You know that facing criminal charges of any kind can have a significant negative impact on various areas of your life. When facing charges for drunk driving, there is much more than just steep fines and potential jail time at stake; your right to drive is at risk.
The loss of your driving privileges is a steep price to pay for a DUI. Washington drivers would be wise to know what kind of penalties they are facing and how they can confront the charges against them. Protecting your right to drive is tantamount to many important areas of your life, including your ability to get to work and school. With help, it is possible to fight a DUI and potentially mitigate some of the penalties you are facing.
Suspensions after arrest and after conviction
In Washington, there are two license suspensions levied against a driver for drunk driving. One is effective immediately after arrest and the other is effective after a conviction. The differences between the two are as follows:
- After an arrest: After an arrest for alleged drunk driving, you will face a suspension of your license. You may request a hearing to dispute the suspension, but if the ruling is not in your favor or you do not request a hearing, your license will be suspended anywhere from 90 days up to two years.
- After a conviction: If convicted of DUI, you could face a license suspension for anywhere between 90 days and four years, depending on your criminal history. The time served after your arrest applies toward the new post-conviction suspension period.
During the period of your license suspension, you may be able to secure a restricted license. This would allow you to drive to work, school and other necessary places. Restricted license holders must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
Protecting your right to drive
Your right to drive is important, and your fight to protect it begins as soon as possible after an arrest. With help, it may be possible to avoid a conviction, which would ensure that you do not lose your license for the entirety of the suspension period. You may also seek help regarding a hearing after an arrest, or if already convicted, regarding the possibility of securing a restricted license.
If you are facing DUI charges, you have no time to lose in seeking the protection of your interests. No matter your criminal history or the nature of your individual case, you have the right to a defense and to pursue the optimal outcome.