DUI Defense Attorney for Seattle
A DUI is a nightmare for everyone who is given one. It can easily be the most stressful, terrifying, and embarrassing legal situations that you can find yourself in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end when you get the handcuffs slapped on and you get carted off by the Tukwila police.
Tukwila DUI Attorney
Matthew Leyba is a committed and successful DUI defense attorney, committed to defending your Tukwila DUI case. He works diligently to collect evidence, prepare cases, and communicate with clients, allowing him to comfortably and confidently defend them in court.
Individuals who have just been arrested for a DUI in Tukwila typically have to face two different legal actions.
1. Department of Licensing
The Department of Licensing is one of the organizations that you will have to fight against. The DOL will suspend your license for driving while over the legal limit. The amount of time your license is going to be suspended will largely depend on if this was a first-time offense or a repeat offense. The minimum suspension for a DUI in Washington state is 90 days.
2. Washington State Justice System
This is the system you will face to take criminal punishment from for driving while over the legal limit. You will have to appear in court to face your DUI related offense, and this is a totally separate process and circumstance than dealing with the DOL. In both of these cases, you should have professional representation from an attorney.
What Happens to You Driver’s License After Being arrested for a DUI
There are a few key things you should pay attention to after being arrested for a DUI. The first is that the DOL may or may not have punched a hole in your license. Punching a hole in your license indicates that the DOL intends to revoke or suspend your driver’s license, which will normally take effect 60 days from your DUI arrest. If you want to request a hearing to contest your suspension, you must make sure that it is written and postmarked within 20 days of your arrest.
You must formally submit and mail a DUI hearing request to the DOL and pay a nonrefundable fee of $375 for processing the transaction. Depending on what your level of intoxication was at the time of your arrest and whether this was your first offense or not, your license can be suspended from anywhere between 90 days to up to four years. You also may be required to get SR-22 insurance. Regardless of what the evidence is, you do have the right to contest the suspension of your license.
Contesting Your License Suspension
If you choose to file a hearing request, you will have a hearing within 60 days of your DUI arrest in Tukwila. A hearing officer will be assigned to you and determine whether or not:
- Law enforcement had reasonable grounds to stop you
- Whether your arrest was lawful or unlawful
- If the officer read you your rights or not
- If your alcohol concentration was over the legal level to be driving
- Whether you accepted or refused a breath test
After you have had your hearing, expect to get a written ruling from the DOL hearing examiner which will either grant or dismiss your suspension. Depending on the ruling and the hearing examiner, this process can usually take two to four weeks.
If your license gets suspended, you might be eligible to apply for an occupational license or an ignition interlock license. These will give you the ability to get to work and home from work.
What If I’m Charged With A DUI in Court?
If you are formally charged with a DUI, you will be notified by either receiving a ticket at the time of your arrest, or a summons to appear in court through the mail.
You can find your next court location here.
If you are arrested for a DUI in Tukwila, generally you will receive an arrangement within a few days and your officer should notify you of this at the time of your arrest. If you are arrested for a DUI in King County by either a Washington State Patrol trooper or a King County Sheriff, you will usually get a notice for a court date within one to three months of your arrest.
Your DUI Arrangement
The first time that you appear in court is your DUI arrangement. This is the part of the process where the prosecutor reads the charges against you. Next, you will formally present your plea. The judge in your case may either set bail and/or impose conditions that must be met for your release. At your arrangement, your conditions for release can include any of the following:
- SCRAM bracelet
- Ignition interlock device
- Abstaining from alcohol use
- No driving without a valid license and insurance
- The inability to refuse a breathalyzer test if you are suspected for a DUI in the future
What Can Happen at Your DUI Hearing
If you have not spoken with a DUI attorney before your arrangement, get in touch with one as soon as possible. The next hearing that happens after your arrangement is your pre-trial hearing. During this hearing, one of three things will normally occur.
- Your case can continue to another pre-trial hearing
- You can accept any plea deal that you are offered or plead guilty
- You can say that you are not guilty of the crime, and prepare to take your case to trial
If You Take Your Case to Trial
You can request one of two kinds of trials: either a bench trial which is heard by a judge, or a jury trial which is presented to a collection of your peers. You will usually have a number of court dates scheduled between your pre-trial and jury trial. You may or may not be required to attend all of them. If you are found as not guilty, your case will be dismissed. In the event that you are found guilty, at that time RCW 46.61.5055 will be utilized to determine your sentence.
Keep in mind that facing a DUI in the State of Washington is a serious matter. If you or someone you know is in the DUI legal process currently, contact Leyba Defense to talk with one of our experienced DUI attorneys today. We offer a free 60-minute consultation call to all first-time clients. We can help start building your case to beat your DUI charge today!