DUI Defense Attorney Redmond WA
What should you expect if arrested for a DUI?
Getting arrested for a DUI is one of the most stressful and embarrassing situations one can experience. In most cases, the stress and complications don’t stop once the handcuffs are snapped on to the driver. If you find yourself in the wake of a DUI arrest, there are two legal actions that will likely be taken against you in the Redmond area and in Washington State in general.
The first DUI legal action you will be required to deal with is by the Washington Department of Licensing. If any driver refuses the breath test or tests over the legal limit during a DUI arrest, the DOL will do their best to suspend the driver’s license. The suspension length will vary depending on whether or not this is a first time DUI offense, but the minimum is 90 days.
The second legal action against drivers arrested for a DUI is with the legal justice system. This process will likely require you to appear in court where the DUI-related criminal offense will be determined. The court appearance is entirely separate from the DOL action mentioned above, and it is recommended that you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney for both situations.
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|Leyba Defense PLLC –|
Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney
1700 7th Ave #2100, Seattle, WA 98101
What Happens to Your Drivers License Following a DUI Arrest?
When facing a potential license suspension, drivers should be aware of several immediate concerns. Perhaps the most important item on this list is whether or not you will retain your license. If the authorities punched a hole in your license, it means that the Department of Licensing wants to revoke or suspend your license effective 60 days from your Redmond DUI arrest. It is your right to request a hearing to contest the DOL’s decision, but the request must be postmarked within 20 days of the DUI arrest. You must also submit the DOL hearing request with a $375 fee.
When the verdict is decided, your license may be suspended anywhere from 90 days to 4 years, all depending on prior offenses and your blood alcohol level the night you were arrested. This could have vocational side effects if you carry a commercial driver’s license, though you have the right to contest this suspension.
What Happens if I Contest my License Suspension?
Within 60 days following your Redmond DUI arrest, a hearing will be held. The state will assign you a hearing officer who will decide whether the police officer had reasonable grounds to pull you over, whether the arrest itself was lawful, whether the officer read you your rights, and whether your alcohol level was actually over the legal limit.
After the hearing is complete, you will eventually receive a written ruling from the hearing examiner either dismissing or initiating your suspension. Different factors come into play regarding the time between your hearing and the ruling, however it generally takes 2-4 weeks. If the final decision is that your license is suspended by the Department of Licensing, it is recommended that you apply for an occupational license or an ignition interlock license in order to commute to work.
What Happens if You Get Charged with a DUI in Court
Once your are formally charged, your initial court date will arrive via summons in the mail or on a ticket issued during your arrest. Find your next court date & court location. In the city of Redmond, the arraignment will only take a few days, with the arresting officer giving official notice at that time. If you are arrested by a Washington State Patrol Trooper or King County Sheriff, you will most likely receive a court date within 1-3 months after the arrest date.
What Happens at your DUI Arraignment
Your arraignment happens at your first court appearance. At that time, the Prosecutor will read the charges set against you, and you will formally enter into a plea. The Judge might set bail, and/or place specific conditions on your release. Regarding these conditions, a DUI arraignment may place a number of stipulations on your release, including abstaining from alcohol, a SCRAM bracelet, an ignition interlock device, and no driving without valid insurance and license. Additionally, you may not be able to refuse a breath or blood test if you are arresting for a DUI again in the future.
What Happens at Your Next DUI Hearing?
If you navigated your arraignment without a DUI defense attorney, it is vital that you contact one immediately. After your arraignment, the next item on your schedule will be a pre-trial hearing. There are three possible outcomes at this hearing:
You can prolong your case for a number of reasons and continue it at another pre-trial hearing
You can accept the charge, plead guilty, and take any plea deal the court offers
You can hold fast to a not-guilty plea of the DUI arrest and take it to trial
What Happens if You Set Your Case for a DUI Trial?
If you plan to maintain your not-guilty plea, you have the right to request one of two options: a jury trial decided by a group of your peers, or a bench trial decided by a judge. Generally, several additional court dates will be set prior to your trail that you may not be required to attend. In the case of a jury trial, a DUI case can last one day or one week, all depending on the amount of witnesses and credibility of the evidence. It is required that the driver attend each day of the trial. If, in the end, you are found guilty, then your sentence will be determined by RCW 46.61.5055.
It is clear that a DUI arrest is a serious matter. For more information on DUI hearings and trials, or to meet with an experienced Redmond DUI attorney, contact Leyba today. It is crucial that you have an aggressive, knowledgeable DUI lawyer at your side, and we can help with that. It is our priority to serve you and build a defense to beat the charge.