Arrested for a DUI in Lynnwood Washington? Wondering what will happen to you and what you should do next? You’ve come to the right place for answers.
Following a DUI arrest, there will likely be two “cases” against you: one in the criminal court, and the other with the Department of Licensing. In the criminal case, the Prosecution has to prove either that you had a breath or blood test result of .08 or higher (for adults) or that your ability to drive was “affected by” alcohol or any drug.
Women will typically reach a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) faster than men because they have more water in their bodies. It is possible for a 140-pound woman to reach a .08 BAC after having 3 drinks in an hour, while a 170-pound man might not reach this level until after 4 drinks in an hour. Even if you have a BAC less than .08, you can still be arrested if the officer can show that your ability to drive was adversely affected by alcohol or any drug, even an over-the-counter drug.
You likely have been be given a citation requiring a mandatory appearance for the criminal court case. At the hearing, the judge will inform you of the charge against you, of your rights, and ask whether you plead guilty or not guilty. The judge will then consider whether you should be released on your personal recognizance (PR), or held on a certain amount of bail. Most people are “PR’d” with conditions that they not do certain things, for example, that you not drive without a valid license and insurance. A date will be set for your next hearing.
You may be wondering what will happen to you if convicted of DUI in criminal court. There are many penalties that can come as a result of a DUI conviction, including the loss of your license, mandatory jail time, probation for up to five years, mandatory fines, costs and assessments, installation of an ignition interlock device, and the requirement that you obtain a substance abuse assessment and follow up with any recommended treatment. You may also be required to attend alcohol drug information school and a DUI Victims’ Impact Panel, and obtain SR-22 insurance. There may be other consequences outside the courtroom including the inability to travel to certain countries, rent a car, and problems with current and future employment.
For more complicated DUI cases such as where the breath or blood test was refused, or where there are certain prior offenses, the penalties increase drastically. You will be in jail for longer, lose your license for longer, and pay steeper fines. In the case of a fifth DUI in ten years, your case will be prosecuted as a felony, possibly ending with incarceration in prison.
At Callahan Law, our mission is to minimize the consequences for our clients. This can be achieved by negotiating a reduction of the charge to a lesser offense, or by seeking a “not guilty” verdict at trial. We strive to get the best results possible for our clients.
With regard to the DOL action, your license will be automatically suspended or revoked on the 60th day following your arrest, unless you request a hearing to contest the action within 20 days of the date of your arrest. (The rules differ if you were administered a blood test.) If you fail to request the hearing in a timely manner, you will lose the right to contest the suspension / revocation of your license. We recommend that you mail your hearing request form on the 19th day following your DUI arrest, call us to explain why. Failure to file your request within 20 days of your arrest will result in the automatic suspension or revocation of your license on the 60th day following our arrest.
There are no means to obtain a “reduction” in the DOL case; you either win or lose. These hearings are often more difficult to win than the criminal case because of a variety of different reasons. The important thing to remember is that if you do not fight, you will not win. At Callahan law, we are driven to defend your license and bring all of our skills, knowledge and experience to that effort.