Make sure that you hire a licensed attorney, as only a licensed attorney will be able to represent you in court. Before we get started here are 3 more tips on hiring a DUI Attorney
DUI Attorneys in Tacoma.
Angela Horwath, website: Horwathlaw, Phone: 253-649-6070, Experience: 11 years, Locations: Tacoma. Free consultation: Yes.
Michael Harbeson, website: harbesonlaw, Phone: 253-209-6366, Experience: 21 years, Locations: Puyallup. Free consultation: Yes.
Jason S. Newcombe, website: washingtonstateattorneys, Phone: (844) 925-2943, Experience: 18 years, Locations: Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Olympia, Everett. Free Consultation: N/A
Facing your DUI charge.
Continue to do your homework and make the best-informed decision when hiring a lawyer, those listed above are just a few attorneys found online, and we will continue to add more over time. Here is a list of 8 things every driver should know.
DUI Laws in Washington State.
Every state is different with their laws, however, DUI laws are very tough and are meant to prevent drunk driving. Since this website is meant for residents in the Tacoma area, here is the Washington DUI Laws.
A quick breakdown of Washington State DUI Laws
If this is your first DUI and you’re looking into hiring a DUI Attorney in Tacoma, it would be helpful to know some of the laws beforehand…
- A 1st offense can range from 24 years to 1 year in jail, $865 to $5000 fine and license suspension, ranging from 90 days to 1 year.
- A 2nd offense can range from 30 days to 1 year in jail, $1,100 to $5000 fine and license suspension ranging from 2 years to 900 days.
- A 3rd offense can range from 90 days to 1 year, $2,000 to $5000 fine and license suspension ranging from 3 to 4 years.
How to hire a Tacoma DUI attorney
- Do your research.
- Look for experience within their areas of practice.
- Visit our service page for a DUI Attorney
- Don’t hire the first attorney you see online, continue to do your research.
- Look at their rates, ask about free consultations.
- If the Tacoma DUI attorney you contacted is not accepting new clients, ask for a recommendation.
Bonus: Read our Auto Accident Attorney Tacoma WA article.
How do I get my license back after a DUI in Washington?
Pay the necessary fines! Don’t think that not paying because you can’t afford to will allow you to get back your license. Complete all court requirements. Once you complete your court mandated requirements like the usual drug and alcohol treatment class, pay the fee’s, you’ll fill out an application to get your license reinstated. You may also be required to retake a driver’s test.
How long does a DUI stay on your record?
Alongside DUI convictions, suspensions, and revocations will go on your record. A DUI In Washington will be on your record for 15 years. In extreme cases, some DUI convictions will remain on your record indefinitely.
Keep in mind a DUI can be reported in various reports, such as your driving record, your criminal record, and employment background.
How a DUI affects your life?
When looking for a employment, your DUI conviction can disqualify you especially if it has to do with operating heavy machinery or driving a vehicle. Many jobs ask that you have a relatable source of transportation and often times the bus is not good enough to be considered relateable because of schedules or sometimes there are no bus lines near the work site.
Insurance rates could skyrocket or even be terminated.
Background checks will show that you have a DUI especially if it’s a felony or misdemeanor and will be the judge of situation you’re in, meaning the person conducting your background can just go off that information alone and decide to not go with your application whether it’s for housing, admissions, employment as mentioned above.
Trust within your relationships for many people especially spouses it’s concerning when someone makes the choice to get behind the wheel while driving under the influence and if you share kids with someone, that person may be hesitant to allow you to drive the kids anywhere and you can’t be mad at them for not questioning your trust, right? Because the choice was there to make, either call someone to drive you home or don’t drink before you drive.
Why are DUI penalties so stringent.
Dui laws are not meant to ruin someone’s life like previously mentioned on a popular forum, however, the laws are there to make sure that people understand how DUI has serious consequences as people being killed and seriously injured whether it’s the person behind the wheel or a victim of their neglectful thoughtfulness.
Here is an infographic from wallethub with some facts about DUI enforcement in the US.
Some people believe drunk driving laws should be even stricter while others believe that the laws are too strict, whatever side you side on, I am sure we can agree taking someone’s life because of recklessness doesn’t compare to the laws, and our take is that if you choose to drink and drive and get a DUI, it’s better than a charge of manslaughter, vehicle homicide, murder or living with a guilty concious of altering another person’s/family’s life because of a decision you chose to make.
When we are out on the roads, we are trusting ourselves and other drivers to follow directions and make the right decisions so we can make it home at the end of the day. You can check out the debate over how strict DUI laws are, here.
Are DUI’s public knowledge?
Typically not, unless the situation warrants it like a hit and run or a serious event such as a crash or someone being injured or killed, the new’s usually covers those situations rather than a random DUI on the way and to somewhere, however, if your friends and family are wondering what happened to you like why you didn’t come home, it’s easy to find out within 48 hrs especially if they decide to look up the pierce county jail roster, or the roster of the city you’re in.
The rosters will give out information on who has been arrested in the last 48 hours and the reason you’re being held.
Can DUI charges be dismissed?
Yes, there is always the case of DUI charges being dropped or dismissed due to lack of evidence or the officer not having probable cause to stop your vehicle and in this day and age of cameras and videos from witnesses and body cams, accounts from witnesses can also help dismiss your case. Another example can be if you’re in a parked vehicle and an officer accuses you of DUI. Hiring a criminal defense attorney or DUI attorney can help to get your case dismissed as well if you and the attorney that you hire feel that you have a strong case to go after.
Is it DWI or DUI and which is worse?
DWI stands for driving while intoxicated and DUI stands for driving under the influence. Some states see them as a difference in terms of filing charges, however, since the laws have become stricter, some states see them as the same charge meaning one isn’t more serious than the other. Check out more on the Zero tolerance policy for drunk driving.
How can I get a job with a DUI on my record?
You can be upfront and honest about your mistake and if it’s your first offense, employers are more willing to give you a chance since everyone makes mistakes and the fact you’re upfront about it makes the trust factor go up.
Complete all the mandatory classes, community service hours, and what else you are obligated to do to show that you’re serious about getting your life back on track and turning it around. Read this Forbes article on how to go about your resume while looking for employment
Final tips and ideas for turning your life around.
If you know that drinking has become a serious problem in your life or being under the influence of something else that has affected your professional life, relationships, et Cetera, then it better to seek help within those around you and start to cut off any enabling friends that don’t support you in trying to make a change.
Even if you don’t drink but find that recreational smoking has stopped you from potentially being your best, there are steps that you can also follow similar to those looking to refraining from drinking, which is changing the crowd you’re constantly hanging with, find activities that will keep you busy and away from temptation, there are videos on youtube of people who have successfully quit and will share how they managed to do so.
The best solution to avoiding a DUI is to not get behind the wheel. Call someone or have a plan, use an Uber, Lyft or taxi service in your area.