Fighting Your Seattle DUI Charge
When arrested for driving under the influence in Seattle, many drivers worry what penalties they will face. License suspension is commonly on the top of the list fears; however, serving time in jail should also be a concern. In fact, a person convicted of driving or in physical control of the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be sentenced to up to 364 days of jail time for a first time offense and several years for a repeat offender. If you or a loved one has been accused of DUI in Washington State, call a defense attorney immediately to make sure that you fully understand the penalties of a conviction as well as your defense options.
An experienced DUI attorney, such as attorney Steve Karimi, can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. The best way to avoid the negative consequences of a DUI conviction is to get the charges dropped or receive a not guilty verdict. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. A DUI arrest is not the end of the world, however. In the worst-case scenario of a conviction, a DUI lawyer may even be able to help you avoid your jail sentence by getting it suspended. With a suspended sentence, you can forgo serving time in jail by, instead, serving your sentence as probation. A suspended sentence is not a right and may not be available in all situations. For more information on how to fight your DUI charges, contact our office today.
Washington DUI Suspended Sentencing Explained
Having an experienced attorney on your side means getting the best results in your DUI case. Attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor for Seattle, so he understands the nuances of Washington DUI law and how to get the best results. This means that, even if you are convicted of DUI and sentenced to serve time in jail, he may be able to help you through suspended sentencing. Through this option, attorney Karimi can sometimes get his clients to serve probation in lieu of being incarcerated. Under Washington law RCW 9.95.210, an offender who has been convicted or pleads guilty to an offense involving drugs or alcohol is eligible to have their jail sentence suspended and instead serve a period of probation of up to five years. While this may be longer than the original jail sentence, serving probation is much less of an interference with your every day life and will allow you to keep your job, earn income, go to school and see your family as well as other freedoms.
According to Washington law, if you are convicted of a DUI crime, you may have your sentence suspended by the superior court and have the sentence placed under a correctional officer or a probation officer who will then monitor your completion of a given period of probation. Along with the probation, you will likely also be required to pay a fee and even restitutions in addition to other provisions set by the superior court. Fines are mandated under RCW 9.92.060(2) in the following situations:
(a) To comply with any order of the court for the payment of family support;
(b) to make restitution to any person or persons who may have suffered loss or damage by reason of the commission of the crime in question or when the offender pleads guilty to a lesser offense or fewer offenses and agrees with the prosecutor's recommendation that the offender be required to pay restitution to a victim of an offense or offenses which are not prosecuted pursuant to a plea agreement;
(c) to pay any fine imposed and not suspended and the court or other costs incurred in the prosecution of the case, including reimbursement of the state for costs of extradition if return to this state by extradition was required; and
(d) to contribute to a county or interlocal drug fund.
Often in DUI cases, this will include mandatory drug or alcohol counseling and/or screening. Under suspended sentencing, as long as you follow the conditions set out by the court and refrain from any further arrests or violations of probation, you will not have to serve you jail sentence. If a violation does occur or restitutions are not paid, however, you may be forced to serve your original sentence as well as any additional penalties for the violation itself.
Call a Seattle Defense Attorney Today
If you have been arrested for DUI or a DUI related crime in Seattle, contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi right away. Even a first-time offender could face significant penalties such as a year of incarceration and license suspension. The best way to avoid these penalties is to build a strong defense with an experienced legal team by your side. Call our office now to set up a free consultation with attorney Karimi and learn more about your defense options and how a lawyer could make the difference for you. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for you.