Determining When Your First Court Date is After a DUI Arrest In Washington State

Often after a Washington State DUI arrest law enforcement personnel will release an arrested person, and in some circumstances law enforcement personnel will even give a ride home to the person arrested for DUI in Washington State. Frequently after a Washington State DUI arrest, the person arrested is left wondering when she will have to appear in court. The answer to that question depends upon the jurisdiction of arrest, the police agency involved, and the filing procedures within the prosecutor’s office.

If the driver arrested was not given a DUI citation at the conclusion of her Washington State DUI arrest, the mandatory “first appearance” must occur: “in no event later than fourteen days after the next day on which court is in session following the issuance of the citation or the filing of the complaint…”. The first court appearance in these types of cases is usually determined by the date a Washington State DUI charge is filed in the municipal or district court. In some Washington State jurisdictions a DUI charge might not be filed for many months after the DUI arrest; in fact the Statute of Limitations for a gross misdemeanor charge like DUI is two years in Washington State. Thus, a person arrested for DUI can lawfully be arraigned on the charge seven hundred thirty (730) days after the DUI arrest.

In some circumstances law enforcement personnel will give the arrestee a Washington State DUI ticket or citation at the conclusion of the DUI processing. In a Seattle DUI arrest, or in any jurisdiction where the officer gives the suspect a citation for DUI at the conclusion of processing, it is critical to look closely at the citation for a specific court date. In many courts, the first appearance could actually be the very next day after the DUI arrest.

No matter the circumstance, the best approach to take when arrested for a DUI in Washington State is to contact a qualified Washington State DUI defense attorney who has knowledge of the Washington State court system and the Washington State police procedures. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri