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What happens to my license after a DUI arrest and conviction?

Facing any type of criminal charge is both confusing and overwhelming, especially if you find yourself facing charges related to drunk driving. You know that drunk driving can bring serious penalties for Washington drivers convicted of this type of crime, including the loss of driving privileges.

You need your license to drive to work, school, the grocery store, doctor appointments and to take your kids to various places. Protecting your license is of critical importance, and it can be helpful to know what happens to it after a DUI arrest, as well as after a DUI conviction. 

So what's going to happen to my license?

It may be helpful for you to know what to expect after a DUI arrest, including what is going to happen to your license. In Washington, two things can happen to your license if arrested for DUI, including the following:

  • After an arrest: A driver will have his or her license suspended after an arrest for DUI for a period of 90 days up to two years, depending on previous DUIs and criminal history. The driver has the right to request a hearing disputing the suspension.
  • After a conviction: If convicted of driving under the influence, a driver could face a license suspension ranging from 90 days up to four years. Any suspension time already served due to your arrest may apply toward the new suspension. It is not possible to contest a suspension as a result of a conviction.

Some drivers may find it possible to get a restricted license during the suspension period. This would allow a person to drive to important obligations, such as work, school and more. You may have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car in order to get a restricted license.

Protecting your interests after a DUI

It can be tough to lose your license, especially if you need to drive for your education, career or to care for your family. As soon as possible after a DUI arrest, it can be beneficial to begin working on your defense options, which may provide you a way to confront the charges against you and possibly mitigate some of the potential penalties you are facing.

A DUI and all of the penalties that come with it can be daunting. You have the right to secure help and present a defense, even challenging the prosecution's case against you and fighting to protect your right to drive.

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Tim Kelly

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