I have 17 years of experience in criminal defense. At my Bellingham, Washington office, I vigorously and completely defend clients facing drunk driving charges, along with those charged with any type of moving violation.
I got a DUI last night, now what do I do?
DUIs are stressful, complicated and expensive. When you are charged with a DUI or related offense, not only are you at risk of going to jail for up to a year with fines of up to $5,000, there are also loads of additional consequences including electronic home detention (EHD) following jail, potential loss of driving privileges, alcohol and drug treatment, SR-22 (High Risk) insurance, ignition interlock requirements and a 10 year bar on your ability to travel to Canada.
But you can avoid some or all of these penalties and restrictions with the help of a good attorney with experience defending DUIs and other criminal offenses.
DUIs in Washington:
An arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI) calls for the immediate attention of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact me today for honest, aggressive, compassionate representation.
During my 15 year career I have handled hundreds of DUI & DWI cases. Every case is different and it is important to have an attorney who understands the process involved with a successful DUI defense. I will take the time to understand your situation, concerns and unique circumstances. My experience allows me to quickly assess your case, explain your options, and prepare a strategy for your defense. I believe in open, honest and regular communication. In other words, your phone calls will be returned promptly. I care about my clients and I am dedicated to pursuing the best outcome in every case.
The possible consequences of a DUI conviction include jail time, heavy fines, increased insurance costs, the loss of a license and much more. A DUI is not the end of the world. Many of these consequences can be reduced or avoided altogether with the help of a knowledgeable defense lawyer. From dismissal on pretrial motions to voluntary treatment programs to plea agreements meant to avoid time spent in jail, it is vital to have an attorney dedicated to protecting your interests.
I also appreciate and address the unique problems facing Canadian clients charged with DUI and U.S. residents who travel regularly to Canada. A conviction for DUI, or even a reduced charge such as Negligent Driving in the First Degree or Reckless Driving may prevent admission to Canada for ten years!
Administrative Suspensions and Hearings before the Department of Licensing (DOL):
One aspect of DUIs that most people don't understand is that the Department of Licensing (DoL) can and will act independently of the Courts to suspend your privilege to drive for from 30 days to seven years. Merely getting your DUI reduced to a charge that will not suspend your license is only a partial victory if you don't prevail at the DOL hearing. You have only 20 days to request a hearing from the DoL to postpone and hopefully, avoid a loss of your driving privilege. And remember, the public defender cannot represent you in a DoL hearing.
DUI/DWI Deferred Prosecutions:
A lot of clients and potential clients ask me about a Deferred Prosecution as a way of resolving their DUI charge. While a Deferred Persecution can be a great option for the right client, it is all too often misused as an easy way out. It is not. If a lawyer has suggested a Deferred Prosecution as way way to resolve a first offense DUI, than, barring some very unique circumstances, that lawyer is providing bad advice. Since you can only get one Deferred Prosecution in your lifetime, it should be saved for the unfortunate, but very real possibility of a 2nd or 3rd offense within 7 years when the benefits will outweigh the burdens of a 2-year treatment program and a long and costly period of supervision (probation).