What Happens When You Are Arrested For DUI

What happens when you are arrested for a DUI in Washington State.

What happens when you are arrested for DUI

I am going to talk about what happens when you are arrested for a DUI in Washington State. Hello, I am Reece Merrill with Merrill Law.

Two Processes

If you get arrested for a DUI in Washington State, there are two processes going on. One is the administrative process with your license, which will be governed by the DOL (Department of License). The second process is governed by the Courts and that determines any kind of criminal punishment, aside from a license consequence, potentially going jail although hopefully not.

Department of License

Now the process with the DOL, the DOL will move much faster than the courts. The courts have 2 years to file any case against you as a result. The DOL will move much quicker. You will have 5 business days to request a hearing for the administrative process of suspending your license. If you get arrested for a DUI it is very important that you talk to an attorney about that DOL hearing fairly quickly. And the strategy you want to take there whether or not you want to request it or get the restricted license. But we should be able to help you keep driving in some way.

The Court

So for the Court side, at some point within the two years from the date of the violation, the date you have for your arrest or had contact with Law Enforcement. They will schedule your first court appearance which is called the Arraignment. At the arraignment it is time to enter a plea. You will want to be pleading not guilty. The court will also set some conditions of release. The basic conditions for a DUI that the court will set at the arraignment will be don’t commit any criminal law violations while the case is pending. Don’t drive without a valid license and insurance. Don’t get another DUI. And depending on the jurisdiction there might be an Ignition Interlock requirement. That is going to be more dependent on your individual criminal history as well as the jurisdiction that the case is in.

At that arraignment date they will set Pretrial hearings. Which are just status hearings to let the court know if you are ready to resolve the case or ready to tell the court that you are ready for Trial and then set for a Trial date. Generally at that first hearing most people won’t know whether or not they want to go to Trial. So there will probably be multiple court dates.

After the court sets the conditions, they are also going to set Pretrial court dates at the first hearing, the arraignment. The Pretrial hearings are for letting the courts know the status of the case. Either we want to declare that we are ready for trial, we want to ask for more time to investigate and negotiate the case, or we have some kind of resolution that everyone can be happy with. So it is possible that the case gets resolved at the first Pretrial hearing, but it is not outside of the ordinary that there would be multiple Pretrial hearings. The reason for that is to give the attorney more time to investigate and negotiate the case. Potentially there are some affirmative conditions that the State wants done before the case can be resolved. And things of that nature.

What happens when you are arrested for DUI

That is the basic outline of the process, both with DOL and with the Courts.

Now anytime you are arrested with a DUI it is important that you get in touch with an attorney.

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