DUI Washington State: Questions You Need To Ask A Lawyer
Driving under the influence (DUI) laws are meant to prohibit motorists from driving when drunk. It is also essential to know that drunk driving is a DUI, a criminal offense that can lead charges of misdemeanor or felony. Subsequent penalties for A DUI offense may include fines, probation, or a jail term.
If you have ever been arrested for drunk driving, you would agree that getting a good DUI lawyer is of utmost importance to help you understand the facts of your case and to prepare your defense. However, before you settle on a lawyer, it is essential to interrogate them to help you know them better.
Some of the question you need to ask such a lawyer includes:
Do You have experience with DUI Cases?
This question might appear very basic, but this helps ensure that you’re hiring a lawyer who is knowledgeable about DUI cases. It will help to know whether a person is a veteran DUI lawyer or if that would be their first case. This is important because more experience the attorney has, the higher the chances are that you will succeed in your case. The golden rule is that 50% of all the caseload handled by your prospective lawyer should have been DUI-related. Additionally, inquire to know how many cases the attorney has successfully been able to bargain down to “wet reckless” dismissal. This will give you the confidence of succeeding in your case as well.
Do You Work Within My Locality?
Hiring a lawyer who works within your area is a must as they have a full understanding of the ins and outs of the relevant jurisdiction where your case will be conducted. Additionally, if the lawyer is from where you live, they tend to know a lot about the court staff and the prosecutors of your specific location. This will allow for a smooth and seamless experience since the attorney will most likely have an idea of how to navigate the court systems while negotiating your case.
What percentage of your clients opted for deferred prosecution?
In Washington, you have only one chance of getting “deferred prosecution” for your entire lifetime. This is why only people who are in dire need of treatment for serious substance abuse get this judgment. If the judge agrees for the deferred prosecution, you will be placed on a five-year probation period, from which you have to complete a mandatory two-year treatment period. If you succeed and comply with treatment, your case will be dismissed, and if not, you will be charged guilty of DUI.
Most attorneys will encourage the first DUI defendants to take this route, which on the flip side is an easier way for the attorney and a much tougher one for you as the defendant. For This reason, it is advisable to get more experienced attorneys who know that deferred prosecution should never be used on a defendant’s first DUI case.
How Much Is The Fee?
It is vital to know the legal fees that your lawyer will require for the entire case to determine whether the cost is within your budget. Ask your attorney whether the quoted legal fees include the payment at the department of licensing (DOL) as well as for the jury trial. The lawyer should also inform you accordingly before going to DUI trial of any other additional fees. Some of these additional costs will be highly dependent on whether you have had records of past driving offenses or when covering for breath test results. Such knowledge will help you to iron any financial implications that may come as a surprise in the course of your representation in court.
What is the alcohol evaluation in Washington DUI Law?
A lawyer who has been trained in blood alcohol concentration can be a valuable asset that can help you in winning your case. Such an attorney is likely to recommend you to a certified state agency that offers alcohol drug evaluation at reasonable costs. Additionally, your attorney will be able to walk you through the entire screening, ensuring that results have not been tampered with during the process. Some jurisdictions will also require you to undergo the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST), and the drug abuse screening test (DAST).
Under Washington state law, drink driving may lead to criminal charges, but more to these, you may also be subjected to administrative penalties by the Washington department of licensing. Nonetheless, you have a legal obligation for representation in court, and it is advisable that when looking for the right lawyer for your case, you ask the right questions.
Some of the questions you can ask the lawyer is to know if they have experience with DUI cases, understand if they work within your area, and also inquire to know the percentage of his client that has opted for deferred prosecution. Additionally, let them conclusively inform you of the legal fees, besides you can also ask about the procedure of alcohol evaluation in Washington DUI law.