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If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Washington, time is not your friend. You need to take action immediately so that you can save your license and your freedom. In fact, if your DUI arrest happened in Seattle, you have just 48 hours to appear before a judge.
For this reason, it’s critical that you hire a Washington DUI lawyer as soon as you’re arrested. Remember, drunk driving laws are highly complex, and not all lawyers practice this area of the law. That’s why you need to make sure the lawyer you choose boasts a successful track record defending against DUI charges.
But you also need to be an active participant in your case, not just someone sitting on the sidelines. After all, it’s your freedom that’s on the line. The best way to commit to your case is to learn more about Washington DUI laws. With a little information on your side, your decisions will be better informed to ensure you get a proper defense.
The first thing you should know about Washington DUI laws is the implied consent rule. This law dictates that all licensed drivers have given their consent to have their BAC tested at any time an officer deems necessary. If you refuse to submit to a blood or breath test, your license could be taken away immediately for a year. It could also serve to enhance your DUI penalties.
In Washington, DUI cases are often tried according to per se laws. In these cases, any individual operating a vehicle while having a BAC of .08% or higher will be arrested for a DUI. While you might believe this is an impartial way of proving one’s guilt, the fact is not all BAC tests are accurate. Depending upon the calibration of the machine and other outside factors, there is a significant margin of error in the BAC test results. Having a DUI lawyer on your side can help you sort through these facts to ensure you aren’t wrongly convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.
As soon as you were placed in your jail cell, you probably began to wonder what penalties you might be facing. While every case is unique, the Washington DUI penalty guidelines are as follows:
If this is your first DUI offense, your penalties include up to one year in jail, fines up to $5000, a 90 day driver’s license suspension, probationary license for 5 years after suspension, alcohol treatment, and an ignition interlock may be installed on your vehicle.
For your second DUI offense, your penalties may be as follows: up to one year in jail, fines up to $5000, 2 years driver’s license suspension, 5 years probationary license, alcohol treatment, and an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a year after you get your license back.
On your third DUI offense, you’ll spend from 90 days to one year in jail. You’ll pay several thousand dollars in fines, and your driver’s license will be taken away for 3 years.
Your penalties may also be enhanced in the following situations: you refuse the BAC test, your BAC is above .15%, and/or you’re involved in an auto accident.
The simple truth is you can’t mess around when it comes to your DUI defense. You need to have a DUI lawyer who will give your case the personal attention it needs. Always ask your lawyer about their level of experience and success in cases like yours.
Thankfully, Ticket Void makes finding DUI specialists easy. Simply select the city nearest you from the list below, and you’ll have access to the top DUI lawyers in your community. Get started today! TicketVoid is a FREE service to the driver.