Two Weeks or Two Years – A 'Charge' is Likely if 'Cited' for DUI

Many folks (including rabid NBA fans) may be wondering why Lamar Odom was charged for a DUI nearly two weeks after his Mercedes-Benz was pulled over on a Southern California freeway; the charge stemmed from a DUI arrest on August 30, 2013 in San Fernando Valley. If he was arrested on the 30th of August 2013, why was he not charged on that date for a crime? Why was he released from jail without being charged? The answer is simple — because the government has a ‘window of time’ to charge someone for a crime. It is called the ‘Statute of Limitations’.

In the state of Washington the Statute of Limitations for a crime such as Driving Under the Influence is two years from the date of the incident. In other words, if Odom was stopped for DUI in Washington, the government could have charged him for DUI up until August 30, 2015. Usually, however, the Washington government only takes about two weeks to 3 months to actually file charges in DUI related cases. The delay can be attributed to the fact that the officer who ‘cites’ the suspect for DUI is not the one who ‘charges’ the suspect for DUI – that is left up to the prosecuting attorney who ultimately signs the charging document and then files it with the court, which in turn mails a ‘summons’ to the suspect to appear in court for an ‘arraignment’. The delay is ultimately caused by the shuffling of the voluminous paperwork. One thing should be crystal clear, though, if an officer ‘cites’ someone for DUI there is a high probability that that person is going to be ‘charged’ with the DUI; it is not a matter of if charges will be filed, it is a matter of when the charges will be filed, unfortunately.

Odom is now facing six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if he is convicted of the DUI charge. These allegations obviously could impact his positioning in contract negotiations as he is a free agent who scored 4 points a game last season for the Los Angeles Clippers; he is also the husband of reality TV star Khloe Kardashian.

Like in California, DUI enforcement has greatly increased all over the state of Washington. Now more than ever, one cited for DUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri