When you or someone you care about has been accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in Washington, it’s incredibly important that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as you can. The team at Feldman & Lee has handled thousands of DUI cases in the state. With a collective experience length of four decades, our firm has cultivated many relationships within the courts. We know who the prosecutors and judges are, and they know who we are: tenacious and thorough defenders of our clients’ best interests. They know we are tactful and skilled, which allows us to get better results for clients during negotiations.
When you are facing a DUI charge, you want an experienced and skilled legal team on your side. Contact Feldman & Lee PS today to discuss how we can help you.
What to Expect
When you are charged with a DUI, you can expect to have to jump through some hoops during the legal process. Some type of drug and alcohol evaluation is almost always required, for example. Chemical treatment and evaluation experts have become somewhat of a cottage industry for the courts over the years, so it’s vital to know which programs are right in your situation and which are not. Thanks to our extensive experience, we are also aware of which experts will treat you properly and which ones may act more like a rubber stamp. You must complete the court-ordered actions or risk facing serious consequences, so let us make sure you get where you need to go.
We represent you at every step of the way, from your arrest to your Department of Licensing (DOL) hearing and the final outcome of your case. To talk about your specific case with an experienced and aggressive legal team, speak to Feldman & Lee PS today.
DUI Arrests: What You Need to Know
Being arrested for a DUI can be a scary and stressful experience. If you are being arrested, it’s important you take the proper steps to prevent the case from becoming more stacked against you. Mistakes made during arrest can also be addressed and potentially mitigated by our skilled staff.
- Keep calm throughout the entire process. Arguing or fighting with the officers can lead to even more serious charges than the one you are already facing.
- Be polite. However, don’t answer any questions about drinking alcohol or admit that you did in any way, shape or form. Anything you tell officers can be used against you in court later, so keep that in mind.
- Ask to speak to an attorney right away.
- Don’t take field sobriety tests as these tend to have a higher margin of error. Indicate you will take a test back at the police station. While you can refuse a breath or blood test later at the station, this may not help your case and can actually make the outcome worse.
After you have been arrested for DUI, the state and the DOL will immediately start actions against you to suspend or revoke your driver’s license and to potentially fine you and put you in jail.
The State Court Action
Your first court appearance will be at a hearing that is known as your arraignment. The purpose of this hearing is for you to enter your plea to the charge of guilty or not guilty. In most cases, you will enter a plea of not guilty here. It’s very important that you have a DUI lawyer at this hearing so your interests are protected because the judge can take you into custody (or keep you in custody) if they choose. In Washington, the maximum DUI penalty is a year in jail and a $5,000 fine for first-time offenders. The penalties if you have been convicted of DUI before are even steeper.
Generally, when you are convicted of a DUI, it will involve fines, a license restriction or suspension, drug and/or alcohol evaluation and follow-ups, going to a panel of DUI victims, high-risk auto insurance, and the installation of an ignition interlock device that requires a breath test for the car to start in your car for a year. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you could also be facing more than the mandatory minimum jail time when you are convicted.
The DOL Action
When you are charged with DUI, you have 7 days to ask for an administrative hearing with a DOL officer via the formal procedure in place. If you don’t, your driving privileges will be suspended for at least 90 days or longer if you refused to do a breath test. The purpose of this hearing is to see whether the officer who arrested you followed the proper procedures over all points of the case. When an arresting officer fails to follow the rules, it could mean your license won’t be suspended by the DOL, but you need to request the hearing to have a chance at this outcome.
Call the team at Feldman & Lee before your 7 day DOL hearing deadline expires to ensure we have the chance to fully represent your case at your hearing. Your ability to drive is on the line, and that can impact your personal life and your job on multiple levels. If your current or desired job involves driving, for example, you may no longer be able to do that work. We will prepare your case for presentation at the hearing so you have the chance to keep your license as your case unfolds in the court system.
When you are convicted of a DUI, it will have an immediate impact on your life in ways you may not even expect. It can also have a long-term impact and make things more difficult for you in the future. To protect yourself as much as possible and fully understand your case and all your options before you make decisions, talk to the skilled team at Feldman & Lee PS about your case today.