Battle Ground DUI Criminal Defense Lawyers
Strong representation if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in Clark County
Even first-time offenders of a DUI in Battle Ground are likely to be sentenced to some time in prison, huge fines, and will likely lose their driving privileges for a substantial period of time. First-time offenders who want to obtain a provisional license so they can drive to work will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Second-time offenders and offenders who refuse breath tests will also be required to install the IID device.
At Philbrook law office, our Battle Ground DUI defense lawyers aggressively work to have evidence suppressed, to obtain dismissals of the charges, and to obtain acquittals. We also work to obtain just plea bargains where the DUI charges are dropped in return for pleading guilty to lesser offenses. We’ll explain the alternatives to jail sentences and alternatives to trial for first-time offenders.
What are Battle Ground, Washington's current DUI laws?
The state of Washington provides that drivers whose blood alcohol content (BAC), within two hours of driving, is above the following limits can be charged with driving under the influence:
- Drivers 21 and over – .08 or higher
- Commercial drivers – .04 or higher
- Drivers under 21 – .02 or higher
Drivers may also be charged with DUI if their BAC is below these limits if the police officer has evidence that the driver had improper control of his or her vehicle due to the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs.
Driving under the influence of drugs is defined as having a THC concentration of 5.00 or more, within two hours after driving, as determined by a legal blood analysis.
The validity of the DUI breath and blood tests is governed by Washington State law.
Driving under the influence statistics
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) - in 2014,
- 27.7 million people (16 or older) drove under the influence of alcohol
- 10.1 million drove under the influence of illegal drugs
- 5.9 million drove under the influence of both alcohol and drugs
What are the penalties for DUI in Battle Ground, WA?
Penalties for DUI in Battle Ground vary depending on whether:
- Your BAC was .15 or higher - or whether it was under .15
- The conviction is a first-time offense, a second-time offense, or a subsequent offense
- A child under 16-years-of age was in the vehicle with you
- You are willing to accept participation in an electronic monitoring program and/or a sobriety monitoring program
Whether an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense is based on a seven-year time frame. If you committed a DUI on January 1, 2018, then an offense after January 1, 2025, will still be considered a first offense. Offenses before January 1, 2025 will be considered second or subsequent offenses.
In Battle Ground, the penalty for DUI is:
- First offense and a BAC under .15:
- 1 day to 364 days in prison.
- Fines of $350 - $5,000.
- Alternatives include 15 home electronic monitoring days or 90 days in an around-the-clock- sobriety monitoring program.
- First offense and a BAC of .15 or higher:
- 2 days to 364 days in prison. The 2 days can’t be suspended unless your health would be at risk.
- Fines of $500 - $5,000.
- 30 days of electronic monitoring or 120 days in a sobriety program may also be possible.
- A second offense and a BAC under .15:
- 30 days to 364 days in prison.
- Fines of $500 - $5,000.
- Alternatives include 4 days in jail and either 180 days of electronic home monitoring or 120 days in the sobriety monitoring program.
- A second offense and a BAC of .15 or higher:
- 45 days to 364 days in prison.
- Fines of $750 - $5,000.
- Alternatives include 6 days in jail and either six months of electronic home monitoring or 120 days in the sobriety monitoring program.
The length of the prison sentences, alternatives, and fines increases for third or subsequent offenses. Fines may be suspended if you are indigent.
Is there a first-time offender program in Battle Ground?
Washington has a first-time offender program where the court may waive the prison sentence in return for agreeing to “ninety days of confinement in a facility operated or utilized under contract by the county and a requirement that the offender refrain from committing new offenses.”
To be eligible, you can’t have participated in a prior program. You will be disqualified if the DUI is a felony.
What defenses may apply to a Battle Ground DUI charge?
At Philbrook Law Office, our criminal defense lawyers use every possible defense that we can to help clear your record and or keep you out of prison. Some of the defense strategy strategies that we use are the following:
- We contest the right of the police to stop you. Police can't stop everybody. They have to have reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving under the influence such as by observing you speed or weave in and out of traffic.
- We contest the validity of any field sobriety, breath, or blood tests that were given. The police are required to follow proper procedures when they give you these tests. The equipment used to give these tests such as breath machines must be inspected on a regular basis.
- We contest the validity of any warrants. In cases where the police want to take your blood, they normally need to obtain a warrant. We contest whether the police obtained a warrant and if they did so, the grounds for making the request for the warrant.
We also assert any other legal or factual defenses that may apply. For example, the police do need to prove that you were driving the vehicle. If there was an accident, and the police only saw you after the car was stopped, we may question whether they concluded that you were the driver.
Will Washington suspend my driver’s license if I’m arrested for a DUI or refuse to take a breath test?
Generally, the Washington State Department of Licensing will suspend your license:
- If you are arrested for a DUI
- If you refuse to submit to a breath test
Your license will be automatically suspended after your arrest unless you ask for a civil administrative hearing within 20 days from the date of the arrest.
With the help of experienced Battle Ground DUI counsel, you may be able to preserve your license at the administrative suspension hearing. At the administrative hearing, an experienced Battle Ground DUI lawyer will work to show that:
- The arrest was unlawful
- The officer didn’t have reasonable grounds to believe you drove while intoxicated
- The officer failed to administer any field sobriety, breath, or blood tests properly
- The officer failed to follow other legal requirements
The government has two chances to suspend your license. The first is at the civil administrative hearing based on your arrest. The second is at the sentencing hearing if you are criminally convicted of a DUI.
The length of the civil or criminal suspension varies depending on your prior record, the severity of the accident, whether you refused any sobriety, breath, or blood tests, and other factors. All Washington drivers give their implied consent to be tested for driver intoxication.
When must a driver use an ignition interlock device (IID)?
An IID tests your BAC before you start your car and at random intervals while you’re driving. If your BAC is too high, you won’t be able to start your car. If you are already driving, the flashing lights and sounds of your car will force you to get off the road.
Generally, the IID is available for first-time offenders if you wish to obtain a restricted license during your suspension period. This license permits you to drive to work and/or school (and anywhere – if you own your car) while your license is suspended. It may be required if you have a second or subsequent conviction.
Speak with our experienced Battle Ground DUI lawyers for aggressive skilled representation
A DUI conviction is a life-changing event. In addition to an arrest record and being fingerprinted - if you don't hire or use an experienced Battle Ground DUI defense lawyer, you will probably be convicted which will result in jail time, fines, increased insurance premiums, loss of your driver’s license, and other consequences. At Philbrook Law office, we fight to suppress evidence that was illegally obtained or is invalid. We work to obtain acquittals and just plea bargains. We advise you on alternatives to sentencing such as electronic monitoring, sobriety programs, and programs for first-time offenders. To schedule an appointment with one of our Battle Ground, WA lawyers call us at 360-695-3309 or use our contact form to discuss your case. Serving clients throughout Clark County.