If a person shall find themselves in the unfortunate difficult situation of being arrested for a DUI in Washington State then its important for them to understand really what they are facing.
In Washington State any time a person gets arrested for a DUI. They most likely will confront two legal actions. The first and most shared understand legal action for a DUI is with the criminal court system. The second legal action and in my opinion the most unknown among people accused of a DUI is with the Washington State Department of Licensing. Now both of these legal actions are independent and completely separate from another. Despite arising out of the same incident, the DUI arrest, these actions are completely different in character and consequently must be treated separately. Each legal action poses different consequences, that may or may not affect each other.
So lets start with the first legal action. After a Washington State DUI arrest, most people are given notice of their first court date. This date is called an arraignment and this is where the accused will be formally charged with a DUI. At this court hearing a estimate may impose certain conditions that have to followed while the case is pending. Typically those conditions are staying out of trouble, no drinking and driving, no driving without a valid license and insurance, and mandatory turn up at all court dates.
After this first court date, the accused will be given a second date. In between these first and second court dates, your DUI Attorney will start to receive any evidence gathered against, and start the investigation portion of the case. Depending on what happens during the investigation stage, a plea deal may be offered, or a jury trial may be set. There are numerous factors that would come into play, and the purpose of this article is to just inform of the two legal actions faced. In the future I will provide an article of all the possible outcomes and scenarios one faces in Washington State after a DUI arrest.
The second legal action is with the Washington State Department of Licensing. What happens here depends on whether the driver of the means took a breath test or declined the breath test (the one at the police stop). If they took the breath test and it was over the legal limit then they confront a 90 day license suspension. If the declined the breath test then they confront a 1 year license suspension. Now this suspension varies depending on the number of prior DUIs, but for the purpose of this article we will assume this is a first offense.
To prevent this automatic suspension from taking place, one needs to challenge this automatic suspension. Now again this is separate from the criminal case, and a DUI Attorney would be needed to challenge this suspension. There are many issues that can be raised at this legal hearing, and again the purpose of this article is just to inform of the possible legal actions one faces.