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DUI FAQs

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Offenses

The Law Offices of Steve Karimi understands that if you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and your blood alcohol concentration was legally over the limit, that you probably have a great many questions. We have answered some frequently asked questions here, but for an answer to your own individual question, we urge tot to call or contact our law firm to schedule a free initial consultation. If you are being charged with a DUI, don't be afraid to contact a skilled and highly qualified DUI and criminal defense attorney.


Do I need an attorney?

The business of defending a DUI is complex.   Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws and currently, approximately only 15% of DUI cases result in an acquittal at trial.  The law poses a challenge for attorneys defending a DUI. If you are being charged for a DUI, you need to hire an attorney who specializes in DUI defense.

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Why was I released?

You just got stopped and arrested for a DUI.   There are two common arrest procedures:  1) an officer may cite you through investigation, or 2) an officer may book you into jail.   When cited through investigation, an officer will release you from custody and file a report with the prosecutor.   The prosecutor will then file the case with the court, and the court will summons you to appear for arraignment.  In some jurisdictions, an officer may also issue a summons directly to court at the time of arrest.

It is common for an officer to book and release, rather than book into jail.  If booked into jail, a bail bonding company should be contacted right away.  If in custody, the jail will transport the defendant to court, for a first appearance and arraignment.  Release may occur or bail may be reduced at that time.

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What about the Department of Licensing hearing?

When arrested and booked at the police department, you should have received a request for a department of licensing hearing.   If you are over the age of twenty-one and blew under the legal limit, it is likely you will still be charged with a DUI, although you should not have received the request for the DOL hearing form.

For those cases above the legal limit, the department of licensing will automatically suspend/revoke your license, unless you request an administrative hearing within thirty days from the date of incident.  The deadline is strict.  Depending on your driving history, the sanction varies.  Please see the license suspension/revocation section of this web site.

The administrative hearing is a separate independent hearing from the criminal case.  The outcome of the administrative hearing does not affect the criminal case.

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Is my license valid?

A punched license indicates the DOL intends to take action against your license to drive.  It is important to request a DOL hearing within thirty days from the date of incident to challenge this administrative action.  After you requested a hearing, your license remains valid, unless a hearing examiner finds in favor of the state and suspends/revokes your license.   If you failed to request a hearing the DOL will automatically suspend your license sixty days from the date of incident.

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What is SR-22?

If you are convicted of DUI or the department of licensing suspends or revokes your license, you are required to purchase high-risk insurance.  The premiums vary, although you can count on paying much more for your insurance.  There are a number of insurance companies who offer high-risk insurance.  When you purchase high-risk insurance, the insurance company will file proof of high-risk insurance directly with the State.  A driver must maintain proof of SR-22 for a period of three years following reinstatement of his or her license.

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Do I need to prepare for arraignment?

Arraignment is when you will be formally charged with a DUI.  A plea of “not guilty” is usually entered at that time.  After the entry of the plea, a judge will decide whether to impose “pre-trial” conditions. The conditions that a judge sets will range from most restrictive, such as being placed on home detention or jail, to less restrictive conditions, such as no consumption of alcohol.   In all cases, the judge will assess whether you represent a threat to the community and will set restrictive conditions accordingly.

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When should I consult with a lawyer?

Being arrested for DUI can invoke feelings of fear, embarrassment, and even depression.  Do not to be so hard on yourself.  You are not a bad person.   There are people in all walks of life who have been arrested for DUI.  Rest assured that the more control you take over in your life now, including, educating yourself about DUI law, the greater peace of mind you will have.  Because you are in a vulnerable position, you need to consult with an attorney you can trust.  Steve Karimi is glad to consult with you, give you the information you need to know now, and without obligation.

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What can an attorney do for me?

There are winners and losers in the court of law.   Not all defendants are treated the same.  Some defendants suffer for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  A defendant's future may depend on the whims of a prosecutor, the mood of the judge, and other arbitrary factors.  One thing that you can count on is Steve Karimi will provide you with the best defense.

Each case is unique, but after handling thousands of cases as a former prosecutor, Steve Karimi knows the grounds to attack and the grounds to challenge the evidence against you.

Any defense of a DUI includes challenging the stop and arrest.  Other critical areas of DUI defense are getting the breath test results suppressed.   Recent challenges that have led to suppression include, for example: software problems in the machine; lack of certification and calibration of a thermometer in the machine; defective warnings prior to conducting the test; and, even a constitutional challenge to the new DUI statute itself.  Even if the breath test is not suppressed, an experienced DUI attorney will be able to discount the results altogether.  Please give the Law Offices of Steve Karimi a call, to find out what an experienced attorney can do for you.

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What if I refused the test?

Refusal cases require the same vigorous challenge as if there were breath test results.  Some officers submit a refusal even though the driver attempted to blow but the machine did not register.  Other refusal cases may be explained by confusion, lack of clarification by the officer, and improper procedure.

Refusing to blow into the machine carries with it significant department of licensing consequences.  An experienced attorney will offer you advice to help you understand and wage your best defense.

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What about a deferred prosecution?

A person who has a serious problem with alcohol may qualify for a deferred prosecution.  By statute, a person who qualifies may elect to enter an alcohol treatment program in exchange for their case being dismissed at the end of a five-year period.   It is not a way out of DUI.  Many people fail at the prospect of doing a two-year treatment program followed by probation.  It is important to discuss this option with an attorney, but not be misled into thinking this is your way out of a DUI.

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“Let My Extensive Experience as a Former Prosecutor Work For You.”

DUI charges require the understanding and knowledge of a specialized DUI criminal defense attorney.  Don't let the State convict you when you have a viable defense.  If you have been arrested for drunk driving and have a DUI charge filed against you, please  call or contact our Seattle Washington criminal defense law firm. You'll get a criminal defense attorney who will do whatever it takes to get a favorable outcome for his clients.

Contact Us

If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-621-8777 during regular business hours or 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

Seattle Defense Lawyer

Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.