DUI

Traveling with a DUI or Other Criminal Offenses

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Traveling with DUI or Other Criminal Offenses

When you have a DUI charge or conviction, travelling out of the country is a bit more complicated.  

You need to be aware that there are rules and restrictions that may prevent your entry into other countries, including Canada.

Be Prepared

Do your research  for the country you are planning to visit

Crossing the Border

According to the Canadian Immigration law if you have been charged with or convicted of a Driving while Impaired (DUI), you could be denied entry into Canada.

Canada does have a permit that you can apply for that may allow your entry into Canada.

Required Documents

Check your documents prior to making any trip across an international border, to confirm each country requirements for entry. 

The Canada Border Services Agency has a list of acceptable documents for a United States citizen may need to cross the border.  

A list of those documents for re-entry United States of America are on the US customs and border protection website.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world.  

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What is a SCRAM Bracelet

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What is a SCRAM Bracelet?

The Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM ankle bracelet) is a device used by  The Courts and probation officers in Washington State to determine if an individual has been drinking alcohol. 

The SCRAM is permanently affixed to a person's lower leg, above their ankle.

Why is a SCRAM Bracelet Required?

A SCRAM bracelet may be required as a condition of release at the DUI arraignment for defendants who have prior DUI offenses, or if the blood/breath alcohol content was high at the time of the arrest.  

If the SCRAM bracelet is ordered, as a condition of your release, you will be required to wear the bracelet until the conclusion of your DUI case.

How does the SCRAM Bracelet Work?

The SCRAM bracelet measures the ethanol vapor in your perspiration through a process called transdermal alcohol testing.  

Perspiration will contain a certain level of ethanol that is detectable regardless if you have visible sweat. 

Testing

The SCRAM bracelet tests automatically every 30 minutes.
The bracelet stores all data that is collected until it is downloaded to the base station.  
During the scheduled download, you are required to be within 30 feet of the base station.
The results are transmitted to your assigned agent by a telephone line or a wireless router. 

Limitations

The SCRAM bracelet has the ability to detect tampering, obstruction or damage to the device.

The SCRAM bracelet cannot be submerged in water, baths or swimming is not permitted. 

Showering with alcohol free soap and water is permitted.  

The area will need to be dried completely to avoid skin irritations.  

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world.  

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system

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Deferred Prosecution

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Deferred Prosecution

A Deferred Prosecution is generally related to a DUI.  

A person will only qualify to use a Deferred Prosecution once in their Lifetime.

Important to know...

You are required to go through an Evaluation and must agree that one of the following was a contributing factor in your DUI.

  • Alcohol

  • Drugs

  • Mental Health

You need to complete an Outpatient Treatment program for 2 years.

You must abide by all Probation restrictions for 5 years.

Good News

If you do everything as instructed and do not violate any of the restrictions, your DUI will be dismissed.

Bad News

If you are convicted of a second DUI, this Deferred DUI will count as a prior offense.  Which will add to the consequences.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world.  

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

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What Is a Drug or Alcohol Evaluation

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What is a Drug or Alcohol Evaluation?

A diagnostic evaluation of your alcohol or drug use history is performed by a certified chemical dependency professional also known as an evaluator.  

Why do I Have a Drug or Alcohol Evaluation Requirement?

There are a few reasons why someone would need to get a Drug or Alcohol evaluation.  

The court may require an alcohol or drug evaluation as part of your probationary release of a current case.  

If you have been convicted of a D.U.I., the Department of Licensing will require an alcohol or drug evaluation in the review process to reinstate your driver’s license.  

Your attorney may ask you to complete an alcohol or drug evaluation in order to help with negotiations with the prosecutor for your pending D.U.I. case.

The Evaluation Interview

The certified evaluator will ask you a multitude of questions to help assess your current alcohol or drug use.  

They will review your:

  • Legal history
  • Blood alcohol content or evidence of drug use at the time of the arrest.  
  • Case history including: age, marital status, education, any previous military service, job status, mental and medical health.  
  • Current use of any prescribed or over the counter medications.  

You will be required to submit a urine sample for a toxicology screening for drugs and alcohol.

