Charles H. Williams, Attorney and Counselor at Law, P. S.

Charles H. Williams, Attorney and Counselor at Law, P. S.

EXPERIENCED, EFFECTIVE, AFFORDABLE: Seattle DUI lawyer with 36 years of experience. Past President WACDL. Life Member NACDL. National College for DUI Defense. National "Top 100" Criminal Trial Lawyer. Avvo Rated 10 out of 10 "Superb."

Firm Overview

Many risk driving after having had too much alcohol to drink or having smoked marijuana, and some are caught by the police. Even as first-time offenders, they are likely to face serious consequences, including a permanent criminal record that will have to be explained to others repeatedly as the years go by.

I have been a criminal-defense lawyer for 36 years now and have defended many thousands of DUI and other offenses, including vehicular assaults and vehicular homicides.

My goal in every case is to provide the person accused with the best result legally obtainable--namely, dismissal of the charge--as quickly and as painlessly as possible, while protecting his or her constitutional rights and liberties.

Nearly all of my clients obtain a reduction in penalty, most are not convicted of DUI and do not lose their privilege to drive, and some completely avoid any legal consequences.

At present I represent people from all walks of life--workers as well as executives and licensed professionals. I practice in all the courts along the I-5 corridor from Everett, Seattle, Tacoma to Olympia and in many Eastside cities.

The services I offer in each case include not only defense of DUI and related charges in court but also representation in state Department of Licensing proceedings to prevent the revocation or suspension of drivers licenses.

I can offer my services at affordable cost, because I keep my overhead low, because the scope of my practice is sharply focused, and because I don't charge my clients in advance for a jury trial (as only 3% of all DUI cases in Washington actually go to trial).
Main Office
Sunny Arms
707 S. Snoqualmie St., Ste. 4A
Seattle  WA  98108-1700
  • (206) 915-4001
  • (206) 292-9592


Free Initial Consultation?
Yes. We provide initial consultations at no charge. Consultations are completely confidential.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Yes. We offer our services at a competitive flat fee. We also offer payment plans.
Hourly Rates
Not usually charged, except with client approval in advance.

Office Information

Office Hours
Officially, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday--but willing to meet on weekends and after-hours by appointment.
Office Manager
Charlie Williams
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
English, but willing to work with clients with limited English proficiency or who require interpreters.
More than 35 years defending against DUI and similar or related criminal charges arising out of vehicle operation.
In addition to defending DUI cases at all levels of seriousness, I represent defendants facing charges of:

Physical control (RCW 46.61.504)--same elements as a DUI except vehicle movement, with the same penalty as DUI.

Misdemeanor DUI, such as
--Non-highway vehicle DUI (RCW 46.09.120(2))--operating a "non-highway vehicle" like an ORV under the influence.
--Minor DUI (RCW 46.61.503)--a person under 21 operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 but less than 0.08 within two hours of driving.
--Boating DUI (RCW 79A.60.040)--operating a vessel (watercraft) under the influence.

Reckless driving (various statutes)--a gross misdemeanor that typically includes racing, embracing and/or speeding.

Minor in possession of or consuming alcohol (RCW 66.44.270)--a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor resulting from knowing possession or consumption of alcohol while under 21 years of age.

Hit and Run (RCW 46.52.020)--failing to stop and render assistance or provide information after involvement in a vehicular accident is a class B felony if death to another results, a class C felony if injury to another results, a gross misdemeanor if there is damage to another occupied vehicle and a misdemeanor if there is damage to an unattended vehicle or property.

Vehicular assault (RCW 46.61.522)--a class B felony for causing substantial bodily harm to another while operating a vehicle under the influence.

Vehicular homicide (RCW 46.61.520(1)(a))--a class A felony for causing death to another while operating a vehicle under the influence.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

It was a decision based on many years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer.

I started my legal career as an administrative law judge for the State of Washington, deciding disciplinary actions against employees. Then I became a publicly appointed attorney initially defending low-level felonies and later trying homicide and rape cases. Eventually I found myself being retained privately to do basically four kinds of cases--sex crimes, domestic violence, drug offenses, and DUIs.

Of these cases, the most likely to come through my doors were DUIs. Though gross misdemeanors (for the most part), DUIs are among the most technically challenging of all criminal cases, both to prosecute and to defend.

