On behalf of Steven W. Thayer, P.S. Criminal Defense Attorney on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
Simple traffic citation hearings don’t come close to the legal complexities you’ll face for DUI charges in Washington. In addition to facing criminal charges through the courts, you’ll also face penalties from the Department of Licensing (DOL).
The DOL establishes an automatic minimum license suspension if you don’t act fast after a DUI arrest.
Establish a hearing ASAP after a DUI arrest
If you are arrested for a DUI, your license will be automatically suspended 60 days after the arrest. This suspension lasts for a minimum of 90 days and can be extended for up to two years if you don’t establish a hearing within 20 days of the arrest.
Once you’ve established your DUI hearing, relax. Your license remains valid while you wait for the hearing.
Following your hearing
If your hearing is successful, you may avoid license suspension. However, you’ll still need to defend yourself in criminal court separately for the DUI charges.
If your hearing is unsuccessful, your driver license will be suspended 45 days after your DUI conviction for a minimum of 90 days.
A suspension could be heightened to a number of years, depending on whether you have past convictions, your level of intoxication, any traffic violations you made and a number of other factors related to the severity of the circumstances.
Driving while under the influence (DUI) in Washington can carry severe criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail for even your first offense. Between establishing your DOL hearing within 20 days of the arrest and defending yourself in criminal court, you may feel overwhelmed at the demands a simple mistake has caused.
The best way to handle complex court proceedings for charges like these is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help provide the advice and defense strategies you need to fight for the best outcome from your DUI case.