Am I Eligible for a Deferred DUI Prosecution?

In Washington State, a deferred prosecution, as laid out in 10.05 RCW, allows someone accused of a crime, such as a DUI, to cite diseases such as alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental health issues and seek medical treatment and avoid harsh prosecution.

What Is Deferred DUI Prosecution?

Deferred DUI prosecution allows those suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental health issues to avoid jail time to seek medical attention. If the accused seeks treatment, the charges will be dropped in three years.

After the accused provides proof they successfully rehabilitated during the two-year treatment program, the court will dismiss the charges.

The state designed the deferred prosecution program for people who admit they have a severe alcohol or drug problem.

The Washington State legislature enacted the program because the “program is an alternative to punishment for persons who will benefit from a treatment program if the treatment program is provided under circumstances that do not unreasonably endanger public safety or the traditional goals of the criminal justice system. This alternative to punishment is dependent for success upon appropriate treatment and the willingness and ability of the person receiving treatment to cooperate fully with the treatment program.”

Am I Eligible For A Deferred DUI Prosecution?

To qualify for a deferred DUI prosecution, you must petition the court at least seven days before the trial begins and then receive an evaluation. Again, it’s best to enlist the help of an experienced lawyer to help you take these steps.

In some cases, if you can prove reasonable cause for the delay with a written motion and affidavit, the court will allow more time. But the defendant must reimburse the court of witness fees and expenses related to the delay.

The accused won’t qualify for a deferred prosecution more than once. So if this is your second DUI, and you used deferred prosecution the first time, it won’t be allowed for this charge.

Also, if the person has committed multiple offenses more than seven days apart, they can’t consolidate the charges into a single program.

To qualify for the program, you must admit three things to yourself and the court:

  1. You have a serious drug or alcohol problem;
  2. If you don’t get the treatment you need, you are likely to re-offend; and
  3. You do not sincerely believe you are innocent of the crime.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Charged With A DUI In Washington State?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI while driving in Washington State, contact the VanWa legal team right away.

Our experienced attorneys understand the complex DUI laws of Washington State and can help you explore your options to protect yourself and seek the treatment you may need.

Deferred prosecution isn’t the easy way out and requires years of work, so evaluating this option with an attorney is critical.

Evidence That Can Be Used Against You in a DUI Case

When charged in a DUI case, defendants may fear the case will be open-and-shut if an officer administered a blood-alcohol test.

However, more evidence than just a breathalyzer test can be used against you, and understanding what type of evidence will be used can help you and your legal team mount the best defense.

What Evidence Would A Prosecutor Use Against Me In A DUI Case?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, the evidence collection begins with the arresting officer who first pulled you over. That officer’s reports and testimonies will go into why they pulled you over, what they observed at the scene, and anything you said, as well as any on-scene tests such as a breathalyzer or other field sobriety tests.

Regarding the officer’s testimony, anything they observed, such as the smell of liquor coming from your breath, if you slurred your speech, or had bloodshot eyes, can be used as evidence against you.

Any evidence of open beer cans or empty liquor bottles from the scene, as well as reports of you driving recklessly, such as swerving or drifting off the road, can also paint the picture you were driving while intoxicated.

In addition to the officer’s verbal testimony, if the officer had a bodycam on or a dashboard camera on their vehicle, the prosecutor may use any footage against you.

Any witnesses who saw you driving may also be called to illustrate reckless driving.

Can I Be Charged for a DUI Without Blood Alcohol Evidence?

You can still be charged with a DUI, even if you deny a blood alcohol test. If you refused the breathalyzer test when pulled over for suspected drunk driving, some consequences would follow, such as an automatic license suspension.

If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor will likely argue to the judge or jury that you refused the test to hide the fact you were intoxicated.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Charged With A DUI?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact the VanWa law offices right away. Just because you’ve been arrested doesn’t mean you will be convicted.

Our expert legal team understands the nuances of DUI laws in Washington State, working on both sides of the aisle.

We offer clients free consultations to help you get started in defending your case.

After getting a better grasp on your case, we can decide to argue the test results were inadmissible if law enforcement violated your constitutional rights in any way or how the officer, who collected the sample, did not comply with federal or state procedures.

What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony DUI in Washington State?

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can incur heavy fines, license suspension, and even jail time. However, certain factors determine whether Washington State’s legal system deems your infraction a misdemeanor or felony.

