If you are in the middle of a difficult legal situation due to allegations of driving while under the influence of alcohol, count on Vindicate Law to come to your defense in Washington State Courts. The legal experts at our firm have provided superb DUI Defense to clients in Washington for many years, and we are proud of the difference we make in our community. Today, we’re going to answer a few questions we frequently get regarding DUI court and DUI defense in Washington.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.   Who Needs to Go to DUI Court?

Anyone in Washington who is arrested and given a DUI citation will be forced to appear in court a few days later. The first court hearing that happens following a DUI arrest is known as an Arraignment, and this is when the court determines the specific conditions of your release from jail. Simply put, anyone who was recently handed a DUI citation must go to DUI court.

2.   How Long Is the Wait for DUI Court in Washington?

The specific wait time will vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest, but arraignments typically happen very promptly after a DUI citation. If you have been arrested and cited for driving under the influence, you can expect to appear in court within one business day of the date of your arrest. This will only be your first appearance in court of several, so you should hire a lawyer.

3.   Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer Before the Court Date?

Attempting to represent yourself in court without the assistance of a skilled attorney is a very bad idea — you should seek legal counsel before your first court date. Even the most experienced lawyers refrain from representing themselves in court, so follow their lead and do the same. The sooner you find a professional DUI defense, the better off you’ll be.

4.   What Happens in the Courtroom?

The specifics on what happens in the courtroom will vary depending on where the arrest took place, but, as we mentioned earlier, the first court appearance is called an arraignment. During the arraignment, the courtroom will likely be filled with individuals who are facing similar charges. If you plead guilty, you will probably be sentenced to at least 24 hours of jail time, depending on your criminal record.

5.   What Are the Possible Sentences?

There are varying degrees of sentencing based on how many previous DUIs a defendant has had. These are:

First Offense
–       1-364 Days in Jail
–       $350-$5,000 in Fines

Second Offense
–       30-364 Days in Jail
–       $500-$5000 in Fines

Third Offense
–       90-364 Days in Jail
–       $1,000-$5,000 in Fines

Additional penalties may be applied to individuals who were driving under the influence with a child under 16 years old riding as a passenger, including more fines and added jail time.

6.   Can I Appeal?

You certainly can file an appeal, but you should know that there are a couple of types of appeal if you’re going to go that route; You can appeal the DUI conviction entirely, or simply appeal a driver’s license suspension. Washington has some of the nation’s most strict DUI penalties, though, so you will need help from a skilled defense attorney.