If you have been arrested for DUI in the city limits of Tacoma by a City of Tacoma police officer, your case will likely be filed in Tacoma Municipal Court.
(For DUI cases filed in Pierce County District Court, click here.)
DUI filings in Tacoma usually happen immediately, as drivers are often booked and brought before the court while in custody. If you are released or post bail (usually with a $1000 appearance bond with the jail), you will likely be given a date to appear for arraignment within the following week. The arresting officer should have also given you the Request for DOL Administrative Hearing form. Regardless of when the City files your DUI case, remember that the Department of Licensing (DOL) plans to suspend your license 60 days following your arrest, and you face automatic suspension unless you request a hearing within 20 days.
What Will Happen With My Case In Court?
At your arraignment (first appearance), the Tacoma prosecuting attorney will ask the court to set conditions of release, which may include bail or alcohol monitoring (SCRAM, Ignition Interlock) depending on prior history. The court will issue a pretrial hearing date, usually about four to six weeks later.
Who Is The Tacoma DUI Judge?
DUI cases in Tacoma are currently handled by the Hon. Elizabeth Verhey in Room 234. Judge Verhey has a reputation for being fair, but very tough on DUI offenses, particularly where there are prior DUI offenses. Judge Verhey runs a very tight court – do not be late for roll call!
What Can I Do If I'm Charged With a Tacoma DUI?
To achieve the best outcome at your arraignment and throughout your case, you should retain an experienced and dedicated Tacoma DUI attorney, before your first court appearance if possible. It is critical that you have an experienced DUI attorney with you at your arraignment, as this may be your only opportunity to challenge the prosecutor's request for bail and/or alcohol monitoring. Also, keep in mind that the Department of Licensing is already busy preparing to suspend your license within 60 days.
If you are charged with DUI or a related offense in Tacoma, you need an experienced attorney who is both focused on DUI defense, with knowledge of the policies and customs of the Tacoma Municipal Court and their Prosecuting Attorneys. Tacoma DUI Attorney Dan Gerl is a former DUI prosecutor with the City of Federal Way and Pierce County. While a prosecutor Dan handled several DUI jury trials. Dan understands how the Tacoma court and prosecutors evaluate DUI cases and he has handled numerous DUI cases in Tacoma.
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 Tacoma Municipal Court contact information.