What are the consequences of a DUI in Tacoma?

Will I go to trial for a DUI?

In Tacoma and throughout Washington, whether or not your DUI case results in a trial depends on many factors. The strength of the prosecutor's case will be a big part of your decision. A DUI case involves several different aspects, any of which could lead you to want to try your case in front of a jury. Was the police contact legal? Were the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests administered and interpreted correctly? Was the breath test or blood test performed according to established guidelines? These are only some of the questions that I will evaluate in advising you of your options.

Sometimes, the risk of trial is not worth taking. Each case and client is unique. What might be worth taking to trial for client A would be a bad idea for client B. The strength of the evidence, the risk of conviction, the terms of the plea offer -- these are all matters to think long and hard about before deciding on a course of action.  Ultimately, whether to accept a plea or fight a case is up to the client alone. No matter your decision, I will stand by your side to advise you and defend you.

Will I go to jail for a DUI?

The answer to this question can vary. The severity of the offense and the number of prior convictions you might have will play a role in whether you might serve a jail sentence if convicted. Often, alternatives to a jail sentence are available. A huge factor in how your case resolves is whether you have an experienced Washington DUI lawyer on your side. A lawyer will know the ins and outs of your case, the relevant statutes and case law and have specific DUI knowledge and experience to defend your case and negotiate with prosecutors.

The Washington DUI Sentencing Grid can be found here.

Will a DUI cause me to lose my license?

DUI charges will have an impact on your driver's license. When you are charged with a DUI, the fate of your license will be decided in two stages, either or both of which could affect it.

License Revocation Upon Arrest:

  • Upon your arrest, you will have only 7 days to request a hearing to contest a revocation of your license.  If you fail to request a hearing or if you lose your hearing, you will face a license revocation of between 90 days and 2 years, depending on your circumstances.

License Revocation Upon Criminal Conviction:

  • Upon criminal conviction of a DUI, the court will notify the Department of Licensing.  The DOL will then impose a revocation anywhere from 90 days to 4 years, depending on your circumstances.

The DOL does permit you to apply for a restricted license under some circumstances during your period of revocation.  You will need to pay to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, get proof of auto insurance (SR-22) and pay the DOL fee. 

More information about driver's license revocation and reinstatement.


Don’t Go Through This Alone

Police, prosecutors and judges can make you feel outnumbered and intimidated.
The answer?
Sound Legal Defense.

Free Consultations

Sound Legal Defense is located in downtown Tacoma, Washington. I handle traffic cases, misdemeanors and felonies in courts throughout Washington, including Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. Contact me today for a free case consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.