If you were cited with a DUI, two separate causes of action have been initiated against you. In DUI defense, there is a criminal case and a civil case. More often than not the criminal case takes precedent while the civil case is paid little attention. You must be aware that in order to keep your license, both cases must be successfully resolved.

The Civil Side

Even if you receive a plea offer from the prosecutor’s office that allows you to keep your driver’s license, you will still be suspended if a Department of Licensing Appeal is not properly executed. The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) is an administrative agency which holds the authority to grant drivers licenses and take them away. If after a DUI license hearing the DOL suspends your license, this is called and administrative or civil suspension. This civil suspension can be up to one year for first time offenders, and two and a half years for persons with two offenses within seven years.

Once the suspension time has lapsed, additional steps must be taken in order to have a license reinstated, such as Proof of Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22), and a one-year ignition interlock device is required.

For no extra fee, the Philbrook Law Office works diligently to get results during the DOL appeal process. Unlike city and county prosecutors, the DOL does not negotiate. Therefore, it is important that you have an experienced lawyer on your side who knows what to look for, and what arguments work. My DOL hearings strategies have succeeded where others have failed.

The Criminal Side

he key to effective DUI defense is limiting the evidence that may be used against you at trial. I often compare successful pretrial suppression motions to taking bullets out of the prosecutor’s gun. The prosecutor may initially be unwilling to negotiate if a case appears to be solid. However, the burden of proof is still with the prosecutor. And, when faced with the task of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt — with less than a full arsenal — the prosecutor will quickly become far more reasonable.

The first step is knowing what to look for. I’ve successfully resolved numerous DUI cases based upon:


  • Illegal stops
    • Pretext
    • Weaving within lane of travel
    • Informant tip
  • Illegal searches and seizures
    • No reasonable suspicion
    • Right to privacy within vehicle
  • Illegal arrests
  • Officer errors
    • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test
    • Right to counsel
    • Right to additional tests

Contact My Office Any Time

If you have been charged with a DUI or need a DOL hearing defense, contact me today. My Vancouver-based office is focused on providing the best possible DUI defense. I offer 24-hour service and reasonable flat fees. I also accept Visa and Master Card.