Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

At Burleson Law, PLLC, Jeff offers consultations on all his DUI and criminal cases. Once you retained, Jeff only charges a flat fee for all of his DUI and criminal cases. This way you know exactly how much you are paying from the beginning. There are no surprises or hidden fees.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)DUI cases are aggressively prosecuted in Washington State, and being charged for DUI can be a very traumatic experience. Not only is being charged with a DUI costly and time consuming but it also mean potentially losing your license and facing jail time. Many times there is a social stigma associated with being accused of a crime like DUI. You do not have to face this problem alone.  Attorney Jeff Burleson is a former prosecutor who has many years of experience litigating DUI cases. He can help you with your case and get your life back on track.

There are many ways Jeff can help. As a former prosecutor, he knows the tricks of the trade. He will vigorously exploit any holes in the prosecution’s case. He will investigate all aspects of your DUI arrest and will formulate the best possible legal strategy.  Jeff will review all discovery provided such as police reports and BAC records. And he will interview witnesses, and obtain audio/video tapes if made by the police.

This can potentially lead to dismissals or reductions in the charge. Jeff will also make sure that you are fully aware of your options before you make any decision.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI offense, it is important you consult with legal counsel sooner rather than later.  Jeff Burleson is a Silverdale DUI Lawyer serving Kitsap county, King county, Pierce county and all surrounding areas.

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to arrange a free consultation, so you can get back to as normal a life as possible.

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DUI Penalties

Washington State has some of the harshest penalties for DUI in the country.  You face the very real possibility of jail time, heavy fines and the loss of your driver’s license.  This is why it’s important to consult a DUI attorney right away.  Once charged by the State, there are many deadlines and hearings that will come immediately.  You don’t want to face the State alone especially considering the penalties you face.  Below are the mandatory and maximum penalties for DUI.

1st DUI in Seven years

Type of DUI Penalty License Suspension Other
Breath Test below .15 or THC of 5.00 ng/ml or No Test Min jail of 24 hours with $940.50 fine.  Max jail of 364 days with $5000 fine. 90 days One year Ignition Interlock Device. Up to 5 years probation
Breath Test Above .15 or Refuse BAC Test Min jail of 48 hours with $1195.50 fine.  Max jail of 364 days with $5000 fine One year or Two years if refuse BAC Test One year Ignition Interlock Device.  Up to 5 years probation

 

2nd DUI in Seven years

Type of DUI Penalty License Suspension Other
Breath Test below .15 or THC of 5.00 ng/ml or No Test Min jail of 30 days with $1195.50 fine.  Max jail of 364 days with $5000 fine. Two years 5 years Ignition Interlock Device.  Up to 5 years probation
Breath Test Above .15 or Refuse BAC Test Min jail of 45 days with $1620.50 fine.  Max jail of 364 days with $5000 fine 900 days or Three years if refuse BAC Test 5 years Ignition Interlock Device.  Up to 5 years probation

 

3rd or More DUI in Seven years

Type of DUI Penalty License Suspension Other
Breath Test below .15 or THC of 5.00 ng/ml or No Test Min jail of 90 days with $2045.50 fine.  Max jail of 364 days with $5000 fine. Three years 10 years Ignition Interlock Device. Up to 5 years probation
Breath Test Above .15 or Refuse BAC Test Min jail of 120 days with $2895.50 fine.  Max jail of 364 days with $5000 fine. Four years 10 years Ignition Interlock Device. Up to 5 years probation

 

DUI Process

When you are stopped for DUI in Washington two separate processes begin. One is the criminal process that most people are familiar. Here, you would go to court and face the prosecution and judge. You face the possibility of jail, probation and license suspension.   The other process is an administrative proceeding that will be conducted through the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). The DOL has the ability to suspend your driver license privileges. Your license will automatically be suspended unless you request a hearing within 20 days of the date of your arrest. This is why it is very important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Attorney Jeff Burleson and Burleson Law, PLLC, represents you from the very beginning of your case through the conclusion for both the criminal and DOL process. Jeff will be there with you at all stages of the DUI case. He will personally represent you at the arraignment, pretrial conferences, pretrial motions hearings, DOL hearing, and trial in Kitsap county, King county, Pierce county and all surrounding areas.

Criminal Process

A person who gets arrested for DUI in Kitsap County will many times be booked into jail and held until either bail is posted or he is released by a judge on his personal recognizance after the initial appearance.  If the arrest occurs on a Friday or Saturday night, the arrested person will be held until the next court day unless bail is posted. The second possibility is being released by the police and given a court date at a later time normally within 24 hours of arrest. The criminal process then has many different stages which are explained below.

  1. Arraignment
    This is the first stage of the case at which the Court takes your plea (guilty or not guilty), you decide whether you want a jury trial or judge trial (bench trial), and determines conditions of release or bail. Possible conditions can be no driving without ignition interlock, no operation of vehicle after drinking alcohol, electronic monitoring, or SRAM bracelet.
  2. Discovery
    After the arraignment, discovery is requested Discovery includes the police report, witness statements, BAC documents and audio/video tapes. We will review the discovery and begin developing further investigation and trial strategies.
  3. Pre-Trial Conference
    Pre-trial conference is where many negotiations between defense counsel and the prosecutor begin. Also, disputed legal issue will also be identified to the Court which many need further hearings.  This conference typically occurs 30 days after your arraignment.
  4. Pre-Trial Motions
    If we are unable to reach a settlement of your case at the pretrial conference, we schedule a pretrial motion hearing.  A pre-trial motion hearing is the first time the Court will hear the evidence against you. The goal of the hearing is to prevent the prosecution from admitting certain evidence against you at trial.   Some typical challenges are the justification of the vehicle stop, justification of arrest, voluntariness of statement by you, and admissibility of field tests and BAC tests.
    If we are successful with the pretrial motions and some of the prosecutor’s evidence is thrown out by the Court, we are then often able to settle your case at that stage of the proceedings.
    If the pretrial motions are not successful, then we may have to proceed to trial.
  5. Trial
    There are two types of trials.   First, a jury trial in which a panel of six jurors hears your case. Second, a bench trial which is a trial that a judge presides and determines the verdict.   Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be better to elect one type over the other.
    If a jury trial is chosen, the first step is jury selection.  The prosecution and defense then do opening statements. After opening statements, the State presents it case first. We have the ability to cross-examine the State’s witnesses including the arresting officer.   After the State rests, the Defense will be able to present a case if we choose. There is no requirement that Defense present any evidence as the burden of proof rests entirely on the State.   Closing arguments are then make to the jury. The jury deliberates and renders a verdict.

DOL Process

In addition to the criminal process, you face the possibility of a separate driver’s license suspension by DOL. The DOL process of license suspension is conducted regardless of the outcome of your criminal case.  It is considered an entirely separate hearing. This means even if the Court dismisses your criminal case, your license still could be suspended by DOL.  You have 20 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing. Otherwise, your license will automatically be suspended/revoked.

Hearing
The DOL hearing will be by telephone. You and Jeff will be the office of Burleson Law, PLLC and the DOL Hearing Examiner at his or her office. The hearing lasts approximately one hour.   Depending on the circumstances, you may testify at the hearing but generally you will not. The Hearings Officer will issue he or her decision within 30 days of the hearing.