Richard L. Davies

Attorney at Law

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Sound Advice for a Complex Process

The DUI Process

DUI laws are complex, confusing, and carry serious consequences.

To make sure that you are fully informed of the potential consequences and possible outcomes in your case, you need the sound advice of an experienced DUI defense attorney.

When you are arrested for a DUI, two distinct procedures are triggered: a Court Case and an Administrative Action.

The Court Case and Administrative Action happen at the same time and are, for the most part, independent of one another. So, you could be found not guilty of the DUI charge in the court case, but still have your license suspended by the Department of Licensing in an administrative action.

In the Court Case, the prosecutor will ultimately try to convict you of a crime, impose jail time, fines and other penalties. But even at your arraignment, the very first court hearing, your rights are in jeopardy because the prosecutor will try impose certain conditions restricting your freedom. Many of these conditions can be avoided or minimized with the help of skilled DUI defense attorney.

The next hearing, called the pretrial hearing, will happen about a month after your arraignment. At that hearing, the judge will want to know whether the case is going to trial or not. Ninety percent of cases settle before trial. But you need the advice of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney to decide what is best for you, and, if you decide to settle, an attorney that can get you the best possible deal. If trial is your best option, then you need a skilled DUI defense attorney with a lot of trial experience to maximize the likelihood of a Not Guilty verdict.

At the same time, the Department of Licensing will try to suspend your driver's license in an Administrative Action. Unless you request a hearing within 7 days of your arrest, your driver's license may automatically be suspended. The hearing is usually won or lost on technical legal grounds. There is no doubt you need the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney to do this hearing for you.

The severity of the court and administrative consequences that you may be facing depends on whether you have prior alcohol-related offenses and the breath/blood test results.

What to do if you're…

Stopped By The Police

What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you bad-mouth a police officer.

You do not have to answer a police officer's questions, but you must show your driver's license and registration when stopped driving a car. In most other situations, Washington law does not make it a crime to refuse to identify yourself to a police officer.

You do not have to consent to any search of yourself, your car, or your house. If you do consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant ask to see it.

Stopped For Questioning
Stopped In Your Car
Arrested Or Taken To A Police Station
Visited by the Police At Home