Seattle DUI attorney Coleen St. Clair has over 25 years experience with DUI cases. She represents clients throughout the state of Washington, with a primary emphasis on King, Snohomish and Pierce county. She has successfully handled thousands of DUI cases with impressive results. What clients say. Ms. St. Clair has tried hundreds of cases and handled tens of thousands of DUI and criminal cases. She has a remarkable record of success, having lost only 3 cases in over 25 years of high volume criminal trial work. Her exceptional knowledge, skill, and experience, as well as her willingness to effectively challenge a case are what get results. No one will fight harder to protect your interests and rights and few have her experience and record to back it up.
Call today (206) 578-2200 for a free consultation.
The fear and confusion of all of the unanswered questions of what will happen if you are arrested for a DUI can be overwhelming. At St. Clair Law Offices we are dedicated to answering those questions and are always available to answer your questions. We are here to give you the best advise and best defense available to your DUI charges. A DUI charge is not a conviction. We can help. We will explain the DUI process, the steps you must take, what your rights are, and how to best defend your DUI charges. Call now-your consultation is free.
If you are arrested for a DUI a number of things are going to happen. Some are mandated statewide in Washington and others will be dictated by the court you are charged in. The processes and consequences vary depending on whether you were arrested for DUI in King County, DUI in Snohomish County, or a DUI in Pierce County. There are differences in the DUI processes within the cities of these counties as well. You may check the areas we serve for specific information about your DUI arrest.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and a description of the DUI process.
WASHINGTON DUI ARREST
I was arrested for DUI what is going to happen?
If you have been arrested for DUI, Physical Control, Felony DUI, Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide, it is critical that you get legal representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Being charged with a DUI/DWI or any alcohol related offense, are serious criminal offenses that may have life altering consequences, both immediate and long term. The penalties for a DUI conviction in Washington are harsh: Washington is one of the strictest states in the nation when it comes to enforcement and consequences for a DUI charge. There are two separate proceedings which will occur. One proceeding involves the suspension of your license by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the other proceeding involves criminal DUI charges in the jurisdiction where the arrest for DUI occurred.
I was arrested for DUI will I lose my license?
A DUI ARREST MAY RESULT IN AUTOMATIC LICENSE SUSPENSION
Typically, the most immediate issue you will face is preserving your license. If you gave a breath test and the breath result was above the legal limit of .08 or if you were requested by a law enforcement officer to take a breath test and you refused a breath test, your license will be suspended for a period of 90 days to 1 year.
If you have a prior offense for DUI or a charge reduced from a DUI in the last 7 years, this license suspension can be multiple years.
This suspension is virtually automatic and takes effect 60 days following your DUI arrest. This is an administrative action by the Department of Licensing and happens even before any charge or conviction for DUI that will occur criminally.
There are limited challenges you can raise in a Department of licensing hearing to attempt to prevent this suspension of your license, but you must act quickly to preserve this right to raise a challenge. You have only 20 days to request this hearing or you give up your ability to challenge the suspension of your license and it will be suspended 60 days from the date of your arrest.
WASHINGTON DUI CHARGES
A DUI ARREST WILL LIKELY RESULT IN CRIMINAL DUI CHARGES
Separate and distinct from the administrative action to suspend your license, described above, is the filing of criminal charges for DUI in the jurisdiction where your DUI arrest occurred.
DUI charges can be based on Breath and Blood Test levels or on impairment alone. A DUI charge can be filed on a breath or blood reading above .08 or based on proof that you were affected by alcohol even if your breath reading is below the legal limit of .08. They may be based on alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs or marijuana. Similar to an alcohol related DUI, a marijuana DUI can be charged based on being above the legal limit of 5 ng of THC per Mil blood or based on being affected by marijuana even if under the legal limit. Learn more here: DUI charges. These legal limits are significantly lower for those under 21, where the legal limit is .02 and 0 ng of THC.
I was arrested for DUI but was not given a court date what happens next?
In King County, Pierce County, and Snohomish County, if the arrest was made by the State Patrol, the Sheriff`s Office, or particular city police departments, you will be charged with DUI by the state prosecutor`s office in the county where the offense occurred. A DUI charge in King County, Pierce County or Snohomish County will typically be filed (unless you are in custody) within 2-4 weeks following your arrest. You will receive a summons in the mail to appear for arraignment on the DUI charge.
