If I get a DUI in Washington State will my drivers license be suspended?
Washington State DUI laws are some of the toughest in our nation. Besides the criminal charges you will face if you are charged with DUI you will also face a mandatory license suspension. The State of Washington requires a license suspension of between 90 days - 2years! Additionally, unless you request a DOL hearings with a DOL hearings request form, your license will be automatically suspended!
The catch is that because the DOL hearing is not a criminal proceeding the State of Washington 1) charges $375 for the privilege of even getting a hearing; 2) will not provide you with a public defender at the hearing; and 3) uses a different legal standard to suspend your drivers license.
Here are the problems with the State of Washington DOL hearing procedures are:
1. It costs $375, and this happens before you have been convicted of a crime! It seems unjust that the accusation of a crime will result in a drivers license suspension hearing that costs you $375!
2. You will NOT be provided with a public defender. Because a DOL hearing suspends your drivers license it is not a criminal proceeding. This means that you will not be provided with a public defender!
3. The standard of proof is NOT "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." The standard of proof that the DOL uses is "More likely than not." This means that the DOL does not have to meet a high bar of proof for suspending your drivers license.
4. There is no Judge! That's correct, a DOL hearing officer plays the part of both prosecutor and judge.
If you have received a DUI in Washington State you will need a private DUI attorney to help you retain your driving privileges. The state considers driving to be a privilege. But for many people it is a fundamental necessity to retain employment and fulfill commitments to family. It is time for the State of Washington to take a look at this fundamentally unfair process and give the citizens of Washington State access to due process to retain their driving privileges at DOL hearings.
You can learn more about DUI Defense by Visiting our DUI WEBPAGE or by calling John T Law at (425) 830-7520