What You Deserve in a DUI Lawyer
When you or someone you care about has been accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Washington, it’s essential that you contact an experienced DWI/DUI attorney to act as your defense right away. At Feldman & Lee, our team has handled thousands of DUI cases, and with a collective experience of over 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.
When you’re facing a DUI charge, you need to know you have an experienced and skilled legal team on your side. The Feldman & Lee drunk driving lawyers have the tact and expertise to enable them to get you the best result possible at the end of your case.
How a Skilled DUI Defense Attorney Will Help
DUI charges can be complex. DWI and DUI are serious offenses and they can have major repercussions on your personal life and driving privileges. With the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer, you may be able to keep your case off your record. Your Feldman & Lee attorney will take every step to:
- Mitigate or eliminate your DWI/DUI charge and any applicable fines
- Prevent jail time and the suspension or revocation of your license
- Obtain a dismissal before the commencement of a trial or a “not guilty” verdict at trial
What to Expect When You’re Charged with a DUI
When you are charged with a DUI, you can expect to have to jump through some hoops during the legal process. Some type of rehabilitative service or evaluation is usually 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.
What Our Drunk Driving Attorneys Need You to Know
Being arrested for a DUI or DWI can be a scary and stressful experience. If you have been recently arrested, it’s vital that you take the proper steps to prevent the case from becoming stacked against you. Mistakes made during arrest can and should be addressed and potentially mitigated by our skilled staff. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
• 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.
• Do not consent to or take field sobriety tests as these often have a high margin of error. Indicate to the officer that you will only take a breath or blood test back at the police station. While you can refuse a test outright, this will 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 taking action against you to suspend or revoke your driver’s license, potentially fine you, and place 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 and set bail if he or she chooses. In Washington, the maximum DUI penalty is 364 days 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 DUI victim’s impact panel, high-risk auto insurance (also called SR-22), 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 a DUI, you have 7 days to ask for an administrative hearing with a DOL officer via a formal procedure. If you don’t, your driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days or more in the case 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.
Let Feldman & Lee Handle Your DWI/DUI Case
The DUI defense attorneys at Feldman & Lee PS have experience and expertise in handling cases like your own and will work hard to protect your rights and represent your best interests. Our lawyers have what it takes to help tip the scales in your favor. For example, they can bring the mitigating factors of your DUI case to the attention of the prosecutor and highlight any weaknesses of your charge.