Seattle DUI Lawyer
Skilled DUI Representation from a Former Prosecutor. Free Case Review!
If you are facing a charge for drunk driving in Washington, it is important that you get the representation you need during this time. Should you choose to entrust your case with our Seattle DUI lawyer, you can feel confident in your choice. Using experience as a former prosecutor, I may be able to prove the faultiness of the breathalyzer test you took or that the police stop that led to your DUI charge was unlawful in the first place.
At Guadagno Law, PLLC, I have successfully handled thousands of criminal cases in Seattle, WA over the last 17 years, including countless DUI cases. As a result, I can employ various case strategies and tailor them to fit your needs to enhance your likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome.
DUI Penalties in WA
The risks and consequences associated with a drunk driving arrest, charge, or conviction could be potentially life-changing. In the state of Washington, a person who is found to be driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher can be charged with DUI.
You could face the following penalties if convicted of drunk driving in Seattle:
- Jail time
- Driver's license suspension
- Community service
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
Administrative Penalties for a DUI
An administrative penalty is imposed by the Washington State Department of Licensing and is triggered by your arrest, even if it does not lead to a conviction. For a first-time offender, administrative penalties could include:
- A 90-day administrative license suspension if the driver’s BAC is .08% or more
- One-year administrative license suspension if the driver refuses chemical testing
Additionally, if convicted, a first-time DUI offender will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for at least one year.
First Time DUI Penalties
First-time DUI offenders will also face criminal penalties following a conviction. These penalties include:
- For motorists with a BAC under .15%: One to 364 days in jail, at least 15 days of electronic home monitoring, or 90 days in a 24/7 sobriety program, in addition to fines and fees up to $5,200 and a 90-day license suspension.
- For motorists with a BAC of .15% or more: Two to 364 days in jail, at least 30 days of electric home monitoring, or 120 days in a 24/7 sobriety program, in addition to fines and fees up to $5,200 and a one-year license suspension.
License Suspension for Seattle DUI
DUI is a very serious criminal charge, so it should come as no surprise that a conviction can lead to a suspension of your driving privileges. However, many people are unaware of the extent of this suspension, along with the fact that their license can be suspended even if the charges are dismissed.
If you’ve been arrested under suspicion of DUI, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a period of at least 90 days, and potentially 2 years. Furthermore, this suspension doesn’t even kick in until 60 days after the date of your arrest, meaning you could be dealing with the consequences for years to come.
After a DUI arrest, it’s vital to act fast. You have 20 days after your arrest to request a hearing, in which an examiner will look at your case and decide whether or not to uphold the suspension. Representation from a Seattle DUI attorney can go a long way in helping the examiner rule in your favor. If they do, your license will not be suspended unless you are convicted.
- First DUI Conviction: Regardless of the outcome of your license hearing, your driving privileges will be suspended if you are convicted of DUI. For a first-time offense, this suspension can last up to a year, and will typically be for 90 days at minimum.
- Second or Subsequent DUI Conviction: If you are arrested for a second or third DUI in Seattle, the license suspension is just one of many penalties that will become far more serious. For a third DUI conviction, your license can be suspended for up to four years!
Is There Anything I Can Do to Stop the Suspension?
Hiring a quality Seattle DUI lawyer is the most important thing you can do to prevent or at least mitigate license suspension. By aggressively defending you against your DUI charges, I can work to get the charges dismissed altogether or help you plea down to reduced charges. If you are convicted, you may be able to apply for a restricted “Ignition Interlock Driver License,” which allows you to drive a vehicle that has an ignition interlock device installed within.
Field Sobriety Tests
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - For this test the officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for signs in each eye that the person is impaired.
- Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to take about nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line and the return back. The officer is looking for signs that the person is impaired such as losing their balance and not following the instructions properly.
- One-leg stand test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to stand on one and hold it for 30 seconds or until told to put it down. The officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.
A DUI’s Impact on Your Future
A DUI does not only come with possible jail time, fines and fees, license suspension, and other penalties, but it can come with repercussions that can continue to affect you long after you have paid the legal price. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will have a criminal record, which means potential employers might not want to hire you. If you have a job at the time of your conviction, that employer might not keep you, or you might not be able to remain a student at the university you attend. If you were receiving scholarship money or plan on applying for financial aid, a DUI can also impact your eligibility for receiving these benefits. It is important that you speak with me, a Seattle DUI lawyer, to fight the possible negative impacts of a conviction.
How I Can Fight Your DUI Charges
At my firm, you will work directly with me, a skilled Seattle DUI lawyer who can provide you with exceptional DUI defense at an affordable rate. I am never too busy to provide the personalized attention my clients need and deserve.
In fact, not only do I respond to all client inquires within 24 hours, but I also can provide emergency legal counsel around the clock.
"First-Class Talent. First-Class Person.
"When my daughter got into DUI trouble, I was forced to find a defense attorney for her. In the giant 'Lawyer Lotto' game, I was extremely fortunate to have won Albert for the task. Despite my daughter's nearly debilitating fear of the consequences (I wish she'd had these fears BEFORE the DUIs), Albert went out of his way to try to calm her without minimizing the seriousness of the situation. It was clear that Albert's compassion for his clients is a unique treasure in the legal community. Not only that, he was instrumental in negotiating a completely satisfactory outcome to the whole situation."
- Former Client