DUI Law in Yakima, WA

What Is a DUI?

DUI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a criminal offense that can lead to weighty consequences. Also known as DWI, the process of going to court to face either conviction or exoneration can change the course of your life forever.

Learn more about your DUI law defense options below, and then talk to a local attorney in Yakima, Washington who will help you in this delicate situation. You don’t have to stare down consequences alone. You can take wise steps today to protect your interests.

Possible Consequences of a Yakima, Washington DUI Conviction

Where you live, the severity of the incident, and your criminal record determine the sentencing for a DUI. The punishments can drastically increase if you have had previous DUIs, so be mindful of that. If this is your first DUI, do not go at it alone and risk costly mistakes. Get a Yakima law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.

Paying Fines

If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Yakima, Washington, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. Under Washington Law, the fine for a Yakima DUI conviction can range from $1000 to $5000. Additional fines can be added for BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels over .15 or if there is a minor in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

However, other factors can drastically increase the amount you must pay, including:

  • Any damage to property while driving under the influence
  • If someone suffered injuries as a result of your intoxicated driving
  • Cases that include child endangerment
  • Any court costs associated with your case

Jail Time

Jail time is mandatory, even for first-time offenders in Yakima. If this is your first DUI offense, you may only have to face a day or two in prison. But if you have previous convictions for DUIs, you can be sentenced to several months or years, depending on the nature of the crime. Know that some circumstances can add even more time in a cell, including injury to other people while driving under the influence.

Probation

If you do not face jail time, you will likely be on probation, with the sentencing judge determining the duration. You will pay monthly fees, and you cannot commit any more criminal offenses, including traffic violations. If you violate the terms of your probation, count on facing time behind bars.

If you are convicted of a DUI in Yakima, probation could be a part of your sentence. The probation terms for a DUI in Washington may include alcohol treatment, DUI education, and fees. In addition, you may be required to attend AA or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. A judge can sentence you to up to 30 days in jail for each violation of your probation terms. For probationers in Yakima, the probation office is located in the same building as the Yakima County District Court.

Drug and Alcohol Education Program

Following a Yakima DUI sentencing, the law states you must complete a drug and alcohol education program. This will teach you about the dangers of driving under the influence. These programs cost more fees besides the legal costs you already have to pay.

After a DUI conviction in Yakima, the court will order you to complete an alcohol evaluation. Based on the results of the evaluation, Washington Law requires that you attend either an educational program or an alcohol treatment program, approved by the Washington Department of Health. There are 3 approved providers in Yakima, who can offer evaluation, education, and treatment services. Cost and duration of the programs can vary, based on the results of your evaluation.

The education programs also include a DUI evaluation. An evaluator asks you questions about how alcohol and drugs affect your life. If they believe that you are dependent, you may have to enter a substance abuse treatment program.

Suspension or Loss of License

No matter where you may face a DUI conviction, you have to undergo a license suspension period, at the very least. If it is your first DUI, you may have a license suspension for a few months while you go through probation and the drug and alcohol education program.

If this is not your first DUI, you may have your license suspended for much longer, or you could have it taken from you permanently.

What Should You Do When Charged With a DUI in Yakima, Washington?

If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, you must take the following steps to protect yourself:

Step 1: Contact an Attorney Familiar With Yakima, WA DUI Law

Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced Yakima DUI attorney. Your attorney can help prepare for your arraignment and prepare a defense to vindicate yourself or reduce the sentencing.

Step 2: Learn About Your Local DUI Laws

Yakima, Washington has unique laws for DUI or DWI charges. Your lawyer will work with you to help you better understand your state’s laws on driving while intoxicated. It is critical to understand what charges you face and the potential outcomes of your case.

Step 3: Request a DMV Hearing

You or your attorney should request a hearing as soon as possible following your arrest. In Yakima, Washington you only have so much time to ask for a DMV hearing to keep your license until your court appearance. If you do not request a hearing, prepare for a license suspension.

When you are arrested for a DUI in Yakima, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 90 days to 2 years. You can request a hearing with the Washington State Department of Licensing to contest the suspension. However, the request must be made within 7 days of your arrest. Hearings are conducted by telephone and the fee is $375.

Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance

You and your attorney will prepare for your appearance and arraignment in Yakima. If you plead “not guilty,” your DUI defense attorney represents you in court, and a judge and jury oversee the DUI law case.

Step 5: Receive Sentencing or Exoneration

You will either be “not guilty” of the charges brought against you and walk free, or you will receive sentencing for a guilty verdict.

Work With an Experienced Local DUI Lawyer in Yakima, Washington

Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, you need to work with an experienced Yakima, WA lawyer who can stand up for you in court. You cannot clear your name of the charges or reduce the consequences without help. Your life and future depend on having great legal representation during your DUI case. Contact an attorney near you today. We can even help you connect with legal help across Washington state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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