Criminal / DUI

 
We handle a variety of criminal matters for people accused by state or federal authorities of misdemeanor or felony charges, including drug-related offenses, gun-related offenses, robbery, assault and battery, domestic violence, juvenile and other crimes. If you have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the consequences, if you don't have an experienced criminal lawyer, may be much more serious than necessary.
 
 
When you are facing these charges, you need a defense lawyer who knows the law, who knows the courts, and who can put together a strong case fast. Every lawyer at our firm has the experience necessary to provide that level of representation. We have defended a number of homicides including death penalty cases. Whether you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or you made some mistake, don't make a second one, invest in the services of the right defense attorney and give yourself a change at the best possible outcome.

We can also assist you with restoring your civil rights to possess firearms, the right to vote and the right to remove the requirement of registering as a sex offender.
 
A DUI can disrupt your normal life and cause great burden both financially and emotionally. Being informed of the laws surrounding DUI can be of great value. Below is general information about the laws and potential consequences relating to DUI.
 
 

Typically, two separate legal proceedings comprise a DUI:

  1. A civil action by the Department of Licensing (DOL) to suspend or revoke your driver's license; and
  2. A criminal charge that can result in jail time, fines, and/or other disciplinary action. Many times the civil action taken by the DOL can be more difficult to deal with than the criminal aspect of the charge and is often overlooked as a major component of a DUI case.
Department of Licensing Civil Action Following a DUI or Physical Control arrest, the officer must notify the DOL of a blood alcohol test result of .08 or higher, for drivers under 21, a result of .02 or higher, and for CDL drivers a result of .04 or higher. The DOL will also be notified of anyone who refuses to take a breath or blood test at the time of arrest.

Unless a hearing is requested of the DOL within 30 days of the DUI arrest, the driver's license of the offender will be automatically suspended or revoked sixty days following the arrest (except in blood test cases).

At the hearing, the driver and/or an attorney can present evidence, cross examine the arresting officer, and make legal and technical arguments to dismiss the licensing suspension. Our firm possesses the expertise needed to minimize any civil action brought about by the DOL.

Washington State's DUI Criminal Penalties

Depending on the specific offense and any prior DUI convictions, Washington State's DUI criminal penalties vary. For a gross misdemeanor DUI conviction, the offender will serve at least one day in jail, with a maximum of one year. Minimum jail time depends on prior offenses, blood alcohol test results, and if the blood alcohol test was refused. In addition to jail time the offender will have to pay fines, obtain an alcohol evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment, serve up to 5 years of probation, and have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle driven for one year following a conviction. A criminal DUI conviction will also result in the suspension or revocation of your license, that can be more severe than the DOL civil action.

Washington State's DUI laws require assessment and treatment for chemical dependencies upon conviction. If convicted of DUI, an assessment for chemical dependency by a state certified agency will need to be completed and if recommended by the agency, alcohol/drug counseling. The amount of counseling that is required is determined by the agency that performs the assessment.

Driver Information

  1. Keep your driver's license, insurance card, and vehicle registration together at all times. This avoids fumbling when asked for them by a law enforcement officer.
  2. When asked if you have had anything to drink. Do not admit to drinking. All your answers will be used against you. Request to talk to a lawyer before doing or saying anything.
  3. You are not required to perform any roadside sobriety tests, but your refusal to do them will be used against you in court. If you refuse the test, it is best to have a legitimate reason (injury, bad back, sick, poor balance, etc.)
  4. Remember, you may be on video and audio. The officer is making evidence. You may create your own evidence also. For example, you can deny that you smell of alcohol or that you are impaired.
  5. After arrest for DUI, refusing to take a blood, breath, or urine test will result in a license suspension, but taking the test creates more evidence that you drank alcohol and the quantity. Request to talk to a lawyer. Object to the accuracy of the machine. You do not wish to be wrongfully convicted. If you refuse the test it constitutes a separate crime if you have refused previously.