Seattle DUI defense attorney graphic
Seattle DUI attorney graphic
Initial DUI Consultation headline graphic

Ted Barr provides a free initial 2-hour consultation to review your case, explain the process of defending you in both the criminal court case and the Department of Licensing hearing, as well as the anticipated fee and costs of both.

When you come to the initial consultation, it is important that you bring the following:

  1. Your Driver's License
  2. BAC Test Slip (if available)
  3. DOL Hearing Request Form
  4. Citation (if available)

Call us now at (425) 462-4224 for a free consultation.

DUI Criminal Court Defense headline graphic
Arraignment

This is the beginning of the case at which the Court takes your plea, determines whether you want a trial by jury or judge (bench), and sets conditions of release pending final resolution of the case (i.e., AA meetings, no driving without a license and insurance, bail, ignition interlock device, etc.). You must notify us as soon as you receive your arraignment notice, either by telephone or faxing a copy of the arraignment notice to our office. This arraignment cannot be waived and you must attend the arraignment in order to avoid a bench warrant.

Discovery

The complete discovery (i.e., police report, audio/visual tapes, witness statements, BAC database records, etc.) is usually not available until the arraignment or within two weeks thereafter. We need to send for it in order to protect your interests. As soon as we receive the discovery, we will send you a copy with a letter of instructions from our office.

Pre-Trial Conference

Prosecutors do not discuss or negotiate cases prior to or at the arraignment. Often we are able to discuss your case by telephone with the Prosecutor after the arraignment but before the pre-trial conference. Otherwise, the pre-trial conference is where negotiations between us and the Prosecutor begin. The advantage to negotiations and a plea bargain is that it gives you a definitive result and ultimately saves you legal fees. The pre-trial conference is your second court appearance, usually occurs about 30 days after the arraignment, and requires your attendance or a bench warrant will be issued.

Plea and Sentencing

Often we are able to reach an agreed resolution of your case with the Prosecutor before beginning formal litigation. In that event, we are able to conclude the case with a plea bargain at a pretrial conference. This is the most economically efficient way to resolve your case. If we are not able to do so, we may have to schedule a second pretrial conference or proceed with formal litigation (i.e., pretrial motions, trial, etc.).

Pretrial Motions

If we are unable to reach a settlement of your case at the pretrial conference, it may be necessary for us to schedule a pretrial motion hearing. A pretrial motion hearing is a "mini-trial" before the Judge at which we are attempting to get some of the Prosecutor's evidence thrown out (i.e., dismissal of case, suppression of the BAC test, elimination of your statements at the time of your arrest, etc.).

If we are successful with the pretrial motions and some of the Prosecutor's evidence is thrown out by the Judge, we are then often able to settle your case at that stage of the proceedings. Fortunately, we usually only have to conduct pretrial motions about one-third of the time, which saves you money.

If the pretrial motions are not successful, then we may have to proceed to trial unless you decide to plea as originally charged in exchange for an agreed sentencing recommendation from the Prosecutor.

Other Options

Deferred Prosecution — This is a program available for repeat offenders or individuals with serious alcohol/drug problems. The Prosecutor is prevented from proceeding against you for 5 years provided you actively participate in a highly structured alcohol/drug treatment program, including a minimum of 2 AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings per week and a mandatory ignition interlock device in your car for a minimum of 1 year. If you successfully complete the program, the criminal court case, and usually the DOL case, are dismissed. If you do not successfully complete the program, a guilty plea is then usually required. In other words, you give up your opportunity to go to trial if you accept the deferred prosecution. Also, since alcohol treatment is expensive and you can only get one deferred prosecution in your lifetime, it is usually not recommended for first-time offenders.

Trial — As a last resort, you may select to proceed by way of trial. Some cases are best tried to a judge and some to a jury. A thorough examination and discussion of your case would be necessary before choosing between a trial by judge or jury.

Department of Licensing DUI Hearing headline graphic

Hearing Request

Under Washington law, your driver's license is automatically suspended after arrest for a DUI offense. Within 20 days of the BAC ("breathalyzer") test you must mail a request for a hearing before the Department of Licensing along with a check for $200. If hired in advance of the 20-day deadline, Ted C. Barr & Associates will send in the hearing request form and check for you.

Notice of Hearing

Once your request for a hearing has been received by the DOL, you will receive a 10-day notice from the Department of Licensing advising of the date and time of the hearing. Your driver's license will be valid at least until the result of the hearing.

Hearing

Your DOL hearing will be by telephone with you and Ted at the office of Ted C. Barr & Associates and the DOL Hearing Examiner at his or her office. The arresting officer usually does not participate unless requested by us, which we rarely do as it is generally not to your advantage.

The hearing usually lasts about an hour and may or may not involve your testimony. If your testimony is not required, you have the option of attending or not attending the hearing. If your testimony is necessary, we will advise you well in advance so that you can make plans to attend. In that event, we will want you to arrive about one hour before the hearing so we have plenty of time to familiarize you with the procedure and go over your testimony.

The DOL Hearing Officers rarely rule at the hearing. They usually issue their decision within thirty days of the hearing. Your driver's license will be valid (24 hours per day, 7 days per week) at least until we receive the results.

If we are successful, you will be able to obtain a new driver's license without a hole punched in it. If the DOL rules against you, an occupational license (12 hours per day, 7 days per week) or appeal may be available.

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