Port Orchard DUI Lawyer
Getting arrested for a DUI in Port Orchard is humiliating and stressful. Not only are you processed like a common criminal, you are suddenly faced with some serious repercussions that could put you in jail, cause you to lose your driver’s license, and cost you a lot of money. At first, you may feel bewildered and overwhelmed, but you can’t allow these feelings to prevent you from protecting your own interests.
Have you been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Port Orchard? DUI charges in Washington state are a serious matter, even if it is your first offense. Many people don’t understand how you can even fight a DUI charge, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced Kitsap County DUI lawyer to help navigate through the complex criminal legal system in Washington state.
Our team of WA State DUI lawyers offer a free consultation. This means that you can learn more about the nature of your DUI charges without spending a dime. When you call, one of our DUI attorneys will help you figure out the best way to proceed and outline the process in detail. Make no mistake, you do not want to face the full repercussions of a DUI conviction. Most of our clients want to stay out of jail, keep their driving privileges, and minimize the embarrassment associated with a drinking and driving arrest.
We are ready to help you take the next step. Contact one our Washington State DUI lawyers without delay.Understand DUI Law in Washington State
Washington State Statute RCW 46.61.50 states that
"(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood ….or
(b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood …. or
(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug."
Under certain conditions, you may be charged even if you have a lower BAC. These include:
- Driving a commercial vehicle (BAC at or over 0.04%)
- Being under the legal age of consumption, which in Washington is 21 (BAC at or over 0.02%)
It is worth noting that in addition to the reasons provided above, an officer of the law in Port Orchard may arrest you for a DUI on suspicious behavior alone. This means that you can still get a DUI, regardless of the concentration of alcohol or drugs, if an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence according to their judgment. Some reasons an officer might suspect you of driving under the influence include
- Speed (going too fast or too slow)
- Wide right turns
- Swerving (also known as a failure to maintain the lane)
- Lights off (or broken tail lights/brake lights)
- Failure to signal
- Stopping inappropriately
- Following too closely
As you can see, many traffic infractions that you’ve seen performed on a daily basis by hundreds of sober drivers can result in a traffic stop by an officer of the law. Once you’ve been pulled over, this is when the officer may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. If you own a television or watch movies, you’ve seen some variation of the field sobriety test in any form of entertainment featuring officers of the law. Some examples of these tests are:
- Walking in a straight line (usually heel to toe formation)
- Reciting your ABC’s
- Standing balanced on one foot for a certain amount of time
- Touching your finger to the tip of your nose while your eyes are closed
Did you know that you can legally refuse to perform a field sobriety test? Currently, no state in the United States of America legally requires its citizens to submit to field sobriety tests. If you have already submitted to field sobriety tests, an experienced Kitsap DUI lawyer has ways of getting the test results dismissed by the court.
However, under Washington state’s Implied Consent Law just by driving your motor vehicle, you have already consented to a breath or blood test. Refusing to take a breath or blood test will be even more detrimental to your case than taking the test and having the results.
What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer or blood test in Port Orchard?
First DUI offense:
- 2 Days in Jail
- License suspension for 2 years
Second DUI offense:
- 45 days in jail
- License suspension for 3 years
Third DUI offense:
- 120 days in jail
- License suspension for 4 years
You are required to give the officer your name, driver’s license, and registration. You are not obligated to answer any potentially incriminating questions. Should you find yourself in this situation, politely decline further comment by saying that you would like to speak with an attorney first. Any extra information you give to the officer is only going to be used as evidence against you. Silence is not an admission of guilt, and your speaking patterns, tone of voice, word choice, or any speech impairment may be used as evidence against you.What Is the Punishment for a DUI Charge in Port Orchard?
The number of times you have been arrested for or charged with DUI has a significant bearing on how you will be sentenced. Washington state statute has mandatory minimum penalties for each DUI offense. The penalties for each offense are also dependent upon whether the accused had a higher or lower blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15, or if there was an injury to another person.
First Offense DUI punishments include:
- A fine between $800-$5,000
- 1 to 364 days in jail
- Minimum of 90 days license suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for one year
- Up to five years probation
Second Offense DUI punishments include:
- Fines between $1,000-$5,000
- 30-364 days in jail
- Electric Home monitoring (EHM) for 60-90 days
- Minimum 2 years license suspension
- Five years of IID
- Five years of Probation
Third Offense DUI punishments include:
- Fines between $1800-$5,000
- 90-364 days in jail
- EHM for 120 days
- Minimum 3 years license suspension
- 10 years of IID
- Five years of probation
Most DUI charges in Washington state are considered to be gross misdemeanors. If you have been charged with DUI in Port Orchard, your court appearance will most likely be in either Port Orchard Municipal Court or Kitsap County District Court. The location of your court appearance is dependent upon several factors, including the location of your arrest. When you contact our office for your free initial case consultation, our Port Orchard criminal defense attorneys will be happy to more fully explain which court you will need to appear in and which penalties you may incur for your specific charge.What a Port Orchard DUI Lawyer Can Do for You
A DUI charge doesn’t automatically mean a DUI conviction. You don’t have to simply go along with what law enforcement and the prosecution say. You can fight your charges, and you don’t have to do it alone.
Fighting a DUI case requires special skills, extensive legal knowledge, and a lot of experience with the Washington criminal justice system. A skilled Port Orchard DUI lawyer at our Kitsap county firm will review your case to determine if you were unlawfully charged. We will use every available resource to fight for your case and get the best possible outcome.
Every DUI case is unique. There are many law firms in Kitsap County that feature representation for this, and it is necessary that you do research to ensure that you find the right legal representation for you. Having an experienced, qualified, defense attorney representing you can mean the difference between being convicted, and walking free.
Fighting your charges might be scary. You’re probably worried about what a conviction might mean – jail time, fines, and a permanent record. It’s possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Our team of experienced Port Orchard DUI attorneys takes the time to listen to your side of the story, and we stand up for your rights in court.
If you were recently charged with a drunk driving offense in Kitsap County, we encourage you to speak with one of our Port Orchard DUI lawyers immediately. Time is of the essence after a DUI arrest, so there is no reason why you should wait any longer to take the first step. All you have to do is contact our firm. From there, our dedicated legal team can handle the rest. Call now to secure the aggressive DUI defense that you will need!