Thank you for visiting the Stein, Lotzkar & Starr, P.S. for assistance. In order for an attorney to represent you well they will need as much information about you and your case as possible.
A DUI IS SERIOUS BUSINESS
HIRE A SERIOUS DUI ATTORNEY
In 25 years of practice Howard Stein has represented people from almost every walk of life. Lawyers, doctors and commercial airline pilots have all trusted their careers to Mr. Stein. Each client has especially sensitive needs when it comes to DUI representation. Whether you are an engineer a contractor a salesman or in the software industry Stein Lotzkar and Starr will guide you past or through the potential pit falls that may affect your driver's license, your professional license, your ability to travel, immigrate or even fly a commercial airliner.
DUI: IF YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR A DUI IN WASHINGTON STATE, YOU WILL HAVE TWO DIFFERENT LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST YOU.
DOL v. YOU
First YOU WILL BE GIVEN A NOTICE OF A CIVIL ADMINISTRATIVE LAWSUIT BY THE POLICE OFFICER and /or THE DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING. This is a legal action designed to take away your driver's license (even if you have a License form another State) and/or your privilege to drive in Washington State. MAKE SURE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING HAS YOUR CURRENT ADDRESS. If the department does not have your current address you may not receive important notices about your suspension or about your court dates. You can update your address by going to any of the Driver's License Examinations Offices around the state and completing a form. Your can also update your address at the department's website; www.dol.wa/driverslicense
IF YOU DO NOT REQUEST A HEARING AND PAY THE HEARING FEE (or request a fee waiver) WITHIN 20 DAYS OF YOUR ARREST YOUR LICENSE WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE SUSPENDED 60 DAYS AFTER YOUR ARREST.
YOUR LICENSE SUSPENSION COULD BE FOR 90 DAYS, ONE YEAR, TWO YEARS OR MORE, depending on your driving history and whether the officer says that you refused the test. If you are concerned about the specific length of you potential loss of license you can look here; www.dol.wa.gov/forms/500014.pdf There are ways to avoid the license suspension but YOU CAN NOT AVOID THE SUSPENSION IF YOU DO NOT REQUEST A HEARING WITHIN 20 DAYS.
Stein, Lotzkar & Starr and our predecessor firm of Tucker and Stein have spent a career fighting against the Department of Licensing. We have had numerous cases against the Department in the Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court. But don't take our word for it just click here and you can see the decision on in one of our more recent cases Redmond v. Wilson and Moore. In that case the Supreme Court told the Department of Licensing that it has unlawfully suspended hundreds of thousands of driver's licenses. But, more importantly for our clients it meant that their charges were dismissed.
Therefore we hold RCW 46.20.289 and .324(1) are contrary to the guaranty of due process because they do not provide adequate procedural safeguards to ensure against the erroneous deprivation of a driver's interest in the continued use and possession of his or her driver's license.
As such, because a driver cannot be convicted of the offense of driving while license suspended where the suspension violates due process.
Luckily not every persons case will go to the Supreme Court, but isn't it good to know that you have a lawyer who knows how to get there, and how to win! Remember, it is not as important that our client's know that we fight and win cases before the Supreme Court, as it is that prosecutors and judges know that we take case to the Supreme Court and win!
Winning administrative suspension cases isn't easy. The rules are written to make it very difficult for the driver. But you can not win unless your request a hearing within 30 days! While there are no guarantees, hiring the right attorney goes a long way towards improving your odds.
Contact Stein Lotzkar & Starr now to speak with the right attorney.
STATE OF WASHINGTON v. YOU
In order to prove a DUI charge the prosecutor must prove that you were driving while your ability to drive was appreciable affected by alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Appreciable affected means affected to any noticeable degree, it does not mean drunk. Washington case law does not distinguish between legal, illegal, prescriptions or over the counter drugs or medications. Any drug or medication that affects your ability to drive may be the basis for a DUI charge.
A criminal case is started when a prosecutor files a complaint with the court. In a few places the police officer will file a citation with the court to start the case. Because of the complexity of the law the most common procedure is for the police officer will complete his or her report and the forms that go along with it. The officer will send a copy of that package to the DOL to start the suspension process described above. The officer will also send the package to the prosecuting attorney. That attorney may need a few days or a few weeks before they have an opportunity to review the package and prepare a complaint.
You may be given notice to appear in court by the police officer at the time of arrest. If you are released or post bail your court date is usually the next day or within 48 hours.
In most cases, the driver is released by the police officer after arrest. The police officer sends the report to the prosecutor. The prosecutor files a complaint with the court. This process can be completed immeadiately or it can take 30, 60, 90 days or longer.
Once the court receives the complaint the court will mail you notice of an arraignment date (Seattle Municipal Court calls this hearing an "intake"). The notice will come in a plain envelope and will be mailed to the address that is on your driver's license or the address that you provided to the police officer.
At arraignment the court will call you forward and ask you to confirm your true and correct name. The court will advise of the charge(s) against you and provide you with a copy of the complaint. The court will also advise you of your rights as a criminal defendant and of the maximum penalties that you face.
If you are convicted of Dui you will face the following mandatory and maximum penalties. www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/Word/cljcrrlj4.023A.doc
In addition the Department of Licensing will also suspend your license as a result of a criminal conviction. To see the licensing penalties for a Dui conviction look here: www.dol.wa.gov/forms/5512229.pdf
THE COURT WILL ASK YOU TO STATE YOUR PLEA, GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ENTER A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY it does not matter how guilty or embarrassed you feel, there are very, very few cases where a person should ever consider pleading guilty to a DUI at arraignment . You can always change your plead to guilty later. Once you enter a plea of guilt the charge goes on your record no trial no negotiations and no way to avoid the mandatory penalties! The best way to make sure that you are protected is to HIRE AN ATTORNEY BEFORE ARRAIGNMENT.
It is possible to obtain investigative services to assist you; however you may be required to pay for those services. If you need assistance, please let us know right away.
520 112th Ave. N.E., Suite 101
Bellevue, WA 98004
fax 425 454-8661