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Seattle DUI Attorney

Leaders in Seattle DUI Defense Since 2000

How We
Can Help

The City of Seattle, including the Seattle Police Department, the City of Seattle Prosecutors Office, and the Seattle Municipal Court Judges, are well known in Washington to be very strict on DUI cases.  In fact, even on a First Offense DUI, you will likely be treated like a criminal and made to feel worse than you already do.  This is why it is imperative that you hire an attorney who has the experience and knowledge of this court and its practices.  Our firm has been successfully handling DUI cases in the City of Seattle since 2000.

Seattle DUI Attorney

Your First Court Appearance

What to Expect

Arrangement at Seattle Municipal Court

  • If you were arrested or pulled over for a DUI in the City of Seattle, you should speak with our experienced team today. 
  • Do not risk going to your first court appearance without an attorney who knows the prosecutors and judges who will hear your case. 
  • Typically, you will be required to appear in court within hours of your arrest (unless the court is delayed due to lingering COVID-19 restrictions).
  • At your first hearing, the arrangement, you will be advised of the charges against you and of your rights.  You will be asked to enter a plea, then the court will impose conditions of your release.

Conditions Of Release

  • The Judge may release you on your Personal Recognizance (PR) with specific conditions you must keep in order to remain out of custody. 
  • The Judge may also have you taken into custody until you post bail or a bond to secure your release. 
  • The Prosecutors at the City of Seattle often ask the Judge to set arbitrarily high bail amounts so that the accused is taken into custody until bail can be posted. 
  • Our Experienced DUI Lawyers will argue to convince the Judge to not require bail and to release you on PR.

Typically, the Seattle prosecutors also ask the court to impose onerous pretrial release conditions such as:

  • Requiring installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven while the case is pending
  • Total abstinence from alcohol, marijuana, and non-prescribed drugs
  • Staying out of bars, taverns, and parties where alcohol, marijuana, or drugs are served

If you have a history of prior alcohol-related offenses, particularly those involving driving, there is a very good chance the prosecutor will ask the judge to order a very high bail amount to secure your release.

  • In Seattle Municipal Court, some judges are known to have required $50,000 to $100,000 bail on repeat-offender DUI cases.
  • You should not go to this hearing without experienced legal counsel, familiar with Seattle Municipal Court, at your side.
  • We are here for you; an attorney is available to answer all of your questions.
  • Call us before your court hearing so we can provide you with the information and immediate assistance you need.

DUI Case Results

**Updated 08/03/2023**

DUI's Reduced
9 0 %
DUI's Dismissed
DUI's > Neg 1
DUI's > Reckless Driving
DOL Hearings Won

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How are DUI Cases Resolved in Seattle?

After your first hearing

  • At your first court hearing, you will be given a date to return for a second hearing, called a “pretrial hearing.” You may have several pretrial hearings in Seattle Municipal Court before your case is eventually resolved.

  • Your case can be resolved in a number of ways. Although dismissals are rarely given, an error of constitutional magnitude or a lack of evidence could result in the charge being dismissed.

  • We do a thorough investigation, seeking the thread that will unravel the prosecutor’s case.

  • We may argue motions asking the judge to throw out evidence in your case. We work toward a mutually agreeable resolution with the City, but if one cannot be found, you may assert your right to a trial, forcing the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Our last trial in Seattle Municipal Court involved a breath test of over 0.18. Result? Not Guilty.

Conviction Penalties

A conviction for DUI results in harsh consequences; we work hard to get clients out of the “DUI box” by convincing the prosecutor to amend the charge to something other than a DUI.

The penalties the court will impose for a DUI conviction include:

  • Mandatory jail time
  • Mandatory fines, costs, and assessments
  • Mandatory suspension or revocation of your license
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive for at least a year, at your expense
  • Mandatory substance abuse evaluation, and treatment, if required
  • Attendance at alcohol drug information school and/or DUI victim’s impact panel
  • Up to 5 years of probation with restrictions on your behavior

Non-DUI Resolutions

In contrast, the penalties for non-DUI offenses usually result in:

  • No jail time
  • Fewer fines, costs, and assessments compared to a DUI
  • No license suspension (or a shorter suspension)
  • No ignition interlock requirement
  • Up to 2 years of probation

You Only Have 7 Days to request a hearing

  • If your license was valid when you were stopped or contacted by the officer, it is still valid now, but in a “temporary” status. After your arrest, the officer notifies DOL of the arrest and they begin the process of annotating your driving record and sending you a letter stating the date your license will be suspended or revoked.
  • Currently, that date is usually 30 days from the date of the arrest. To contest this action, you must request a hearing within 7 days of your arrest.

    This rule is strictly enforced, so if you have been arrested for a DUI even though you have not been charged with a DUI (yet), you still must act in a timely manner to try to save your license.

  • You should be aware that the DOL hearing and the criminal matter are two entirely different cases; rarely will one have any impact on the other. In the alternative, you may obtain a temporary restricted driver’s license that allows you to drive while your license is suspended for a DUI arrest.

3 Reasons to Hire Us



Our Team of Attorneys and Paralegals have over 30 years of combined experience.  We know the law and understand how to apply it to your case.


Focused on You

We create a custom defense for every client.  Not all cases are the same and we know that.  Your concerns and goals are our top priority.



As a long time author and speaker Ms. Callahan is respected across the county for her trial skills and investigative knowledge.  He reputation proceeds herself when appearing in court.

plan of action

know your rights

Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in our nation. These laws carry increasingly severe penalties for those who drink and drive. Washington lowered the BAC limit from .10 to 0.08 in January of 1999. Drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 or above can now be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, because public sentiment is so very negative toward drunk drivers, prosecutors will often pursue a DUI conviction even when the driver’s test result is well under .08! This is possible because they can obtain a conviction if they can show the person drove while “affected by” alcohol, and/or marijuana or any drug, including prescription or over-the-counter medications.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

4th Offense

Deferred Prosecution

Court Process


Avoid Serious Penalties


Learn how we win DUI Cases every day.

License Suspension

Win your DOL Hearing or Drive Legally

We Author the DUI Manual Defense Attorneys rely on everyday for DUI Defense Strategies.
WashingtonDUIPracticeManual 2

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Snohomish County DUI Attorney

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