Criminal Defense Attorneys
Mount Vernon DUI Defense Attorneys
Defending Against DUI Charges in Skagit County
If you have been pulled over and charged with a DUI, a conviction can result in severe criminal penalties, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and a permanent criminal record. In order to avoid these harsh punishments, retain the help of an experienced attorney to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom.
At Mountain Law, we understand that evidence can be skewed, tests can be wrong, and regardless of what law enforcement claims, your case can be defended. For these and other reasons, our team aggressively defends those who have been accused of DUI and will fight to achieve the best possible outcome within the law, including dropped charges, case dismissal, or an acquittal at trial.
DUI Cases We Handle
Our firm can handle the following DUI cases:
- First DUI offense
- Multiple DUI offense
- DUI with a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Underage DUI
- Aggravated DUI
- Felony DUI
In the state of Washington, driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious offense that is taken seriously by law enforcement and the legal system. The state has strict laws and penalties in place to punish individuals who operate vehicles while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) legal limit for drivers in Washington State is as follows:
- 0.08% or higher for drivers aged 21 or older
- 0.04% or higher for commercial vehicle drivers
- 0.02% or higher for drivers under 21 years old
By operating a motor vehicle in Washington State, you are considered to have given your implied consent to a chemical test to determine your BAC levels if you are arrested for DUI. Refusal to take a breathalyzer or blood test may lead to an automatic license suspension.
What are the Penalties For a DUI in Washington?
In the state of Washington, DUI charges can include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including prescription drugs, marijuana, and more. Potential penalties for a conviction depend on the circumstances of your case.
Penalties For a First-Offense DUI
A first offense can lead to misdemeanor charges, with:
- 24-48 hours in jail or 15-30 days of electronic home monitoring (EHM)
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- 90-day to 2-year license suspension
- The installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
Penalties For Third or Subsequent DUI Offenses
A third or subsequent offense is a more serious matter, leading to:
- A maximum of 364 days in jail
- 150 days of EHM
- Up to $5,000 in fines and fees
- 4-year license suspension
- 10 years of ignition interlock device installation
- 5 years of probation
With these potential penalties, it’s important to do what you can under the law to avoid a conviction. Your freedom and rights are on the line.
Do I Need a Lawyer For My First DUI?
It is highly advisable to consult with and, in most cases, to hire a lawyer if you are facing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge, even if it's your first offense. While it is not legally required to have an attorney for a DUI case, there are several reasons why having legal representation is essential:
- Complexity of DUI Laws: DUI laws can be complex and vary from one jurisdiction to another. A lawyer who specializes in DUI cases will be familiar with the specific laws, procedures, and potential penalties in your area. They can help you understand your rights and options.
- Legal Expertise: An experienced DUI attorney can evaluate the details of your case and identify potential defenses or weaknesses in the prosecution's case. They can advise you on the best course of action, such as negotiating for reduced charges or taking your case to trial.
- Minimizing Penalties: A DUI conviction can result in severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, probation, and even jail time. A skilled attorney can work to minimize these penalties, potentially helping you avoid the harshest consequences.
- License Suspension: DUI convictions often lead to the suspension of your driver's license. An attorney can assist you in understanding the process and potentially help you obtain a restricted or hardship license to continue driving for essential purposes, such as work or medical appointments.
- Protecting Your Rights: A DUI attorney can ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout the legal process. They can challenge evidence obtained unlawfully, including improper traffic stops or sobriety checkpoints.
- Negotiation Skills: Lawyers are skilled negotiators. They can work with prosecutors to seek plea bargains or alternative sentencing options, which can result in reduced charges and penalties.
- Court Representation: If your case goes to trial, a defense attorney will represent you in court. They will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make legal arguments on your behalf.
- Experience with DUI Cases: Attorneys who focus on DUI cases have experience dealing with similar cases and understand the strategies that work best in these situations.
- Peace of Mind: Having a lawyer can reduce stress and anxiety associated with navigating the legal system on your own. They will guide you through the process, answering your questions and providing support.
What to Do After You’ve Been Pulled Over
After you have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI, it’s important to comply with police requests and politely exercise your rights to remain quiet and retain an attorney. Never admit fault, even jokingly, as anything you say can be used against you. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test can result in increased penalties, but it is also important to remember that these tests may be flawed if not calibrated or administered properly.
Possible DUI Defense Strategies
Our experienced Mount Vernon DUI attorneys can help you fight your charges and protect your rights. We understand that the consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe, and we will work hard to ensure that your case is handled properly and with the utmost care. Our team of experienced DUI lawyers has extensive experience in all aspects of DUI defense, including:
- Negotiating with prosecutors
- Challenging the accuracy of field sobriety tests
- Defending against breathalyzer test results
- Asserting constitutional violations
- Seeking dismissal or reduction of charges
- Representing clients at trial
What Can a Washington DUI Attorney Do for You?
A Washington DUI attorney plays a pivotal role in navigating the complex legal terrain that follows a DUI arrest. DUI charges can have severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Here's what a Washington DUI attorney can do for you:
- Legal Expertise: DUI laws in Washington can be intricate, and they change over time. A skilled attorney is well-versed in these laws and can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific case.
- Protecting Your Rights: Your attorney ensures that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process. They will scrutinize every detail of your arrest to identify any potential violations of your rights, such as improper traffic stops or illegal searches.
- Building a Strong Defense: Your attorney will craft a robust defense strategy based on the unique circumstances of your case. This might involve challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer or field sobriety test results, questioning the credibility of witnesses, or seeking plea bargains when appropriate.
- Minimizing Penalties: If a conviction is likely, your attorney will work to minimize the penalties you face. This may include negotiating for reduced charges, alternative sentencing options, or enrolling in DUI diversion programs.
- Court Representation: An attorney can represent you in court, sparing you the stress of navigating the legal system on your own. They will advocate for you, present evidence, and argue your case persuasively.
- Guidance Through the Process: The legal process can be confusing and overwhelming. Your attorney will guide you through each step, explaining what to expect and helping you make informed decisions.
- Peace of Mind: Perhaps most importantly, a DUI attorney offers peace of mind during a challenging time. Knowing that you have a dedicated advocate in your corner can alleviate anxiety and uncertainty.
In conclusion, a Washington DUI attorney is your ally in facing DUI charges. They use their legal expertise to protect your rights, build a strong defense, and navigate the legal system, ultimately striving to secure the best possible outcome for your case. If you've been charged with a DUI, seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney is a crucial step towards safeguarding your future.
Contact Our DUI Defense Lawyers in Mount Vernon Today
At Mountain Law, we understand the complex laws surrounding DUI cases and will work hard to ensure that your rights are protected. With an investigator and former prosecutor on staff, we have the experience and skills to tackle your case and aggressively pursue a favorable outcome – but we must act fast. An arrest can lead to license suspension and other penalties before your case even make it to court. You have only seven days after being charged to request a hearing to avoid losing your license and the legal right to operate a vehicle.
Contact Mountain Law today to get started on your defense with our Mount Vernon DUI defense attorneys.