Getting Arrested and the Courts
If you were arrested for DUI or DWI in Washington State you need effective legal representation to see that your rights are protected. DUI or DWI convictions often are combined with other enhancements and will result in jail, loss of driving privileges, heavy fines and a permanent criminal record. Additionally, many employers have a zero-tolerance policy regarding criminal convictions. If you are required to spend time in jail on a DUI conviction or DWI conviction your employer is unlikely to allow you to take time off to serve your sentence. Taking steps now could help you avoid spending time in jail or reduce the sentence against you.
DUI is considered a serious criminal offense in Washington. Courts will require that you attend every hearing they hold in your case, along with your attorney and the prosecuting attorney.
Your first hearing is called an arraignment, and at this hearing you will enter a plea of not-guilty. The judge will accept your plea and initially look at the documents that the prosecuting attorney's office will file in the case. They will assume the truth of the prosecutor's document at this state of the proceedings, and will establish that probable cause exists to believe that if the prosecutor's assertions are correct, a crime has occurred. This allows the court to put conditions of release in place. Generally these conditions will include abstaining from the use of alcohol or drugs, not committing any further criminal law violations, not driving without a license and insurance, and returning to court for your future hearings. If your case is an egregious one, for instance: you have DUI prior offenses; there was a car crash; there were passengers in the car (especially minors; there was a high breath/blood test or a refusal to take the tests, they the court may impose conditions like bail, an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, or electronic home monitoring with alcohol monitoring.
Your next court hearings are likely to be pre-trial conference. You may have many pre-trial conferences in which your attorney and the prosecutor let the judge know how the case is progressing. The most common results are that the case is continued; the case is set for a trial date; or the case is set for a plea date.
There are many other hearings that can occur, but this gives you an idea of various court proceedings. It is important to dress respectfully in court, and to take the proceedings seriously. Often times the prosecutor and judge are noticing who is taking the proceedings seriously, and who are not.
Our criminal defense experience is your advantage when getting arrested and working with the courts
When you are facing serious criminal charges we can help. Call us at (253) 867-2675 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys are standing by.