Seattle DUI Lawyer
Tough, Effective Defense for All DUI Charges
Many DUI cases arise in the same way: You were leaving a bar, restaurant, or friend's house when a police officer pulled you over for some seemingly routine reason. Maybe your vehicle was swerving, or you were driving without your headlights on, or maybe even doing nothing wrong at all. After the officer pulled you over and asked you a series of questions, you may have been asked to perform a series of field sobriety exercises and tests, give a portable breath test sample, and as a result were arrested for DUI. A person may be arrested for a DUI even if you they give a breath sample below a .08, and it is imperative that you speak to an attorney and discus how to best fight the devastating consequences that can come from a DUI conviction.
Regardless of whether you were legally intoxicated or not, there is a way that you can challenge the charges brought against you and fight to avoid the penalties. With the help and legal protection of an experienced Seattle DUI lawyer, you can test the evidence brought against you and uncover any inconsistencies or errors in the officer's story about your arrest. At Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC, we understand that being arrested is a frightening experience, especially for those who are accused of a DUI for the first, second, or third time.
Our DUI defense lawyers travel to criminal courts around Seattle and Washington, providing the reliable guidance and legal protection you need during the legal process involved with challenging a DUI. We are proud to serve the greater Seattle area, and our team has
over 45 years of combined legal experience in Washington State. Not only are we intimately familiar with Washington law, but we have earned the respect of our peers in the legal community and of hundreds of previous clients charged with DUI as well. We will work just as hard to earn your individual respect and to provide you with high quality criminal defense.
Seattle DUI Information
In February of 2012, Seattle Police Officers filed 174 DUI charges in the Seattle Municipal Court. Thousands of people are arrested and charged with drunk driving in Seattle and throughout Washington over the course of a year, and lawmakers are continually trying to pass tougher legislation for drunk drivers.
The legal Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC) in Washington is .08 percent, leaving no room for error in blood or breath tests. Depending on a person's physical size, the type of alcohol that was consumed, and whether or not any food was eaten, it could take as few as one or two beers to push someone over the legal limit.
Additionally, Seattle Police Officers are tough on any individual they deem to be driving under the influence because the fatality and injury rate is especially high for drunk driving accidents. Even if you show no outward signs of intoxication, you may be asked to undergo a
blood or breath test to determine your
blood alcohol content. If your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you could be charged with drunk driving.
A DUI Arrest: What Happens Next
The period of time immediately following a DUI arrest is critical to the outcome of your case. When you contact a skilled DUI lawyer from our firm, you will immediately begin to receive counsel on how to avoid incriminating yourself in front of a police officer and fight to keep your driver's license. We will provide you with information about your specific DUI, what rights you have, the penalties you may face, and what defense strategies may be effective in fighting your charges.
Depending on where the alleged DUI may have occurred and/or what agency wrote the citation, the time frame for filing the DUI case could be drastically different. While some local courts will file DUI charges immediately after the date of the incident, other jurisdictions in King County will often wait several months until deciding whether charges can or should be filed. Our firm devotes both time and attention to help you understand your situation and the exact ways that we can help. Our attorneys place a high importance on maintaining strong connections during the entirety of each case that we take on and fostering a level of communication where the client feels comfortable during what could be a stressful time in their life.
At the start of representation, we prefer to have an extended conversation with the client in order to get to know them: How could this DUI case affect you specifically? What interests are important to you and what do you hope to accomplish? Our attorneys will use their expertise and guide your through what it means to be charged with a DUI and what possible impacts a DUI can have on your record, your driver's license, and your freedom.
We will conduct an extensive review of the field sobriety tests or any other tests conducted during or after your arrest. Our comprehensive knowledge of this area of the law, combined with a strong commitment to see your case through to the best possible outcome, allows our lawyers to provide high-quality DUI defense counsel for all types of clients. We know how to challenge breath tests that showed an illegal BAC limit as well as failed field sobriety tests, and we will not rest until we are successful on your behalf.
You must also take immediate action after an arrest to fight the automatic suspension of your driver's license. Once you are arrested, you only have 20 days to request a hearing with the Department of Licensing in order to challenge an automatic 90 day license suspension. If you have refused to submit to breath/blood testing, you face an automatic license revocation of one year. A DOL hearing is separate from the criminal hearing, which may bring about additional penalties such as jail time, costly fines, alcohol treatment or rehabilitation, probation, and the possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your car.
Challenging the Evidence Brought Against You
By questioning every piece of evidence brought to the table and looking at a case from every angle, a DUI lawyer from our firm will leave no stone unturned in the effort to reduce or dismiss your charges. Our office handles DUI cases in the Seattle area, in greater King County and Snohomish County, and all across the state of Washington. From Bellevue to Seattle, and Tacoma to Everett, our attorneys will travel across the region to appear on your behalf and best represent your interests as a client charged with DUI.
Regardless of whether you have multiple DUIs on your record or you are
underage there is still hope for avoiding conviction. Although there may be substantial evidence against you, there are also strategies that our legal team will utilize to counter your charges. For example, what if the arresting officer did not have a legitimate reason for pulling you over, but only stopped you because you were leaving a bar? What if your field sobriety tests were not properly administered? What if the device used to conduct the breath test was not maintained or calibrated?
These are but a few of the ways that a DUI can be challenged, and our firm is highly skilled at debunking the prosecution's case against a defendant. While blood, breath and sobriety tests have been deemed the best way to determine a DUI, they are known for being faulty and flawed. Our attorneys will look at the accuracy of the tests used to charge you with DUI. In many cases, health concerns can change the final reading and give an inaccurate BAC level. Emphysema, GERD, asthma, bronchitis and diabetes are all things that can cause an inaccurate test result. Other factors such as improper testing equipment, procedures and outside influences can also all come into play. Field sobriety tests are also commonly used by police officers to determine a driver's level of impairment. The accuracy, subjectivity and credibility of the officer administering the test can all be brought into question, and there have been countless DUI charges that were dismissed because of an inaccurate field sobriety test.
Contact a Seattle DUI Attorney Today
Here at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC, we have helped countless people with DUI charges throughout Seattle & Washington, and are standing by to help you through this challenging time. We never underestimate the serious nature of a drunk driving charge because we know the devastating impact that the penalties of conviction can have on a person's life. When you choose to work with our firm, you can rest assured that we will look towards every detail, combing over everything provided to give you the strongest case we can possibly build.
The exact penalties at stake depend on how high your BAC is at the time of arrest, and whether or not you have had any previous DUI convictions, along with other factors. Enhanced DUI penalties will be given for felony DUI charges,
vehicular assault, or a DUI accident. If there is any way to prevent a DUI conviction, an attorney from our firm will be sure to find it. If you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving,
contact a Seattle DUI attorney at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC today to discuss your case!
We are a source you can trust and have the qualifications you are looking for to best serve your needs, so schedule your free consultation with a DUI lawyer in the Seattle area today.