Legal Question in DUI Law in Washington

what questions do I need to ask at the dol hearing to better my chances of not getting a suspended license? And can I beat it without a attorney? And can I have a public defender for this hearing?

Asked on 9/16/09, 8:02 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jeffrey Bassett Jeffrey P. Bassett, Attorney

Public defenders do not handle DOL hearings. They are administrative and not criminal; public defense counsel are only assigned to handle criminal matters.

As for whether you can beat the suspension without an attorney or what questions you should ask, everything depends on the facts of your case-- i.e., whether you were legally stopped, whether the officer had probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence, whether the implied consent warnings were properly provided, and whether the test was properly administered if given. Statistically, 88% of these hearings result in an upheld suspension, so unless you have something unusual about your facts, or you subpoena the officer and (s)he fails to show by phone, a suspension is likely.

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Answered on 9/22/09, 11:43 am
James J. White, attorney Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC

Mr. Bassett outlines the major challenges to a suspension. The Washington State Practice Manual has a checklist of, I'd estimate, over 50 possible errors. An experienced DOL hearing firm, like mine, will be able to review your record for these errors. Despite this, as Mr. Bassett says, most hearings result in suspension.

A public defender is only appointed in a matter for which you could potentially go to jail. That isn't an issue here so I recommend you hire counsel. Contact me directly for further assistance.

At your service,

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Answered on 9/22/09, 2:02 pm

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