Understanding the difference between the two and the contributing factors to how the court classifies a misdemeanor versus felony DUI can help you defend yourself and prepare for what’s ahead.

How Does Washington State Determine Between A Misdemeanor And Felony DUI Charge?

Washington State law determines between a misdemeanor and felony DUI charges based on several factors, such as how many DUI convictions you’ve had in the past, if drugs were involved, and your Blood Alcohol Content test and results.

Felony charges possess more serious consequences than misdemeanors, and typically an “aggravating factor” must be present for the prosecutor to elevate the charge to a felony level. Aggravating factors can include driving without a license, previous DUI convictions, etc.

A court will elevate a DUI conviction to a felony if:

  • the driver has four or more prior DUI related offenses within the last 10 years;
  • a driver has a previous conviction for vehicular assault or vehicular homicide while under the influence;
  • a driver has a prior felony DUI conviction.

What Are The Main Differences Between A Misdemeanor And Felony DUI Charge?

The main differences between a misdemeanor and felony DUI charge rest in the severity of the charges and the consequences. However, all Washington State DUI convictions require some minimum jail time.

In Washington State, a misdemeanor DUI’s punishment ranges from 24 hours to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Your BAC results or if you refused a BAC test will determine the jail sentence length.

A gross misdemeanor’s punishments can range from 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

If you’re charged with a felony, the punishment is sentenced under the Sentencing Reform Act guidelines. Under the SRA, your prior DUI convictions within the ten-year window count as “points” against you. With three prior points, the judge will sentence you to at least 13 months of jail time. Felonies are also charged in Superior Court, opposed to District Court for misdemeanors.

What Should I Do If I Am Being Charged With A DUI In Washington State?

If you have been charged with a DUI in Washington State, contact VanWa’s offices right away. Our team has vast experience navigating the complex DUI laws of Washington State.

VanWa’s legal team offers free consultations to prospective clients so you can understand how the details of your case may affect the result.

Reinstating Your Driver’s License After a Second DUI in Washington State

After being charged or, in many cases, only arrested with a second DUI in Washington State, the Washington State Department of Licensing or courts revoke your driver’s license. Losing your license can affect your ability to get to work, care for your family, and generally disrupt your life.

Enlisting the help of a law firm with a deep understanding of Washington State DUI law can help you reinstate your driver’s license quickly.

Does Washington State Revoke Your Driver’s License After A Second DUI?

Generally, after someone has been caught driving under the influence (DUI) for the second time in seven years, the court will revoke their driver’s license. How long your license is suspended depends on the conditions you were caught under.

It’s important to note that second offenders who are caught driving with a BAC of .08% or more or with a THC concentration of at least five nanograms per milliliter of blood typically face a two-year license suspension.

After being pulled over, if you are a second offender and refuse chemical testing, you will likely face an administrative license suspension of two years or until you turn 21, whichever is longer.

If you have been convicted of a DUI for a second time, regardless of when your prior offense occurred, the Washington State Dept. of Licensing requires you to have ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on your vehicles at least five years.

If a passenger under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time of your second offense, you would be required to have IIDs for at least five-and-a-half years.

How Do I Reinstate My License After It’s Been Revoked After A Second Time?

After your second DUI offense, the Dept. of Licensing will set a time for your license to be suspended. Your first option is to let this time frame pass and then provide the court with an SR-22 Financial Responsibility Form and pay a $75 fee. You may also need to pay the fee for a new license.

Your second option is to seek treatment and request a hearing. When you’re convicted of a drug or alcohol-related offense, you will be required to obtain an Alcohol/Drug Assessment Treatment Report from a Washington State certified agency.

At the hearing, you’re allowed to have representation. During the hearing, your level of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time of the offense will be considered, as well as if you were advised of your rights, if you were operating the vehicle at the time of arrest, and if the officer had reasonable grounds to assume you were driving under the influence.

If the hearing examiner does not rule in your favor, you have the right to file an appeal.

What Should I Do If My Driver’s License Has Been Revoked Because Of A DUI?

If the courts or the Washington State Dept. of Licensing have revoked your driver’s license due to your second DUI offense, contact the Van Wa law firm right away. We offer free consultations to help you obtain the best legal defense for your case.

Our team can help you start the process of getting your license and your freedom back.