Evaluation Completion

After the Evaluation Interview the Evaluator will gather required documents to complete the evaluation report.  

Most agencies require the police report from the incident, your criminal background history, and a copy of your motor vehicle driving record.  You will need to sign the treatment agencies release of information so they may submit it to the Attorney.

The diagnostic evaluation including the  suggested treatment measures are compiled from the personal interview do and the data from the various reports. 

Various Treatment Recommendations.  

Treatment recommendations are made by the professional. The Evaluator will recommend the best course of action to take regarding your current legal issue for the court to review. 

These may include intensive inpatient treatment, outpatient care, an 8 hour alcohol drug information school(A.D.I.S.) or a Victims Panel.  And are suited to the individual case.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world. 

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

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Keeping Your License After a DUI

How To Keep Your License After A DUI

The Ignition Interlock License (IIL) is a Restricted Driver’s License that you need to apply for. 

If approved by the Department of Licensing, a IIL will allow you to drive a vehicle while your current license is suspended or revoked for a drug or alcohol-related driving offense.   

To be eligible, your driving record must show all of the following:

An arrest or conviction of any of the following:

  • DUI or Physical Control involving drugs or alcohol

  • Reckless Driving

  • Vehicular Assault involving drugs or alcohol

  • Vehicular Homicide involving drugs or alcohol

  • You have an unexpired WA driver license or a valid out of state driver license

Your current suspension or revocation doesn't include:

  • Minor in Possession, or

  • Habitual Traffic Offender (Suspended 1st degree)

Ignition Interlock License Application

Before the Washington State Department of Licensing will consider your application for an ignition interlock license you must complete the following steps.

1. Install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.  

  • There are several ignition interlock device locations in Washington State, a general internet search should help you find one near you.

  • Choose an installer that is approved by the Washington State Patrol.

  • The ignition interlock installer will send proof of installation to the Department of Licensing.

  • Fees vary depending on the installation location you select. They may include an installation fee, a monthly fee for the device to be maintained in your vehicle, required monthly calibration of the ignition interlock device.

2. Provide proof of financial responsibility to Washington State.  

  • Obtain a Certificate of Insurance, commonly known as SR-22 insurance.

  • The auto insurance company will submit the SR-22 filing to the Washington State Department of Licensing.

  • The SR-22 filing may take up to 10 business days to be processed.

3. Submit a Restricted Driver License Application.  

  • This application can be found at https://www.dol.wa.gov/ under the ignition interlock driver’s license page.

  • Mail the completed application and the required $100.00 application fee to the Washington State Department of Licensing restricted licensing department.

If the Washington State Department of Licensing does not receive all documents that are required with your application within 30 days, they will deny your application.  

What Happens Next?

Once all three steps have been completed, your application for the ignition interlock license will be reviewed by the Department of Licensing.  

If the Department of Licensing approves your application, they will mail or email your ignition interlock license when your license suspension begins.  

Things to Know About an Ignition Interlock license  

  • It is valid only in Washington State.

  • It is required for the entire time your license is suspended.

  • You will be required to maintain ignition interlock devices on all the vehicles you drive.

  • Exceptions may exist for employer owned vehicles.

We know that DUI’s can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world.  

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system

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DUI

DUI

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.

The Adult DUI

The charge for an adult is DUI.

A DUI is a gross misdemeanor, which has a maximum of 364 days in jail and additional court penalties.

  • Requires a blood alcohol content of .08 or,

  • 5 nanograms or higher for Driving under the influence of Marijuana or,

  • In the alternative, be under the influence of Drugs or Alcohol.

Underage DUI

The charge for someone under the age of 21 is Driver Under Twenty-One consuming alcohol or marijuana and is operating or being in physical control of a motor vehicle.

An Underage DUI is considered a misdemeanor, which has a maximum  of 90 days in jail and additional court penalties.

For a minor the blood alcohol content is .02.

A DUI is a serious crime, with serious penalties for you.

  • You could be arrested.

  • Face a Driver’s license suspension.  

  • There will be assorted Court hearings including an Arraignment, Pre-Trial hearings, Trial, Sentencing.  

