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Department of Licensing
In Washington, DUI charges involve two components: the criminal DUI case, and the Washington Department of Licensing Administrative hearing. You can lose your license under either one, even if you are not found guilty of DUI by a court, the Washington Department of Licensing can still suspend your license. This makes it critical to have a DUI attorney who can also represent you in the licensing administrative hearing.
Washington DUI Administrative Hearing
When a driver is arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will "punch" their driver's license and give you paperwork to request an administrative hearing with the Department of Licensing (DOL). if you wish to contest your license suspension, you have short time period to protect your driving privileges. If you do not file a Driver's Hearing Request form within 20 days your driving license will automatically be suspended, even if your attorney wins your DUI case or gets it reduced to a different charge.
You can be represented at your DOL hearing by your DUI attorney, and this is recommended if you want the best chance of protecting your driving privileges. Typically, DOL hearings are done over the phone with an appointed hearings officer. This is separate from your DUI criminal case, and any statements made during this hearing are not admissible in your criminal case. A trained attorney can cross examine the arresting officer during these cases, subpoena evidence, and point out flaws in the DUI arrest procedure that can protect your right to drive.
If you are charged with a Washington DUI, it is critical that the DOL paperwork be filed promptly, and that you consult with an experienced lawyer who can best present your case before the hearings officer to avoid a suspension or revocation.
Call our offices today to schedule an appointment to speak with Andrew or one of our other qualified attorneys