6 Things to Know After Your First DUI

6 Things to Know After Your First DUIIf you are facing your first DUI charge, there are likely a lot of concerns running through your head.  Compounded with the stress of being charged with a DUI, it might be hard to understand all that is happening to you currently.  We have a list of important considerations to keep in mind when facing DUI charges:

Your License is in Jeopardy

In almost all DUI cases, your license can be suspended, at least temporarily.  The good news however is that in the state of Washington, even if you are suspended you  probably can drive if you obtain an ignition interlock license  This suspension will either occur due to the court ordering the license to be revoked or suspended, or the state department of licensing suspending or revoking the license administratively.    If you want to contest the civil administrative suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, you will have to pay a $375.00 hearing fee with your request for the hearing, or the Department of Licensing will deny your request for a hearing.

You Will Have to Go to Court

If a Washington State Trooper or a County Deputy Sherriff arrests you, you can expect to be charged with DUI in the municipality where you were arrested.  In cases of towns that do not have their own courts, you may be charged in a different court.  You will be notified of your court day either through the officer that arrests you, or through a summons in the mail to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on the charge of DUI.  It is important to appear in court for this hearing, as failing to appear can result in a warrant for your arrest being issued by the court.  Make sure that the arresting officer has your current address AND YOU HAVE YOUR CORRECT ADDRESS ON YOUR LICENSE so that you will receive notice of your court date so you can appear in court.

A DUI Conviction Will Stay with You for a While

If you are convicted of a DUI, it will remain on your record.  Even if the case was dismissed, a dui arrest can show up on any background checks that potential employers run..  In addition, any additional arrests for a DUI can result in heavier sentencing if you ever have another DUI conviction.

DUI Convictions Can Be Expensive

Besides the inconvenience of losing your license, if you are arrested and convicted for a DUI and your BA (blood alcohol) level is much higher than .08, you might be subjected to more restrictions, penalties and fines from the court.  You could  be required to install a device called an Interlock Ignition Device, or IID on your car, which will prevent your car from starting if you have alcohol in your system..  These devices ususally run $100 per month. If you are unable to drive to work after a conviction, it could result in lost wages, or even unemployment so its probably smarter to obtain the ignition interlock license so you can drive to work.

You Might Lose Your Insurance

By being convicted of a DUI, your auto insurance risk increases to “high risk,” which will result in higher insurance rates, and potential cancellation of your policy.   You will also have to Serve Jail Time or do substantial electronic home monitoring in lieu of the jail time.

For a first time DUI conviction in Washington, you are looking at a minimum 24 hours of jail-time for a first DUI offense, potentially up to a year of jail in some circumstances.  While there are less severe penalties for first time offenders, jail time is still required if you are convicted, which means you need to take DUI charges seriously.

If you are facing charges for DUI in the state of Washington, it is extremely important that you speak with a knowledgeable Tacoma, WA DUI attorney as soon as possible.  The longer you wait, the more complications that could arise from your charges, and the harder it will be to avoid conviction on DUI charges.

Call the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden today.

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