There was another especially important thing about DUI cases. Anyone can be accused of driving under influence of alcohol or drugs. Over the years, my clients have come from all walks of life, including corporate executives, academics, health care professionals, police officers, and even professional athletes.

Overall, DUI clients tend to be less troubled and more readily helped than other clients and so I find myself gravitating more and more to this clientele.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others?

After more than 30 years in practice as a criminal defense lawyer, I have seen just about every type of criminal case and engaged in innumerable negotiations, contested hearings and jury trials.

This means that I'm not likely to be surprised by any particular tactic, ploy or maneuver by a legal opponent or be stumped by the many problems that arise in DUI litigation.

It also means, more importantly, that I have been exposed to a great many scenarios and issues during my career. As a result I have greater professional knowledge than less experienced lawyers.

I know and understand how the field has evolved, because I was there when it happened--from the introduction of the current breath testing technology, to the development of police standards for investigating DUIs, to various regressions and progressions in the law over time, to each new theory employed in defense of these cases, etc.

Obviously, the more the DUI lawyer knows, the more issues he can raise in defense of his client. Experience does matter.

Charlie Williams


Washington State 1981; U. S. District Court (Western Washington) 1982; U. S. Supreme Court 1986.


Washington State Bar Association; Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Patron); National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Life Member); King County Bar Association.

Professional Activity:

Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL): Washington Criminal Defense (magazine) Co-chair 1996-2004; Supreme Court Time for Trial Task Force 2002-2003; President 2000-2001; Board Member 1992-1996; Legislative Chair 1987-1989.

Washington State Bar Association: Legislative Committee, 1992-1994.

Thurston County Bar Association: Law Day Speech Competition Chair 1982-2009; Daniel Bigelow Award (Lawyer of the Year) 2007; Criminal Law Committee Chair 1988-1990.

National Institute for Trial Advocacy: Regional Instructor 2001-2003.

Washington YMCA Mock-Trial Debate Program: Franklin High School Lawyer-Coach 1996-2008 (8 King County championships, 6 Washington state championships, 3 National Top-Ten titles, 1 National championship).

South Sound Advocates for Disabled Citizens: President, 1982-1991.


Socratic Impeachment: The Theory and Method of the Impeachment Defense, Washington Criminal Defense (November 2011); Defense for Dummies: Upping Your DUI Game, WACDL ( April 2010); Defending Eye-ID Cases: Themes and Strategies, Trowbridge Foundation Report (Winter 2009); Litigating the Eye-ID Case: New Strategies and Resources, WACDL (June 2008); Bias in Fact Adjudication, International Academy of Law and Mental Illness (June 2007); The New Time for Trial Rules, WACDL (December 2003); Cross Examination for Dummies, WACDL (October 2003); Time for Trial, 45th Washington Judicial Conference (September 2002); Cross Examination for Dummies: Presenting Your Case in Cross without Destroying Your Credibility, Washington Criminal Defense (May 2002); Working with Forensic Psychologists: Some Basic Points of Criminal Defense Practice, WACDL (April 2001); Evidence for Dummies: An Admissibility Primer for Criminal Defense Practice, Washington Criminal Defense (February 2001); Arguing Future Dangerousness: New Techniques for Assessing the Risk of Violence, Washington Criminal Defense (February 2000)(co-authored); Inspiring Jurors with Speech: Lessons in Delivery from the Laboratory of Mock Trial, Washington Criminal Defense (May 1999); Cross-Examination Notes: Mock Trials, Trial Masters, and the Socratic Method, Washington Criminal Defense (November 1997); DUI Defense, WSTLA (October 1997); Self-Defense as an Excuse: Using Mental Experts to Establish Reasonableness, Washington Criminal Defense (May 1997) (co-authored); Moving Jurors: Using Emotional Appeals at Trial, Washington Criminal Defense (February 1997); Real Life Practice Tips: Becoming a Supremely Persuasive Trial Lawyer, Pt. 2, Washington Criminal Defense (August 1996); Real Life Practice Tips: Becoming a Supremely Persuasive Trial Lawyer, Pt. 1, Washington Criminal Defense (May 1996); Defending the Battered Child: Some Lessons from State v. Marquez, Washington Criminal Defense (February 1993).

Born: San Rafael, California, November 22, 1951.
  • Bar Number: 11674
    Washington , 1981
  • University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law)
    J. D. , 1980
    University Scholar 1977-80

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