Driving While License Suspended (DWLS)
If you've been charged with driving while your license is suspended, you're not alone.
One of the most common criminal cases is a DWLS charge. There are three different degrees of DWLS, with 1°being the most serious and 3° being the least. The different degrees are based on the reason why your license is suspended.
The first step in dealing with any type of DWLS charge is getting yourself validly licensed again. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, and sometimes you do not know why your license was suspended. If you have not been able to get the Department of Licensing to clarify your license status to you, we are more than happy to discuss your situation with you.
DWLS 1° is a gross misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. While the maximum is not normally given to individuals, there is a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail with a conviction and a-one year license suspension that is added to your current suspension. So, for example, if you were originally eligible to get your license back in 6 months, after this conviction, you will not be eligible for 18 months.
DWLS 2° is also a gross misdemeanor, but there is no mandatory 10 days in jail with a conviction. Unfortunately, a conviction also comes with a one-year license suspension, which will be added to your current suspension. There are many reasons why your license would be suspended in the 2°, some of which include: a MIP conviction.
DWLS 3° is the most common charge. It is a misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a$1,000 fine. DWLS 3° normally means that you are eligible for reinstatement now, except for one last obligation that you must complete (normally financial in nature). Examples include owing the court money on tickets, failing to respond to a ticket, being involved in an accident without insurance and owing money to the other driver, and even owing money on child support.
If you're facing DWLS charges, contact our experienced Washington defense attorneys today for the answers you need.