Non-Legal Help For Repeat DUI Offenders

When police charge someone with a second DUI, a more profound issue exists — the person likely abuses alcohol and or drugs. Someone who has been arrested multiple times with a DUI is known as a “repeat offender,” and non-legal remedies exist to help them receive the help they need.

What Are The Typical Penalties For A DUI Charge?

DUI charges typically carry penalties such as license suspension, fines, and possible jail time. Diversion programs exist to help rehabilitate the person charged and lessen the criminal charges; however, these are typically for first-time offenders.

For repeat offenders, programs exist to enlist them in an intense supervision regimen to change their behavior and reduce the likelihood of recidivism — as well as avoid jail time.

What Are The Requirements Of Repeat DUI Offender Programs?

The programs meant to help rehabilitate repeat DUI offenders require an extensive commitment from the convicted person and have many requirements that need to be met. While the person must make a significant commitment, the court’s goal is to help the person build healthier habits and avoid entering the jail system.

A typical program will require the participant to provide proof of employment, obey a 10 p.m. curfew, allow a probation officer to make random home visits, and submit to random drug and alcohol testings. The program also requires the completion of a 90-day group treatment program.

According to the American Addiction Center, behavioral therapy, such as group treatment, is one of the most widely used addiction treatment methodologies. Their website states, “it is highly effective and can be used in individual, group, and family settings. Approaches focus on various aspects of addiction, including motivation toward recovery, developing relapse prevention skills, substituting negative and destructive behaviors with healthy and productive ones, offering incentives for desirable behaviors, and improving relationships with others.”

After a person completes these programs, their court usually restores their license with minimal restrictions. The hope is treatment programs also provide a better chance at long-term rehabilitation than jail time for the person suffering from addiction.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Charged With A Second DUI?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, classifying yourself as a repeat offender, reach out to VanWa’s law offices right away. We make it our goal to help offenders receive treatment for their addiction and avoid unnecessary jail time.

Our legal team has decades of experience building DUI defenses for clients in Washington. We offer free consultations to clients to help you better understand your chances of winning your case.

Information You Need to Defend Yourself Against a DUI Charge

Perhaps after a fun night out at a bar with friends, you thought you watched your drinking and decided to drive home. However, on the drive home, you were pulled over by a police officer — or worse, you were in an accident involving other people.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s not an open and shut case; an experienced lawyer can help you defend yourself against a DUI charge.

How Can I Defend Myself Against A DUI Charge?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, hire a lawyer as your first step. With the help of an attorney who is familiar with your local DUI laws, your defense can include strategies ranging from challenging the chemical tests, proving the officer testimony isn’t accurate, to challenging if the officer had probable cause in pulling you over in the first place.

If your lawyer decides to challenge any chemical tests administered at the scene, first, they’ll explore if the officer informed you of implied consent advisement. If you agree to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test and fail, your license will automatically be suspended in many states. It is the officer’s responsibility to inform you of these consequences before administering the test. Some states also require the officer to give the driver a choice of breath or blood test at the scene. If the officer didn’t offer this option, the court could throw out the test results.

Next, your lawyer will ensure the officer or person administering the test followed state protocols and all the tests were calibrated correctly, and they followed the medical protocol.

The next strategy will utilize any other eyewitnesses to dispute officer testimony about the driver’s erratic behavior or state.

Finally, your lawyer will explore if there was probable cause to pull you over in the first place, which led to the officer administering a chemical test, and if the officer administered your Miranda rights.

What Should I Do If I Need To Defend Myself Against A DUI Charge?

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, call the VanWa offices right away to help you build your legal strategy.

VanWa’s attorneys have defended thousands of DUI cases in front of Washington State courts. Washington State’s DUI laws are nuanced, and a typical DUI case may require multiple expert witnesses and require scientific evidence. We know a good trial attorney is detail-oriented, and that can make or break your case.

We know this can already be challenging for our clients, so we try to provide support through a free initial consultation to understand your case better. If you decide to work with us, we offer flat-fee pricing regardless of how many hearings or work your case requires.

What Restrictions Can You Incur With a Pending DUI Charge?

In the United State’s legal system, a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. But when charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you’ll face restrictions even before a conviction.

Convictions can result in fines and jail time. Acquiring strong legal help before you move forward in the DUI process will only help strengthen your cases and reduce the chances of facing long term restrictions.

What Restrictions Can You Incur With a Pending DUI Charge?