  • You may be sentenced with Jail, Fines, Scram Bracelet, Drug and Alcohol Evaluation, Treatment, Ignition Interlock, SR 22 filing Insurance.  

In the long term

  • You may need to have background checks done, that will bring this back to the surface years from now.

  • There are also countries, including Canada, that will not allow you to enter after you have been convicted of  a DUI.

Drinking? Driving? Don't!

If you are drinking and travelling, plan to have a designated driver, call a friend, call a cab, call a tow truck, or Stay.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world.  

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system

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Your License When You Get a DUI

What Happens to Your License When You Get a DUI

When you have a DUI there are 2 separate legal processes to be handled.

  • One is the Criminal side of the DUI that is addressed by the presiding Court.

  • The other is the Administrative Hearing by the Department of Licensing.

The arresting officer will file the DUI report as required to address these two legal steps.

How Long is my License Good For?

The suspension of your driver’s license will begin 30 days from the date of your DUI arrest.   

Department of Licensing Administrative Hearing

You have 7 days, from the date of the arrest, to request a hearing with the Department of Licensing to contest the suspension.

This hearing will be held by telephone and the results will be mailed to you.

When you hire Merrill Law for your DUI, the Attorney will handle the Department of Licensing telephone hearing for you, or you have the option to represent yourself.

What will the Department of Licensing Consider?

During your Department of License Administrative hearing the examiner will consider several details.

  • Were you under lawful arrest.

  • Did the officer have reasonable grounds to believe you had been driving or were in physical control of a motor vehicle in the state of Washington while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug,

  • Were you advised of your rights and warnings.

  • Did you refuse to submit to a test, or if you did take the test.

  • Did the test indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more if you were 21 or over or 0.02 if you were under the age of 21.

What to Expect If You Handle the Hearing Yourself.

The telephone hearing examiner will advise you that the testimony will be recorded and that all the testimony provided during the hearing is under oath.

The examiner will review the issues to be decided, and identify the exhibits.  Exhibits may include the police report and breathalyzer report.

This is the opportunity to object to the admission of evidence or testimony.  If an objection is made, the examiner will determine if it is appropriate to admit the evidence or testimony.  

All the witnesses will be sworn in and the examiner will listen to their testimony.  At this point you have the opportunity to testify, present evidence, cross-examine any of the state’s witnesses or you may bring your own witnesses to the hearing.  

The hearing examiner will adjourn the hearing.  

Following the hearing, the examiner will review all of the evidence that was submitted and will make a decision regarding the suspension of your license.  

The review process may take the hearing examiner up to 6 weeks from the date of the hearing.  

If your license is valid, a temporary license will be extended to you until the hearing examiner makes the final decision.  

The examiner will mail a letter to the address that you have on record to notify you of the decision.

If You Do Not Request an Administrative Hearing.

Your license will only be valid for 30 days from the date of the DUI arrest.  Your license will then be suspended for 90 days or more.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it isn't the end of the world.  

Contact us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

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Understanding a DUI Stop

Understanding A DUI Stop

You grab your keys, hop into the driver’s seat and get on the road.  Soon you notice the red and blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror.

You have been out for some fun, enjoying a few alcoholic beverages and you are now realizing that you could be charged with a DUI.

If you have committed a traffic infraction, an officer will pull you over.  

When the officer approaches the window of the vehicle, he will notice if there is an odor of alcohol or drugs from the car, if your eyes are glassy or bloodshot, your speech is slurred or your mannerisms are impaired.  

The Field Sobriety Test

With a reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, the officer will ask you to step out of the car and complete a field sobriety test.

A field sobriety test is a series of 3 tests that will be administered by an officer to determine the impairment of the driver and establish probable cause for arrest.  

  • Test one is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test  

The officer will observe the driver’s eyes as the driver follows a slowly moving object, usually this is done with a writing utensil or a small flashlight.  

  • Test two is the walk and turn test.  

This requires the driver to listen, follow instructions, while performing the simple physical movements.  The driver will be asked to take nine steps, heel-to-toe along a straight line, and then turn on one foot and return to the starting position walking along the same straight line heel-to-toe.  

