What is the Purpose of Probation?

When you are convicted and sentenced for a crime you generally are put on probation. The purpose of probation is to permit the court an opportunity to oversee you for a period of time, and to ensure that you stay out of trouble. In essence, it is the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to doing business.

Generally, for a DUI conviction the court will have 5 years of oversight, compared to a negligent driving or reckless driving conviction where the court will have 2 years of oversight.

Some standard conditions of a DUI probation are: (1) have no new criminal law violations; (2) don’t drive without a valid license and/or insurance; (3) don’t have a breath test of .08 or greater within two hours of driving; (4) don’t have any major moving violations; (5) don’t have any additional alcohol/drug related offenses; (6) get an alcohol/ drug evaluation and do any proscribed follow up, with a minimum of attending an alcohol/ drug information school and DUI victim’s panel. The most common DUI probation violations seem to be new criminal law violations, failure to do treatment and driving without a valid license/insurance.

If you violate one of the following three conditions of a DUI sentence the court is mandated by law to sanction you with 30 days confinement: (i) Not drive a motor vehicle in Washington state without a valid license to drive and proof of liability insurance or other financial responsibility; (ii) not drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle within Washington state while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or a THC concentration of 5.00 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or higher, within two hours after driving; and (iii) not refuse to submit to a test of breath or blood to determine alcohol or drug concentration upon request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe you were driving or were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within Washington state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug. It should also be noted that for each incident involving a violation of one of the mandatory conditions of probation your license, permit, or privilege to drive will also be suspended by the court (and the Department of Licensing) for thirty days.

Some additional conditions a court may impose during probation include: (1) non-repetition, (2) installation of an ignition interlock device on the probationer’s motor vehicle, (3) alcohol or drug treatment, and (4) ‘supervised’ probation. A court may also impose ‘other conditions that may be appropriate’. If these conditions are violated, the court has the ‘discretion’ to sanction you, but is not required to.

If you are cited for DUI in Washington state it is smart to immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney, among other things, can quite possibly save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, extent of loss of privilege to drive and amount of jail time to be served. Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for DUI in Washington State.

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