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI and your court date is pending, the DMV will generally suspend your license. When you are pulled over, if you refuse a field sobriety test, know your license will automatically be suspended.

You may fight the suspension by requesting a hearing with the DMV within seven days of your arrest. If the hearing examiner grants your license back, you can drive until your legal hearing.

It’s important to note even if the DMV hearing grants you your license back pending a trial, if you’re convicted, your license will be revoked again, and a DMV hearing won’t help.

If you lose your hearing, the suspension will last anywhere from 90 days to two years, depending on your charge and past record severity.

The DMV will likely make your driver’s license probationary for the next five years if convicted.

What Should I Do If I’m Facing A Pending DUI Charge?

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact the offices of VanWa Legal right away. Sometimes, DUI hearings happen quickly, so speaking with our expert lawyers right away will strengthen your chances and your case.

VanWa Legal offers free consultations within 24 hours of you reaching out to us. Washington DUI laws evolve constantly, so having an experienced lawyer based in the area will give you a strong advantage. A typical DUI case features expert witness and scientific evidence that we need to start collecting right away to build your strategy.

Often, our expert lawyers can avoid a DUI trial’s stress and cost by negotiating a positive outcome for you.

Can I Get a Commercial Driver’s License With a DUI in Washington State?

Commercial Drivers and Truckers

Motorists convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Washington State may face fines and jail time. For drivers who planned to pursue a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or already have one, your DUI has jeopardized your status and possibly your ability to keep that particular license.

If the state revokes your CDL, your livelihood and career may be in jeopardy.

How Long Will Washington State Revoke For My Commerciale Driver’s License After A DUI?

When a driver who has a CDL commits their first DUI, regardless if they were driving a commercial vehicle or another vehicle, their CDL will be revoked for one year. However, if the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time of the DUI, their CDL will be revoked for three years.

If a driver commits a second DUI offense, their CDL will be revoked for life.

How Do I Requalify For A Commercial Driver’s License After A DUI Offense?

If you have been charged with a DUI and want to requalify for a CDL, first you’ll need to wait one year. You will need to pay a $35 re-qualification fee and pass the CDL knowledge and skills tests again. If you were driving with hazardous materials, you’d need to pass an additional knowledge test and possibly pass a background check.

If you have been convicted of two or more DUI’s, you will be banned from requalifying. However, you can request an administrative review to appeal this decision.

Will I Face Additional Penalties For A DUI Besides Losing My CDL?

If you were caught and convicted of a DUI, regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving, you have more to worry about than only losing your CDL. You may need to pay a hefty fine or even face jail time.

If it’s your first offense, you face one to 364 days in jail or $350 to $5,000 in fines. For second offenses, you may need to serve 30 to 364 days in jail or $500 to $5,000 in fines. For third offenses, Washington States imposes a jail sentence of 90 to 364 days and/or a $1,000 to $5,000 fine.

Your regular driver’s license may also be revoked anywhere from 90 days for first offenses to three years for a third offense.

What Should I Do Next If A DUI Revoked My Commercial Driver’s License In Washington?

If you have been charged with a DUI and fear your CDL will be revoked, contact Roger Priest at VanWa Legal right away.

Roger Priest has years of experience handling hundreds of criminal defense cases, specifically related to DUI in Clark County. The priest has handled countless DUI cases and has won dozens of DUI trials. In many cases, Preist and the VanWa Legal team will negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for your DUI penalty and reduce the cost of a trial to you.

The priest can help you minimize the damage of a DUI charge in Vancouver, WA, and help guide you to requalify for your CDL.

Defending Yourself After a Second DUI Charge

Being convicted of a DUI for a second time can result in layers of penalties, including jail time, onerous fines, and losing your license for years. Throw in ignition interlock devices and other even less pleasant outcomes, and you can quickly see the need for expert legal help as quickly as you can get it. With experienced counsel, it is possible to get charges dismissed or significantly reduced.

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Consequences of Poor Representation of Your DUI Case

One of the first things someone accused of DUI learns once they are entered into the legal system is that the cases can be overwhelmingly complex. If proper process isn’t followed, the penalties that someone convicted of DUI face can radically effect their lives for years to come. There is a lot of misinformation flying about on the internet about how to handle a DUI charge. If you decide to follow some of this misguided advice or worse, represent yourself at your hearing, you could end up in a vary bad position.

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