  • The third and final test is the one-leg stand test.  

The driver will be asked to stand with one foot approximately six inches off of the ground and then will be directed to count aloud by thousands until the officer directs the driver to place the foot down.  

The officer will be looking for indicators of impairment, which include swaying while balancing, use of the arms for balance, hopping to help maintain balance, and placing the foot down for balance.

Breath Test

The officer may also ask you to take a portable breath test to measure your blood alcohol content.

Should you Take the Test

If you are suspected of driving while under the influence, It is important that you speak with an attorney prior to taking any type of test to determine your ability to drive.

If you refuse to take the tests, the officer may place you under arrest and you may be taken to jail.  

Knowing your Rights

Within a reasonable amount of time, the arresting officer is required to notify you of your right to talk to an attorney.  

It is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to help determine which course of action you should take to help with your situation.

What are the Consequences?

Receiving a DUI is a serious offense and may lead to time in jail, suspension of your license, probation and many other requirements or penalties.

We know that DUIs can be a life changing event but it is not the end of the world.  

Contact us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM RICK...

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What is Deferred Prosecution?

 

What is a Deferred Prosecution for DUI Cases?

A deferred prosecution is something that should not be taken lightly.  If you have been charged with a DUI or physical control in Washington State you are only eligible for deferred prosecution once in a lifetime.  If you are able to complete all of the court imposed conditions after a 5 year period, the DUI charge will be dismissed.  

Deferred prosecution has its benefits.  It can help you keep your driver’s license, avoid having to serve jail time, as well help those with serious drug or alcohol dependency achieve sobriety.

Eligibility

There is a strict criteria that you must meet before you can be eligible for deferred prosecution.

  1. You cannot have been granted a deferred prosecution in your lifetime
  2. You must be diagnosed by a court approved substance abuse counselor as alcohol dependent, drug dependent or have mental health issues diagnosed by a mental health professional
  3. You must be enrolled and complete a 2 year treatment program for alcohol or drug abuse, or a 2 year treatment program for mental health treatment.  RCW 10.05.020

Serious Considerations

When you enter into a deferred prosecution program you need to consider several court requirements

  1. When you agree to a deferred prosecution for a DUI, you must give up the opportunity to fight your case in court.  Meaning if at all during the 5 year period you are found out of compliance with the terms of the deferred prosecution, the presiding judge would read the police report from DUI charge, and you could be found guilty of the DUI charge without the ability to present evidence in your defense.
  2. After you have successfully completed the deferred prosecution program and the DUI charge is dismissed, the deferred prosecution is still considered a prior offense. RCW 46.61.5055
  3. When accepting a deferred prosecution you are legally required to state that you have an alcohol or drug abuse problem or suffering from mental health issues, and by stating this you agree that without professional treatment the possibility of a repeat offense is likely.
  4. You are required to be abstinent from alcohol and non-prescribed, mood altering drugs during the 5 year deferred program.  You will be required to submit random urinalysis tests through the treatment agency and probation to confirm your abstinence from alcohol or drugs.
  5. A rigorous 2 year treatment program for alcohol, drug abuse or mental health is required.
  6. There are several costs to consider when entering into a deferred prosecution program.  You will be required to take financial responsibility for any treatment program expenses as well as probation costs.  Courts will consider probation costs to be paid over a length of time, however it is important to understand that expenses can range in the $1000’s
  7. The court will require you to have an ignition interlock device as well as an ignition interlock license.  The Washington State Department of Licensing might have this requirement as well, depending on if your license has been suspended by them.  

All Things Considered

Getting a DUI is a serious offense, and having the right people in your corner to help you get through this hiccup in your life can be life changing.  Rick is an experienced DUI attorney that can help you navigate the legal process.

Give us a Call

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of receiving a DUI, please don’t hesitate to give Rick a call.  He is an experienced DUI attorney and has been handling DUI cases since 1992.

If you’ve just been pulled over or have received a DUI and would like Rick to represent you - give us a call  or send us an email, we’ll get right back to you.

If you have any questions at any time throughout the process you can always call and ask the office - we are more than happy to help.

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