Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending Pierce County Residents Charged with DUI
Each year, approximately 100 people are charged with DUI crimes in Pierce County. DUI convictions carry substantial criminal penalties and can have a significant impact on a person's personal and professional life as well. Merely because the state charges a person with a DUI offense does not mean that they will be convicted, though, as there are often defenses DUI defendants can assert to avoid a guilty verdict. If you are accused of a DUI crime in Pierce County, it is essential to speak to an attorney about what measures you can take to protect your rights. The assertive Pierce County DUI defense attorneys of The Law Offices of Smith & White PLLC are skilled at assessing the circumstances surrounding DUI arrests, and if you engage our services, we will gather the evidence needed to pursue the best legal outcome in your case. We regularly defend people charged with DUI offenses in Pierce County and cities in South King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties.Obtaining a Police Report in Pierce County
Police reports are typically key pieces of evidence in a DUI case. As such, it is prudent for a person charged with a DUI crime to ask a Pierce County DUI defense attorneys to assist them in obtaining the report pertaining to their arrest. South Sound 911 coordinates records for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. To request an incident report, traffic citation, or CAD report, you must use the records request portal on the South Sound 911 website. You will need to create an account in order to submit a request.Grounds for Pierce County DUI Charges
Under RCW 46.61.502, a person can be charged with a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or higher, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher, or for operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a blood or breath test shows a BAC exceeding the legal limit, it is considered a per se violation, and the prosecution may not need to introduce any other evidence to establish that the defendant committed a DUI offense. If the prosecution alleges that the defendant was merely under the influence of drugs or alcohol, however, a DUI defendant’s guilt can be harder to prove, as the prosecution will have to rely on circumstantial evidence such as the arresting officer's observations.
The penalties for a Pierce County DUI conviction depend on numerous factors, including the defendant's age, the defendant’s prior DUI convictions, if any, and whether the defendant caused an accident that resulted in bodily injury or property damage or had a child in their vehicle during the alleged offense. First-time offenses are generally charged as gross misdemeanors that carry penalties of up to 364 days imprisonment, fines of up to $5,000, or both imprisonment and fines.Potential Defenses to Pierce County DUI Offenses
While the precise defenses that are available will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s arrest, there are often numerous defenses available in Pierce County DUI cases. For instance, the prosecution must show that the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion that the defendant committed a traffic violation or crime before they stopped the defendant. If the arresting officer lacked adequate grounds for effectuating the stop, the defendant might be able to argue that the stop was unlawful, and therefore any evidence obtained may be inadmissible. Additionally, if the prosecution relies on the results of a chemical test to establish the defendant’s BAC or THC level, they must prove that the test was administered properly and within the time frame needed to establish a per se DUI violation.Meet with a Trusted Pierce County DUI Defense Attorney Today
A conviction for a Pierce County DUI crime can harm a person’s rights and reputation, and if you are charged with a DUI crime, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The trusted Pierce County DUI defense attorneys of The Law Offices of Smith & White PLLC regularly defend people charged with DUI crimes, and if we represent you, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. Our office is located in Tacoma, and we can meet clients by appointment at our second office in Vashon. We defend people charged with DUI offenses in Pierce County and cities in South King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties. You can reach us at 253-203-1645 or through the form online to set up a conference to discuss your case.