The state of Washington has some stiff penalties if you’ve been arrested for a DUI. One that requires prompt attention is potential suspension of driver’s license. To avoid suspension you must promptly request a Department of Licensing hearing to determine if your license will be suspended. You may also be required to appear in court soon after arrest for your arraignment. At this mandatory first appearance, the court will decide whether or not to impose conditions on your liberty, including the determination if you need to install an ignition interlock device, an ankle bracelet, posting bail and possible electronic home monitoring pending trial. You’ll also be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The first court hearing can dramatically affect your freedom even before any determination of innocence or guilt. It’s a smart decision to hire a DUI attorney like James Pleasants P.C. for this hearing. Our law firm gives legal advice and helps protect your rights.
Bellevue DUI Attorney: Legal Limit and License Suspension
Washington lowered the legal limit to .08 percent several years ago. After a DUI arrest, if you refused to take the breathalyzer test or tested above the legal limit, the Department of Licensing (DOL) can suspend your license. It doesn’t matter that you might eventually be found not guilty in a court of law. Your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 90 days and revoked for a minimum of one year if you refused to take the breathalyzer test. Revocation periods can be even longer if you’ve had previous DUI convictions within seven years of the date of the current arrest.
Avoiding Jail, Fines and Permanent Record
The judge has the authority to impose a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a one year jail for a first offense in Washington. A mandatory minimum sentence of one to two days in jail applies to to even a first DUI conviction. If you tested below .15 percent, license suspension, a fine, probation and one day in jail are required to be imposed. In all cases, the court is required to maintain a permanent record if you’re convicted.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, James Pleasants P.C. will fight on your behalf. Whether challenging the legality of the arrest, traffic stop or breathalyzer results to negotiating a reduced plea or deferred sentence, we will explore every option for the best outcome of your case. Call us to schedule a consultation today. We’ll give you the one-on-one attention that your case needs.