Fighting Drunk Driving Charges for Over 40 Years
Since 1977 our Vancouver DUI lawyers have provided outstanding representation to clients facing drunk driving (DUI/DWI) charges in Southwest Washington.
The potential consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction in Vancouver, Washington, can be devastating, including the loss of your driver’s license, jail time, fines, increased insurance premiums and more. You have rights, but they are meaningless unless they are effectively asserted.
At the law firm of Steven W. Thayer, P.S., our attorneys bring years of experience, expertise and an unsurpassed reputation to the defense of DUI /DWI cases, including those facing their second, third or subsequent DUI/DWI charge. Just because you have been arrested for drunk driving, or your breath test results exceed .08, does not necessarily mean you will be convicted.
If your rights have been violated by law enforcement, the remedy may be a dismissal of the case. Recently, for example, we won dismissals for clients charged with DUI who were unlawfully stopped for alleged lane-line violations, following-too-close, and erratic/negligent driving, in addition to cases where our clients were unlawfully arrested for DUI without probable cause.
Even if your rights have not been violated, the case may be successfully negotiated to a reduced charge, or successfully tried. Dozens of our cases have been reduced to negligent driving over the last 12 months. Let us help ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
DUI Defense Lawyer
I Will Examine Your DUI/DWI Stop
The first line of defense in any drunk driving case is the legality of the initial stop/seizure of the vehicle. Vancouver law requires the police to have reasonable suspicion or probable cause, but we find that they often make stops that are unjustified. This often leads to dismissal of the case or suppression of evidence that may result in a significant reduction in charges.
Even if the initial stop was lawful, the subsequent arrest and/or search of the vehicle may still be challenged. If you were unlawfully arrested, or the car was unlawfully searched, evidence subsequently obtained, such as the breath test results, for example, may be excluded. This can also dramatically affect the outcome of the case, and may lead to a significant reduction in the charge or acquittal at trial.
Finally, many drunk driving cases, especially those where the client has refused to take the breath test, are defensible. This may also lead to a significant reduction in the charge. If your case is defensible and you elect to go to trial, there is no substitute for experience.
Defending Against Your First DUI Charge
Drunk driving is taken very seriously in Vancouver. The penalties associated with even a first charge include loss of your driving license, increased insurance rates, community service, alcohol treatment programs and possibly even time in jail. For over 35 years, attorney Steve Thayer has assisted clients charged with DUI crimes in Washington. We are available to apply our experience to your case, with the goal of making a difference.
Have You Been Charged With Your Second Or Third DUI? You Need Legal Help Now
In Washington, multiple DUI offenses are punished even more severely than a first-time offense. However, experienced DUI attorneys have the necessary expertise to obtain the best possible outcome for clients who are charged with a second DUI offense. We may be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge to avoid the criminal record and other consequences of conviction of multiple DUIs. Such penalties may include:
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Substantial fines
- Alcohol treatment programs
- Imposed use of an ignition interlock device
- Mandatory minimum jail time
A DUI Conviction Is Never Inevitable
We have an unparalleled reputation and expertise in building a DUI defense for our clients. Even when you have previous DUI charges, a blood alcohol content (BAC) percentage above the legal limit of .08 does not guarantee a conviction. If the police obtained such evidence illegally or arrested you without probable cause, we may be able to get the charges against you dismissed.
An experienced DUI defense lawyer aims to obtain the best possible outcome for his or her clients. We may be able to negotiate a reduction of a first DUI offense to a negligent driving charge, which carries significantly less severe penalties. We may also be able to secure alternative sentencing in the form of alcohol treatment and community service.
Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with a drunk driving charges lawyer in Vancouver, Washington, if you have been charged with DUI.
Even if your case is not defensible, an attorney is a valuable resource in helping you obtain the best possible outcome through negotiations with the prosecutor (also known as plea bargaining). Further, an attorney can help you navigate your options whether it involves a guilty plea or entry into deferred prosecution, so that you are making the most informed decision about which way you choose to resolve your case. Then, depending on the course of resolution you choose to take with your case, your attorney can prepare the correlating paperwork and get you lined up to complete any sentence conditions. Finally, one of the more complicated aspects of a DUI case is the license implications imposed by the DOL, which an attorney can help you navigate.
Anywhere from 2 months to a year, depending on if your case goes to pre-trial litigation or trial. Your very first court date will be an arraignment, followed by a mandatory pre-trial hearing a few months after arraignment. From there, pre-trial motions and trial dates get set. If you are going to be resolving your case short of a trial by a plea or entry into deferred prosecution, you can conceivably resolve your case within a few months.
The penalties on a first offense DUI conviction involve a mandatory minimum jail sentence, a fine and court costs, license suspension, high risk auto insurance and ignition interlock installation. Often times, an attorney can negotiate a reduction in charge to spare you all or some of those implications. In the event a reduction in charge is not achievable, your attorney will want to keep the sentence requirements, such as jail time and fines/fees to a minimum, and then walk you through the process of completing those requirements.
When analyzing a DUI case, the attorney is looking for weaknesses in the stop, arrest, BAC administration, etc., which might be used as negotiating leverage towards a reduction in charge, or as grounds for a motion to dismiss pre-trial. They are also looking at the overall facts to determine whether the case can be won on the reasonable doubt standard at trial.
Experience and reputation are the most important factors in choosing your defense attorney.