Legal Question in DUI Law in Washington

I had a dui that I bargained down to a reckless driving. My license was suspended for 30 days. While I was waiting for my notice from the dmv to let my know when my suspension would take affect I was pulled over by the police. I was informed that I had a suspended license and am now going to receive a citation in the mail. Will this effect my plea for the dui? How can I defend against this? I had now idea my license was allready suspended. I wasnt pulled over for any reason, the officer was just running my plate he said..Thanks Dan G.

Asked on 10/19/09, 12:56 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

James J. White, attorney Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC

The prosecutor will need to prove that notice of your suspension was sent to a valid address (the one that you kept on record with the DOL). If it was sent to that address your failure to receive it (or failure to update your address) will be no defense. If it wasn't sent then the case will need to be dismissed. You were pulled over for a reason--the officer ran your plate, saw that it came back registered to an owner whose license was suspended and, likely, that you matched the description (generally). If any of those pieces are missing you can challenge the validity of the stop and, again, have the case dismissed. This could affect your Reckless Driving plea as you likely were order to have no further law violations. Continue the suspended license case until you can get your license back. If you have minimal history, your license and insurance then the prosecutor will likely reduce the charge to DWLS 3 from DWLS 2. The Judge on the Reckless is less likely to revoke (give you a sanction) for the reduced charged. You probably should hire a lawyer.

At your service,

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Answered on 10/26/09, 10:53 am

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