The Seattle Police Department unit assigned to driving under the influence (“DUI”) cases is one of the most competent in the state of Washington. Officers in the “DUI squad” are trained to identify drivers who are under the influence. They are also skilled in administering and interpreting the field tests which prove intoxication. In addition, the officers’ cars are equipped with videotapes which record the traffic stop, field tests, and interviews. These tapes can be used against you at trial.
Once you are charged with a DUI, the Seattle courts aggressively prosecute your case. Unlike other regions where arraignments are scheduled weeks after arrest, a Seattle DUI offender’s arraignment will take place within one to three days. As a condition to your release, the Seattle prosecutors can require bail, or installation of an ignition interlock device.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you will pay a large fine, and could lose your license or go to jail. Therefore, at the earliest opportunity, it is important to hire a knowledgeable defense attorney to successfully fight your Seattle DUI charges.
A DUI attorney is familiar with the local judges and knows which defenses will succeed. First, your attorney will review the evidence obtained by the prosecution to determine whether the initial traffic stop can be challenged on constitutional grounds. If so, he or she will bring the appropriate motions. Your attorney will also analyze whether the results of the blood or breath tests are admissible. Even if there is strong evidence against you, an experienced attorney can negotiate a favorable plea on your behalf.
In addition to fighting criminal charges in court, it is important to preserve your driving privileges. In Washington, the Department of Licensing (DOL) can suspend your driver’s license for ninety days for a first DUI offense, and up to two years for a second offense. If a driver does not request a hearing before the DOL within twenty days of arrest, the suspension will be automatic regardless of the outcome of the criminal suit. You are more likely to prevail at the DOL hearing with the help of counsel. Even if you lose at the suspension hearing, your attorney may request an occupational permit so you can drive to work or appeal the DOL’s decision.
A good attorney can keep a DUI off your record.