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Facing DUI Charges?

Here in Washington, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges carry with them significant potential criminal and administrative penalties. Individuals facing DUI charges face the very real possibility of fines, imprisonment, or the revocation of their driver's license. The seriousness of the consequences means that having the right DUI lawyers working on one's behalf could make an enormous difference in the outcome of a pending DUI case.

What Are DUI Charges?

When an individual is pulled over while operating a vehicle for reckless driving or traffic violations, the responding officer may employ a field sobriety test to determine the driver's level of intoxication. The type of test that they use might vary depending on the kind of intoxicant they suspect is involved based on their observations. The sheriff, state patrol, and other law enforcement agencies may also administer breath and blood tests to determine the driver's level of intoxication. A DUI charge will be filed against the driver if the tests find them to be above the legal limit for any intoxicant.

What Substances Can Cause a DUI?

Washington State law states that a person is guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if they are in excess of specifically prescribed concentrations in their blood. That means that an individual may be charged with DUI even if their intoxication stems from prescription or over-the-counter medication in addition to alcohol and illegal drugs. It's important to note that with the recent passage of I-502, which decriminalized possession and use of marijuana in certain instances, lawyers knowledgeable about both the science and legal issues involved in marijuana and alcohol-related charges are more important to an individual's defense than ever.

What Are Felony DUI Charges?

In most cases, a DUI in Washington State is a gross misdemeanor. That designation limits the possible penalty for a DUI to a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. In some instances, though, a DUI may be charged as a felony, which carries far more serious potential penalties.

A DUI may be charged as a felony if:

  • The person is a juvenile
  • The person has a criminal history including three or more prior alcohol or drug offenses within ten years
  • The person has previous convictions for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or a comparable out-of-state offense

Why Get a DUI Lawyer?

In Washington State during 2012, there were nearly 22,000 DUI's charged with 1,285 charges originating out of Kitsap County alone – making retaining a top-notch DUI lawyer in Kitsap County a must.

DUI defense law firms specialize in minimizing the penalties that could result from a DUI conviction. The potential consequences make going it alone a risky move. Even under the best of circumstances, defendants may need to obtain high-risk insurance, have their licenses restricted or converted into an ignition interlock license, or comply with alcohol classes or treatment. Those whose livelihood depends on their retention of a commercial driver's license (CDL) face additional challenges.

What Can a DUI Lawyer Do?

A dedicated and capable DUI attorney is necessary when facing such severe penalties from both the Kitsap County Courts and the Department of Licensing (DOL). Making an appearance in a district court for a DUI charge without experienced DUI lawyers there to assist is likely to result in an unfavorable outcome.

At Shiers Law Firm, we can provide you with a DUI lawyer in Port Orchard to defend against any felony or misdemeanor DUI charge with both vigor and understanding throughout Kitsap County, including in the District Court and Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, and Bremerton Municipal Courts.

As part of a comprehensive defense strategy, our attorneys will fight to save your drivers' license through the administrative hearings process, providing representation from arraignment through trial or resolution.

The Shiers Law Firm Difference

If you're in need of a DUI lawyer in Kitsap County, or more specifically a DUI lawyer in Port Orchard, Shiers Law Firm stands ready to help. Our experienced lawyers can answer all of your questions about:

  • The DUI legal process
  • The DUI administrative process
  • An upcoming DUI trial
  • Driver's license suspensions
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Pretrial diversion agreements

We handle DOL administrative hearings for cases originating throughout Washington State, and we are also available by telephone or e-mail after hours and on the weekends. At Shiers Law Firm we provide the kind of comprehensive, aggressive, quality DUI representation our clients need and deserve.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI or another marijuana or alcohol-related crime, contact us today for a free consultation - we'll fight for you so you don't have to.