If you were arrested for DUI by a city police agency your case may be filed into the Municipal court of that city. If you were arrested for DUI by Seattle Police, you will be given a court date in Seattle Municipal Court within days of your DUI arrest. Please see the areas we serve for specific information about a DUI in a particular area or court. Other cities in these counties vary, but generally fall within these time frames for charging a DUI.
If you are booked into the jail by any police agency, and you are not released on bail, you will likely appear in court the following morning, but in no case more than 48 hours after arrest.
I was charged with DUI what will happen when I go to court?
At your first court date you will be advised of the charges against you and asked to enter a plea. This plea should always be not guilty. The court will also set conditions of your continued release from custody. Standard conditions in a DUI case are: not driving without proof of a valid license and insurance, not driving after consuming alcohol ( although some courts may require total abstinence from alcohol or non prescribed drugs), no criminal law violations, and keep your address current with the court.
Depending on the court and the facts of the case, such as whether there was an accident involved with the DUI and the alleged driving, the level of the breath or blood test, whether you refused a breath test, your cooperation, and of course any prior offenses, the court may set additional more stringent conditions such as: bail, electronic home monitoring, an ignition interlock requirement, scram ( electronic alcohol monitoring), or total abstinence.
It is important to have an attorney present to represent you at this first hearing to protect your rights and minimize conditions imposed upon you.
The court will also set future court dates at this time.
A DUI CHARGE HAS SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES
- a conviction could result in jail time
- heavy fines
- court mandated treatment conditions
- ignition interlock requirements
- increased insurance obligations
- further license suspensions,
- a criminal record.
- A charge of Felony DUI, Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide could mean substantial prison time.
There are numerous issues in a DUI case and far reaching consequences to a DUI charge in Washington. A skilled DUI attorney can help you by examining those issues and protecting your rights and interests. An effective DUI attorney may be able to get your charges dismissed, reduced, or lessen some of the consequences to you.
Hiring the right DUI defense lawyer can make a difference in how your case is resolved. You need an experienced attorney who will thoroughly evaluate the factual, scientific, and legal issues in your case. You need a skilled, aggressive, and experienced DUI defense lawyer who can immediately focus their attention on your particular case. You need someone who knows the law, knows the process, and knows the system. DUI defense attorney Coleen St. Clair has the skills, experience, legal knowledge, and record of success to give you your best defense to DUI charges.
Former DUI Prosecutor
Ms. St. Clair is a former DUI prosecutor who uniquely and expertly understands how to defend DUI charges you face. She was trained by those and has trained those who are now charging you. She knows how police investigate a DUI and expertly understands the legal issues that surround a DUI arrest. She will effectively examine the evidence in your case to provide you your best defense to DUI charges.
Having been a prosecutor for many years, Ms. St. Clair knows what evidence prosecutors need and the factors that influence their decisions. She understands exactly how to present your case and you to achieve the most favorable resolution of your case. She knows the options and alternatives available to any proposed punishment, and knows how to potentially avoid or reduce any serious consequences that could result from a DUI conviction.
As a former prosecutor, Ms. St. Clair will leverage her knowledge of the law and long standing relationships with local prosecutors and judges to consistently deliver outstanding results to her clients. She has exceptional insight and knowledge of the local legal system and will use her extensive experience and resources to provide your best defense to DUI charges.
Highly respected DUI Attorney
Most clients come to Ms. St. Clair because they were referred by another attorney, courts, legal staff, police, former co-workers, criminal justice professionals, or former clients. She has represented the interests of many. She has earned their respect, and will work hard to earn yours through aggressive, informed, committed, and exceptional representation of your interests. Her courtroom successes and reputation are widely recognized, but more important is the personal attention given to each client.
Call today (206) 578-2200 to discuss your case.
Affordable DUI Defense
Ms. St. Clair provides high quality, experienced and affordable DUI defense to clients throughout the Puget Sound region. See Areas We Serve. She has successfully handled tens of thousands of cases. She can effectively handle any type of drunk driving related matter, including under 21 DUI, multiple offenses, felony DUI, cases involving DUI accidents causing injury or death, and can assist out of state drivers with DUI charges.
St. Clair Law Offices has offices to serve you in Seattle, Everett and Tacoma. We are available to assist you with DUI charges in King County, Snohomish County or Pierce County.
If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI call Seattle DUI Lawyer Coleen St. Clair.
Your consultation is FREE. Available to assist you 24/7 (206) 578-2200