If you have been arrested for DUI anywhere in Pierce County by either a WSP trooper or Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy, your case will likely be filed in Pierce County District Court, which is located in the County-City Building in Tacoma.
For DUI cases filed in Tacoma Municipal Court, click here.
DUI filings in Pierce County may take anywhere from two weeks to several months following arrest, though typically are filed within a month of the incident. Although the arresting officer may not given you a date to appear in court, he should have given you the Request for DOL Administrative Hearing form. Although Pierce County may take weeks to file your DUI case, remember that the Department of Licensing (DOL) plans to suspend your license 60 days following your arrest – regardless of whether you've yet been charged – and you face automatic suspension unless you request a hearing within 20 days.
What Will Happen With My Court Case?
At your first appearance (arraignment) in Room 839, the assigned judge will set conditions of release which may include bail and/or alcohol monitoring (Ignition Interlock, SCRAM, EHM with Sobrietor). The court will issue a pretrial hearing date, usually about four to six weeks later.
Which Pierce County Judge Will Handle My DUI Case?
There are currently eight judges assigned to the Pierce County District Court: Judges Karla Buttorf, Jeanette Lineberry, Margaret Ross, Judy Jasprica, Claire Sussman, Frank Dacca, James Heller, and Kevin McCann.
Pierce County judges rotate on a semi-regular basis. At any time, four are assigned to hear DUI and other criminal matters; two hear infractions, and one is assigned exclusively to handle Domestic Violence matters.
Following arraignment, Pierce County District Court cases are assigned to a particular courtroom. Once assigned, your case will likely stay in that courtroom, even if that judge rotates out. The Pierce County bench is known for being tough on DUI and other criminal offenses from arraignment forward, particularly when there is prior related history. Over the past few years prosecutors in Pierce County have tightened standards when it comes to plea offers.
I'm Charged With DUI in Pierce County. What Are My Options?
If you have been recently arrested for DUI in Pierce County, or charged with DUI in Pierce County District Court, you need an experienced attorney who is both focused on DUI defense, with knowledge of the policies and customs of the Pierce County Court system and the Prosecuting Attorneys that handle DUI cases there.
Pierce County DUI Attorney Dan Gerl is himself a former Pierce County DUI prosecutor who handled hundreds of DUI cases and several DUI jury trials. He knows first-hand how Pierce County Prosecutors evaluate DUI cases and how to work with them to achieve the best possible outcome for you. If that means taking your case to trial, Dan has the experience and familiarity with the Pierce County court, having regularly appeared before its judges both as a prosecutor as well as a defense attorney.
If you face a DUI in Pierce County, it is essential that you speak with a DUI defense attorney who understands the current state of Pierce County and Washington DUI law as well as the customs and personalities of the Pierce County District Court. Dan Gerl has the skills, knowledge and experience to aggressively defend you against DUI charges in Pierce County, and he currently handles several cases there and throughout the Puget Sound area.
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Pierce County are increasingly harsh and include license suspension, jail time, fines and monetary fees, ignition interlock requirements, and SR-22 insurance requirements. Call us today at (253) 627-4696 to schedule a free consultation. You can also e-mail us at [email protected] or use the Contact Form on this page for a free case evaluation.
The Tacoma Municipal Court is also located in the County-City Building in Tacoma. For information on DUI cases filed there, click here.
Click here to find out more information regarding DOL license suspensions, Ignition Interlock Device, how to Request an Administrative Hearing to contest your suspension, and how to apply for a Restricted (IIL/ORL) License.
Click here for Pierce County District Court contact information.