DUI Defense Attorneys in Washington
Altman & Witt attorneys help minimize the long-term damage a DUI can cause.
Being arrested for and charged with a DUI can be a life altering experience. The embarrassment, expense and inconvenience of the criminal charge can be a heavy burden for the average person to bear. At Altman and Witt, our goal is to mitigate the long-term damage that can happen when an individual is charged with a DUI.
We understand the impact that a DUI can have on employment, family, reputation, future job prospects and even security clearances. We do not take the responsibility of handling a client’s future lightly. We understand that the outcome of a criminal case can have ramifications on a person’s life that are much longer in duration than any sentence.
A DUI in Washington State is a complicated charge.
Washington DUI charges are not just handled in the criminal court. The Department of Licensing will also take an action to suspend your license. Either entity (court-criminal or DOL-civil) has the authority to suspend a person’s privilege to drive. Matters get worse if an accused person already has a DUI on their record, or if the person has a CDL. We handle both sides of the equation and often handle complex cases where an individual has prior convictions, has refused the test, or is under 21 years of age. We are also licensed to practice in the Federal District Court, which means we handle DUI cases that originate from any of the area’s Military bases.
DUI cases below the .08 limit are now being pursued in Washington, and sometimes it's based on opinion.
In recent years, we have noticed that law enforcement agencies and prosecutor’s offices are now pursuing cases that are below the .08 limit. The phenomena of the State going after people that are below .08 is growing more prevalent and visible inside of the last few years. The DUI statute (RCW 46.61.502) has always given the State the authority to go below the .08 limit, but that path was rarely used five or more years ago. Now it is commonplace that when person blows a .06 for example, the Officer just needs to have the opinion that the person is “impaired.” When the accusation is based on an “opinion,” and not on a scientific test, the State’s case is very subjective, meaning the evidence is colored by the beliefs and perceptions of the officer. These are interesting cases, and they are increasing in numbers. It is hard to explain to an individual how the State can pursue their low BAC case, because Washington drivers have always been taught that the standard is .08. The way the law is currently applied, it is really a standard with no meaning.
Representation for prescription medication DUI cases
Another cautionary warning is in dealing with prescription medication. Washington State has more than doubled its number of Drug Recognition Experts, or “DRE’s” in recent years. We represent many people who do not understand that a medicine prescribed by a physician, and used in accordance with the prescription, can lead to an arrest for DUI. The lack of knowledge is not a defense and many people get prosecuted due to run of the mill medications and sleeping aids.
It is best to contact an attorney early on in the process.
At Altman & Witt, we can help you beginning at the earliest stages of the process. We take calls from as early as on the roadside and can assist in the multitude of decisions that law enforcement will force an individual to make throughout the process. A large number of these decisions that an individual is forced to make on the spot (and while under stress) can have an impact on the strength of the State’s case. We will always answer whatever questions we can and we encourage individuals to give us a call at any time in the process.
Have you been charged with a DUI in Washington?
At Altman & Witt, we are there for our clients at each step of the process and we always try to have an open line of communication. It is a stressful process and we want our clients to rest assured that their futures are in good hands. We answer the phones in the evenings and throughout the weekends. This is so that we, and our clients, will be prepared to face the task ahead.
Ryan Witt has been defending DUI cases in Western Washington for more than 11 years. We handle DUI cases in Kitsap and Pierce Counties and all the municipalities therein. Call our offices in Tacoma (253) 761-1000 or Bremerton (360) 377-7000, for a free consultation, or click here for our online contact form.