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Articles Posted in DUI

You were arrested for DUI, you were tried and you were convicted.  Or perhaps you plead guilty.  If you had the assistance of Smith & White, PLLC then you likely plea bargained to a reduced charge that does not have mandatory jail, can come off of your record and does not have a 5 year probation period.  However, if you went with someone else then you may have spent a day or two in jail.  Now you’re thinking, “That was horrible but I paid my debt and now it’s all over.” It can be. Of course what you will want to do is make sure it is.

What you may not realize is that when the court sentenced you they probably placed you on probation. In fact, unless the court gave you the maximum jail sentence of a year they did put you on probation. The probation in Washington lasts for two to five years and is sometimes supervised and sometimes unsupervised. When you were placed on probation the rest of the jail time was put on suspension. It will only face you if there are any probation violations.

Talk to your defense attorney to make sure you know and understand the conditions of your probation. That way you can make sure you have the necessary counsel so that you will progress correctly. Continue reading

You’re being either accused of DUI or are under investigation for a crime. Perhaps you’ve even had to go through the stress of arrest and arraignment. This is the most stress you’ve probably ever been under. You’re worried. Your family is worried. Your friends are worried. Everyone is saying, “Get a lawyer.” You want to follow this advice. You realize that a defense attorney on your side would be a good idea to have. But the task is daunting. There are several attorneys in the area and you have no idea how to choose one. Most of this will be what you will want to consider no matter what the crime is that you’re under suspicion of.

There are a few things to consider. These may sound fairly obvious, but you’re in a situation where the obvious doesn’t always feel so obvious. Continue reading

A DUI charge is one of the most seriously taken and stigmatized charges in Washington. You probably feel like you’re being treated like a criminal even before you’ve been convicted. You’re upset with yourself for getting in this situation as is your family. You’re wondering, “What do I do now? How do I handle all the interrogation?” Looking for and retaining a defense attorney is a good start. There are also some things you should do and some things you shouldn’t do when dealing with the police.

Here is what you should not do. Don’t be rude or condescending. Remember that the police are people doing their job. When you’re doing your job do you give the best service to those who mistreat you? We all try to, after all it’s our job, but it’s difficult isn’t it? If an officer wants to arrest you, they can usually find a reason. So, don’t make them want to. Continue reading

You were driving home. All of a sudden you realized, “Oh my goodness, I shouldn’t be driving, I’ve had too much.” So, you pulled over and chose to sleep it off. That way you wouldn’t be a danger to yourself or others. You were trying to do the right thing. Yet now you find yourself facing charges of physical control. You don’t even quite know what that means and you’re angry to find you’re arrested and charged while trying to do the right thing. You will want a DUI defense attorney on your side.

Now you’re thinking, “I wasn’t even driving! Why do I need a DUI defense attorney?” Though it is a different charge, the circumstances are similar and the penalties are exactly the same. Physical control is charged when you are in control of a vehicle and are impaired by alcohol or drugs. You could be facing a year in jail, a $5000 fine, a license suspension, and required treatment or installation of an ignition interlock device. This can get just as serious as a strictly DUI charge; that’s why you need a DUI defense attorney. Continue reading

Being arrested is stressful. Being arrested for DUI is scary. After all, now you’re facing potential jail time, fines, license suspension and other possible penalties like mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device or mandatory drug/alcohol treatment programs. It’s not good for any career but being charged with DUI in certain professions can be downright terrifying. If you’re in the military you may be facing further sanctions. If you’re a CDL driver or a pilot this could have serious repercussions to your career.

Let’s start with the military possibility. Because of your military career and especially if you were stopped on base you may be facing these charges in federal court. The penalties are the same but the procedures are different. You need a DUI defense attorney that is familiar with these differences. Continue reading

Being charged with any crime is bad. Being charged with DUI is horrible. You know you’re facing potential jail time, fines, license suspension and other possible penalties. This DUI charge is already wreaking havoc on your home. Your job may be being threatened. You are starting the right way by looking for a defense attorney as you will want one right away.

You may be wondering, “Why the urgency? Why do I need a defense attorney right away?” Because your license is at stake. Right when you were arrested with DUI the report was sent to the Department of Licensing to get your license suspended and you only have one chance to attempt to avoid that. The officer would have handed you a hearing request form. This needs to be turned in with the $375 fee within 20 days or your license will be automatically suspended. It’s smart to consult with a defense attorney to make sure this is all done correctly.

Your defense attorney can help you through the DOL hearing process also. This is very different from most hearings so it can be a little intimidating. It will be done completely over the phone. Plus, the arresting officer is not required to be present. However they can be subpoenaed and you and your defense attorney could decide whether that would be the best strategy in your case. Continue reading

You’re worried but maybe not overly. You might be having thoughts like, “OK, I got arrested and charged with DUI. But it was only my first offense so the penalties will probably be lighter. Even though there are maximum penalties I’ve heard that judges rarely use them when sentencing. Plus practically everyone does this. So, it’s not great, but it’s hardly something to sweat bullets over even if I get convicted. I probably don’t need a defense attorney. Right?”

Well, you have some good news coming. You are partially right.

Now you look relieved but let me tell you what you’re right about. Plus remember the word partially. You will also be told what you’re wrong about. You will then be able to make an educated assessment of what level of concern you should have and whether or not you need the help of defense attorney. (Spoiler alert: you will probably decide that you do need the help after all. Keep in mind that penalties only come into view if you are convicted.) Continue reading

You’re in what is probably the most stressful period of your life. You’ve been charged with DUI. This is perhaps not the first time. You know you’re facing potential jail time, steep fines, license suspension, high cost insurance and an ignition interlock device. You know any or all of these may happen and that’s not counting the damage this does to your job, your family and future applications for employment or loans. This is devastating.

You may be thinking, “Can’t I just make this DUI go away? Didn’t I hear that Washington has a way I can just get this DUI dismissed?” Or, you may be thinking, “I have a problem. That’s why the DUI happened. I need treatment not jail.” If you’re asking the first questions you’re thinking of the deferred prosecution program. But, it sounds like you may need more information – a deferred prosecution has a lot to it and is not to be entered lightly. If you’re having the thoughts in the second example it is possible that deferred prosecution may be right for you because that’s what it was designed for. In both cases, you will want to talk to a DUI defense attorney to discuss deferred prosecution with you and compassionately counsel you as to your best course of action.

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If you’re either facing DUI charges or have already been convicted you’re probably overwhelmed by just how much of your life that can affect. Due to jail time it can affect your freedom, due to fines it can affect your finances, due to license suspensions it can affect your mobility and possibly even your employment. Did you know it can also affect your chances of moving to another state?

Now, though, you’re probably wondering, “How could it possibly affect my choice to move to a different state?” As an American citizen, you probably assume that you have the free right to move from state to state at will. In most cases that is very true. But there are exceptions. These exceptions are due to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS).

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You’re facing one of the scariest situations that can happen to someone in Washington – you’re facing DUI charges. As you know, the penalties are steep: jail time, fines, license suspension and perhaps other official penalties like an ignition interlock device or non-official penalties like your families’ negative reaction or difficulty in job searching. You need the counsel and defense of a DUI defense attorney.

But you may be thinking, “Why bother? What could they do?” It all seems stacked up against you, doesn’t it? After all, the prosecution has the police reports and police testimony, they may have other witnesses, and they will have the results of the breath or blood test. Set your mind a little at ease. Although every case is different and you will want to discuss your specific case with a DUI defense attorney you should know that there are several potential possibilities for defense. Not all of the below situations may apply to you but you will see that there are several possibilities and all will be explored. Now is the time to ask yourself some questions.

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