DUI charges are some of the most litigated in Washington courts. Special interest groups constantly lobby our legislatures for harsher penalties. Also, the science behind DUI detection continues to evolve. Finally, Washington State allows adults to legally possess small quantities of marijuana. All of these competing interests – and more – allow Prosecutors to charge defendants with many variations of DUI. The specific charges depend upon the substance ingested, the age of the defendant, their actual control of the vehicle, prior criminal history, etc.
Types of DUI’s:
Defendants face possible prison, jail, court fines, loss/suspension of driver licenses, alcohol/drug evaluations, treatment and years of probation. The emotional and financial costs of litigating these cases are tremendous.
Fortunately, attorney Alexander Ransom is experienced at conducting DUI trials, negotiating downward reductions, seeking dismissals and suppressing evidence through pretrial motions. Contact attorney Alexander Ransom for a free consultation.
DUI litigation is essentially fought in two battlegrounds: (1) license suspension proceedings brought by the Department of Licensing (DOL) and (2) criminal charges initiated from the Prosecutor. Attorney Alexander Ransom is experienced at aggressively maneuvering both battlegrounds.
If the police officer punched a hole in your driver’s license and provided a slip of paper regarding a license suspension, it means the State Department of Licensing (DOL) shall try suspending or revoking your license. If you value your driver’s license, then the DOL suspensions/revocations should always be challenged.
Under statute, defendants have a very short window of time – a mere 20 days from the DUI incident – to challenge the automatic license suspension. In deciding whether to suspend or revoke your license, the DOL Hearing Examiner must analyze the following four issues:
* Whether your vehicle was legally stopped;
* Whether there were reasonable grounds to believe you were DUI;
* Whether you were informed of your implied consent warnings properly; and
* Whether you either refused the breath test or blew over the legal limit.
Fortunately, attorney Alexander Ransom has prevailed at convincing the DOL to not suspend or revoke many of his client’s driver’s licenses when there’s proof that their constitutional rights were violated, evidence is lacking, the BAC machine malfunctioned, police officers were not certified to operate the BAC machines and/or they failed to follow proper procedure.
With the exception of Felony DUI (hyperlink) and Minor DUI (hyperlink), DUI crimes are gross misdemeanors punishable up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. Additional consequences include alcohol evaluations, follow-up treatment, probation, mandatory ignition interlock device, lack of access to Canada, and fines from around $1,000.00 to $5,000.00. Fortunately, many consequences are negotiable, and can be modified to your benefit with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Every case is factually different. Outcomes vary. There are always mitigating and aggravating factors. However, in most cases attorney Alexander F. Ransom obtains favorable reductions of charges (plea bargains) to lesser offenses.
There are common defenses that are universal to all DUI charges. For example, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol or marijuana after the time of driving and before the administration of an analysis of the person’s breath or blood to cause the defendant’s alcohol concentration to be 0.08 or more within two hours after driving.
Other defenses include lack of evidence, unlawful stop by police, violation of search and seizure, lack of probable cause, and/or that the officers lacked an intelligible reason to believe the defendant was driving unlawfully. These arguments can be made at pretrial motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case. Alexander always strives to obtain dismissals and/or reductions whenever possible.
For more information, please read Alexander’s following Legal Guides:
- ALCOHOL DUI’S: THE BASIC ISSUES
- DRUG DUI’S: THE BASIC ISSUES
- HAILEY’S LAW: MANDATORY IMPOUND OF VEHICLES FOR DRIVERS FACING DUI CHARGES
- VEHICLE IMPOUNDS: THE REASONS, THE RULES AND (HOPEFULLY) THE RELEASE
There, you’ll find links to Alexander’s blogs discussing DUI investigations, case law, legislation, etc. Also, don’t hesitate to contact attorney Alexander F. Ransom if you’re facing DUI charges.
If you or someone you care about faces DUI charges in Skagit County or Whatcom County, call attorney Alexander Ransom today for a free, no-pressure case evaluation. Alexander has a reputation in the legal community as an aggressive, effective and experienced criminal defense attorney. He is here to assist you through these difficult times.