Seattle DUI Defense Lawyer

If you were pulled over and subsequently investigated for driving under the influence, you are likely to face criminal charges, even if you refused the breath test or if your breath test was under 0.08%. 

Times like these can be terrifying and incredibly stressful. Fortunately, the dedicated DUI Defense lawyers at Puget Law Group will work hard to help you avoid criminal charges and jail time.

With a skilled Seattle DUI defense attorney in your corner, your chances of receiving a positive result will increase significantly. Our firm boasts nine former DUI prosecutors, giving us the experience required to defend you against the worst outcomes successfully. We’ve helped thousands of clients protect their futures and are ready to do the same for you.

Potential Penalties for a DUI in Seattle

If you’re facing criminal charges for a drunk driving stop in King County, you’re likely wondering what DUI penalties you could receive. If you’re pulled over for driving under the influence, you could get hit with any of the following consequences:

Losing Your Washington Driver’s License

If you’re arrested for impaired driving in the state of Washington, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your license for 90 days or as long as two years. Your DUI license suspension will automatically begin 30 days after the arrest unless you request an administrative hearing.

To successfully request a hearing, you must do so within seven days of your DUI arrest. If you fail to submit your request for a DUI administrative hearing within that seven-day period, you forfeit your right to have a hearing and fight your suspension. 

The DOL can suspend your license even if you are never charged with a crime, which is why you must file for an administrative hearing and have an experienced DUI attorney fight to keep your license.

A DUI on Your Driving Record

Under the Revised Code of Washington 9.96.060, your permanent record will show your DUI if you are convicted. In addition, state law won’t allow you to get the conviction expunged from your record. 

That’s why we recommend working with our drunk driving defense attorneys in Seattle to preserve your record, reputation, and future. We’ll do everything we can to help you avoid a damaging conviction. 

Felony Charges

After getting arrested for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you could also face serious felony DUI charges

You could be convicted of a felony if the following applies to your situation:

  • You were convicted of four or more DUI offenses in the past 10 years
  • You harmed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You have convictions for DUI, vehicular homicide, or assault on your record
  • You already have a felony DUI conviction on your record

If one of these statements applies to you, you could face serious consequences, including jail time and harsh sentencing. To protect yourself from penalties, consider reaching out to an experienced DUI defense attorney in Seattle, WA. 

A lawyer from our firm will review the details of your case, guide you through the legal process, and work tirelessly to defend your record and freedom.

Possible DUI Defenses in Washington

In Washington, as in many states, several defenses can be employed to challenge a DUI charge. Here are some of the most common DUI defenses:

  • Improper stop: One of the primary defenses against a DUI charge is that the officer did not have a valid reason to make the traffic stop. If it can be proven that there was no probable cause for the stop, any evidence collected during the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.
  • Faulty breathalyzer test: Breathalyzer machines are not infallible. They require regular maintenance and calibration. If the machine used to test your blood alcohol content (BAC) was not properly maintained or calibrated, the results might be challenged.
  • Improper administration of field sobriety tests: Standardized field sobriety tests must be administered under specific conditions and in a particular manner. If the officer did not conduct the tests correctly, the results could be unreliable.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can affect the results of a breathalyzer test. For instance, individuals with acid reflux or diabetes might produce mouth alcohol, which can skew BAC readings.
  • Chain of custody issues: If there were any gaps in the chain of custody of your blood or urine sample, the sample’s integrity could be questioned, making the results inadmissible in court.
  • Rights violations: If the arresting officer failed to read you your Miranda rights or violated your rights in any other way during the arrest, the evidence collected might be thrown out.
  • Contamination of blood sample: The results could be challenged if the blood sample was contaminated. This could be due to improper storage, use of an alcohol swab before drawing blood, or other factors.
  • Expert testimony: In some cases, hiring an expert to testify on your behalf about the breath test machine’s reliability, the effects of certain medical conditions, or other relevant factors can be beneficial.
  • Witness testimony: Witnesses who can attest to your sobriety on the night in question can be invaluable. This could be someone who saw you shortly before your arrest and can vouch for your behavior and appearance.

It’s crucial to consult with an experienced Seattle DUI defense attorney if you’re facing charges in King County or elsewhere in Washington. They can review the specifics of your case and advise you on the best drunk-driving defense strategy. 

Every DUI case is unique, and your defense should be tailored to your circumstances.

Benefits of Working With Our Seattle DUI Defense Attorneys

When you join forces with our firm, we’ll take on the entire process required to combat your charges. 

Our attorneys are among the most experienced doing DOL hearings in Washington. We’ve done over 1,500 of them in 15 years and have a success rate that is consistently double the statewide rate.

Whether you’re facing minimum penalties or severe consequences, we’ll provide the following legal services and a strong defense to give you a better chance of walking away with a clean record:

  • Challenge the legitimacy of the traffic stop
  • Examine field sobriety test procedures for errors and inconsistencies
  • Question blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results from your blood test
  • Cross-examine the arresting officer about their observations and whether they indicate intoxication
  • Present witnesses who can testify to your sobriety or provide an alibi during the time of the alleged offense
  • Offer alternative explanations for your appearance, behavior, or reckless driving, such as fatigue or medical conditions
  • Negotiate a plea bargain for a lesser charge with lighter penalties than a DUI
  • Seek alternative sentencing like mandatory alcohol education programs, rehabilitation, or community service instead of jail time
  • Answer any questions you have about the legal process

Our law firm will handle the DOL process end to end. This includes mailing in your hearing request and paying the hearing request fee of $375.

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Put a Team of Experienced Former DUI Prosecutors in Your Corner

Our Seattle drunk driving defense team is made up of 11 attorneys, nine of whom have worked as prosecutors. All of our dedicated attorneys are committed to providing the best defense for those facing DUI charges in King County. Here are some team highlights:

  • Heading up our Seattle office is Christopher Kattenhorn, who brings a unique skill set and experience from his previous position at a highly respected DUI defense firm. Chris is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice. Chris has been named a “Rising Star” by “SuperLawyer®” and is among the top DUI attorneys in Washington State. He regularly trains attorneys on how to win the DOL hearing and cross-examination of officers during trial. 
  • Our firm’s founder, Dan Gerl, has handled 50-plus jury trials and won most of them. 
  • Casey Arbenz, our founding partner, has won countless trials throughout his immaculate 15-plus-year career and has recently received the prized “SuperLawyer®” distinction.
  • Founding Partner Jared Ausserer served as Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy before he dedicated his time to fighting for individuals like you. 

Our team of seasoned DUI defense lawyers in Seattle has achieved countless reductions, dismissals, and not-guilty verdicts over the past 10 years. We’ve strengthened as a firm during that time and are fully prepared to take on your case. 

When you work with us, you can rest assured that you have an entire drunk-driving defense team fighting for your best interests.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Skilled Impaired Driving Defense Lawyer

You need an experienced Seattle DUI attorney in your corner fighting for you. The criminal defense attorneys at Puget Law Group have successfully defended thousands of clients charged with DUI and related offenses in King County and throughout Western Washington. Our firm is the largest and highest-rated DUI Defense Firm in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get your case dismissed, reduce your charges, or achieve an acceptable plea agreement. If a Seattle DUI attorney from our team agrees to represent you, you can have peace of mind that your case is in excellent hands.