I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) speaking DUI attorney in Washington. One of the most difficult parts for many of my clients who are arrested for a DUI is dealing the driver license issues. It is essential for many of my clients to continue to drive to maintain their jobs and support their families. In this article I will explain a few simple steps to follow to protect your right to drive after being arrested for a DUI.
First even if you do not have a driver license this still applies to you. Many of my clients never got a license but their privilege to obtain a license has not been suspended. If you drive with either your driver's license or your privilege to get a license suspended it can result in additional criminal charges and additional suspensions and even jail time. A lot of clients who got stopped driving without a license (before they got a DUI) only had to deal with an infraction and a fine. That is not the case after a DUI arrest.
For those stopped for a DUI and then arrested it is important to speak with a DUI attorney right away about how to protect their license. Not only will there be a criminal charge in court, there also will be separate administration action to suspend the drivers' license or privilege to drive. There will be an administrative suspension regardless if there is a breath or blood test or a refusal of a breath test in most cases. The only exception are for those over 21 years of age (who do not have a commercial driver's license) who have a test result under the legal limit. But even in that case check with a DUI lawyer to make sure this is the case.
The only way to challenge this administrative suspension is to request a hearing with the Department of Licensing (DOL) within the required period of time. For breath test clients must request a DOL hearing in writing in the correct form and send in the correct hearing fee within the deadline. Call a DUI attorney or check the Department of Licensing website to find out the current deadline and requirements. If a hearing request is made within the specified time frame, a hearing will be provided where a DUI attorney can argue that suspension should not occur.
For those who driver's license is suspended (or whose privilege to get a driver's license is suspended) most will be able to apply for a ignition interlock license which will allow them to drive during the suspension period. This applies to people who actually never even had a license before the DUI arrest. Also people who are undocumented can apply for ignition interlock license.
The most important thing in summary is to make sure you speak with a lawyer and take action to protect your right to drive after a DUI arrest. If you ignore it and keep on driving you are sure to be stopped and arrested for driving with a suspended license which will increase your chances of going to jail and having problems with immigration. I have many clients who never receive any notice from the court or DOL after a DUI arrest. They hope that it all just went away and then years later get stopped and arrested for driving with a suspended license and a warrant from the court for a DUI charge. All this can be prevented by speaking with a DUI lawyer now to understand your rights. I provide free consultations in Spanish and in English and can be reached directly at 206-621-1554. Thank You. Raymond Ejarque. Attorney at Law
This information provides no legal advice and is no way a substitute for speaking with an attorney. Attorney Raymond Ejarque has over 20 years of experience fighting for your rights. The Law Offices of Raymond W. Ejarque offers free and private consultations. Please call at 206-621-1554 or visit our website at www.seattle_duidefense.com.com for more information.