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Charged with a DUI?

The DUI Process and Consequences in Washington State

When you are arrested for DUI in the state of Washington, you will be subject to two separate proceedings. These consist of an administrative proceeding under the Department of Licensing (DOL) concerning your driving privileges and a criminal proceeding conducted through the courts. Each proceeding involves different governmental offices, procedures, and penalties.

The Civil Proceeding

The administrative or civil proceeding is called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). When you are granted a license to drive, you are subject to an implied consent law which means that you agree to a chemical test should you be suspected of DUI. Should your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measure .08 percent or higher on the test, this will constitute evidence of drunk driving. Those arrested for DUI are subject to an automatic license suspension by the DOL for a period of 90 days up to 3 years, depending on their DUI history. Should you refuse the chemical test, you will lose your license for one year and the refusal may be used against you in court.

You have the right to contest the automatic license suspension by requesting a hearing with the DOL. Your request must be submitted within 20 days of the date of your arrest. At the hearing, it will be determined whether the arrest was lawful, whether reasonable grounds existed for you to be suspected of DUI, whether you were informed of your rights concerning chemical testing, whether you refused or submitted to a chemical test and, if you submitted, what the results were. The decision concerning your license suspension will be made by the hearing officer. You may have an attorney represent you at the hearing.

The Criminal Proceeding

The criminal case is initiated by a police report concerning your DUI which is sent to the prosecutor. After your arrest, you will either be released or booked into jail and required to post bond. After this, you will be arraigned, which is a mandatory court appearance where the charges against you will be read and you will plead guilty or not guilty. A future court date will be set and your criminal case will proceed with pre-trial motions and sentencing or into a possible jury trial, which will determine your innocence or guilt and the penalties to which you will be subjected. Washington State penalties for DUI include potential jail time or electronic home monitoring, fines, fees, and court costs, the installation (at your own expense) of an ignition interlock device, a license suspension, alcohol or drug assessment, education, or treatment, and probation.

Experienced Legal Representation

Having an experienced lawyer representing you in these procedures is highly recommended. Located in Seattle, the Matto Law Firm, PLLC is devoted to DUI defense. Seattle DUI attorney Jag Matto has extensive experience and an in-depth understanding of the laws, science, and technical aspects of this often complex legal area. Get the help you need to minimize the impact of a DUI arrest today.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Address: 119 First Ave South, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98104 Phone: (253) 332-4879