What to Expect After a DUI Arrest in Washington

If you are charged with DUI/DWI, you will face two simultaneous proceedings — a criminal court hearing and an administrative hearing. The criminal court hearing will determine your guilt or innocence regarding the drunk driving charges and, if necessary, punish you accordingly. The administrative hearing will determine whether or not your driving privileges will be suspended.

It is extremely important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you are arrested for DUI/DWI. Attorney John F. Segelbaum will listen to your story, answer your questions and provide you with vital information about how to handle a DUI arrest. Contact him at his office in Edmonds to schedule a free initial consultation. He regularly defends clients throughout Snohomish County and King County, including the communities of Lynnwood, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Everett and Bothell, among others.

The Criminal Court Process Following a DUI/DWI Arrest

Attorney John F. Segelbaum will aggressively defend you throughout every step of the criminal court process. He knows the court system, and has enjoyed considerable success challenging DUI arrests.

Here is a basic explanation of what you can expect after a DUI stop:

  • Pulled over on suspicion of DUI/DWI :If you are pulled over for drunk driving, you will be asked to take a field sobriety test and/or a preliminary breath test. If you fail either test, the officer will arrest you for drunk driving and bring you to the police station. Your DUI ticket will state your first court date. Or the officer may process you, but not give you a ticket. The case will then be referred to the prosecution for filing a DUI/DWI charge.
  • First court appearance or arraignment: This is where you will enter a plea and the judge will set the conditions of your release. This may include an interlock ignition system, SCRAM bracelet or an alcohol monitoring device.
  • Pretrial Hearing: The time between your first appearance and any pretrial hearing may be several weeks. We can attempt to challenge the validity of the DUI stop, the breath test results or the field sobriety tests at the pretrial hearing. Cases are often resolved at this stage through negotiations that may include alternative punishments.
  • Trial: In the event a DUI charge proceeds to trial, attorney Segelbaum will prepare a strong case designed to protect your rights and expose any weaknesses in the prosecution's case. For example, he will clearly outline any improper police procedures, such as faulty field sobriety testing. Please note, trial must be set for 90 days after the initial court appearance or 60 days if you can't post bail and remain in custody.

The Administrative Hearing Process Following a DUI/DWI Arrest

A civil process to revoke your driver's license will be initiated by the DOL if you refuse to take a breath test, or if you take the test and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is recorded as .08 or higher (.02 for minors) .

When you are cited or brought in for a DUI, the officer will punch a hole in your license — this does not mean that you can't drive. The hole simply indicates that the revocation process has begun. You will need to act quickly to prevent driver's license suspension/revocation.

You must request a driver's license hearing within 20 days. The hearing is a discussion between the DOL, your attorney and you. Attorney Segelbaum will carefully investigate the initial traffic stop and the test results. He will then aggressively advocate against any license suspension during the telephone license suspension/revocation hearing.

A DUI conviction could affect you for the rest of your life. Jail, fines and license revocation are just a few of the consequences that you face. Contact experienced attorney John F. Segelbaum to fight your DUI charges.