DUI: An experienced attorney is essential in helping you navigate through the various issues and consequences attached to a DUI case.
Options you can explore with your attorney include, among other things, include a motion to suppress the breath test result, a constitutional challenge to the officer’s vehicle stop or arrest, deferred prosecution, a plea agreement involving a reduced charge, hiring an expert to challenge the science underlying the breath test evidence, or an appeal of the Department of Licensing’s (DOL) licensing action against you. There may be others depending on the particular circumstances of your case.
Even if you face a license suspension from the DOL, an ignition interlock license (IIL) may be available to you. If you qualify, an IIL can keep you on the road even during the period of your suspension. Contact us to learn more about the DOL’s requirements for obtaining an IIL.
Many who are arrested for DUI wonder whether they should agree to provide a breath sample. This is not a straightforward issue, in that there can be significant negative consequences to each decision. Providing a breath sample can give the government powerful evidence in its prosecution against you, but a refusal to blow may result in a higher fine, more jail time, and a longer license suspension. Further, the fact that you did not provide a breath sample can be admitted against you at trial. For most people, providing a breath sample is the right decision, but you should discuss this with an attorney if you have questions about it.
Washington’s deferred prosecution program is a way to resolve a DUI case that works for some people. In a deferred prosecution, the court makes findings that a defendant suffers from a treatable substance abuse problem and the community would benefit from the offender receiving treatment rather than incarceration. If the deferred prosecution is granted, you will be required to participate in a two-year outpatient treatment program and then stay out trouble, and clean and sober, for an additional three years. After five years, if you are successful, your DUI case is dismissed. You can also use the deferred prosecution to stay your license suspension provided you did not refuse to give a breath sample to law enforcement. To petition for deferred prosecution, you must obtain a substance abuse evaluation from a state-certified agency and receive a treatment recommendation that supports the request for deferred prosecution. Deferred prosecution can be a great program for those who have substance-abuse issues they are ready and willing to address. For others, it may not be the right choice.
As you can see, DUI cases — and the options available to resolve them — can be complicated. If you have been charged with DUI, please contact us to discuss your options and legal rights.