is the largest limited jurisdiction court in the State of Washington. It is responsible for many matters including DUI and most DUI related offenses.
What is the King County District Court Seattle Division like?
The King County District Court Seattle Division is located at 516 Third Ave in downtown Seattle. There are seven elected Judges in the downtown Courthouse. However not all the Judges hear DUI cases as some of the Judges only hear mental health court matters and other civil related matters.
What are the Prosecutors like?
The King County Prosecutors Office prosecutes criminal cases throughout King County. The Prosecutors that work in downtown Seattle have a reputation for being very tough on DUI crimes, especially if the case involves a high breath test, an accident, or a repeat DUI offender. However most of the Prosecutors that appear at the District Court level are new lawyers who just passed the bar, recent law school graduates, or in some cases law student interns called Rule 9’s. Regardless of the level of experience the Prosecutor is for the most part given complete discretion to negotiate and plea bargain cases by their Supervising Attorney.
What happens after a DUI arrest made?
If you were arrested for a DUI and your case is filed in the King County District Court Seattle Division then the Court will mail you a letter a month or two after the arrest notifying of a court date. It is not uncommon for this latter to come even later than that, but 1-3 months is the average. The Prosecutor’s Office does have up to 2 years to decide to file charges on a DUI case and it is not unheard of for them to take that long.
Just because these DUI cases do not get filed right away does not mean you should wait to hire a Seattle DUI Attorney. In many cases the Washington State Patrol Troopers have audio video equipment in their vehicles and some police stations have video equipment in their breath testing rooms. Failure to request this evidence in a timely manner can result in it being destroyed or recorded over.
General thoughts about practicing in King County District Court Seattle Division
This is quickly becoming one of the most difficult jurisdictions in Washington State to defend DUI cases. Lately the Prosecutors office has taken a hard stance against reducing DUI cases and many first time offenders are simply not being offered a plea deal. Where in years past they would be offered a reduction to reckless driving or even negligent driving 1. Therefore it is now more important than ever to hire an experienced DUI Attorney to get the best outcome possible, because reduced charges are not coming easy anymore.