• Why was a Court Hearing set in my old Seattle Municipal DUI case?

    Generally, it means you did not complete something (community service hours, alcohol/drug treatment, DUI Victims Panel, work crew, jail) or did something new that you were not supposed to do. (i.e. new conviction, arrest, driving without license & insurance) You may have violated the conditions of your DUI or Reckless/Negligent Driving probation. The sentencing Court would have set conditions of your probation such as the following at Sentencing – Complete an alcohol/drug evaluation & follow recommendation, pay all Court fines/costs, report to probation, not drive a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance, no driving with breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater, no refusal of alcohol test of breath /blood upon reasonable request of a law enforcement, no new criminal violations of law, no alcohol or drug related infractions, ignition interlock device requirements per Washington DOL.

    The most common DUI probation violations: new criminal law violations, failure to do treatment, failure to do victims panel, failure to report to probation, driving without a valid license & insurance and positive UA’s, among many others. Check the Court’s paperwork (Judgment & Sentence) you received at your final Sentencing Court Hearing in Seattle Municipal Court to see whether you complied with and completed everything.

  • Will my case automatically close after the probation period?

    Not necessarily. You should always check with your DUI attorney or with the Court Clerk to make sure your case is timely closed. I have had many cases just stay open because of administrative inertia . You do not want it appearing you are still on probation months or even years after your case should have been officially closed.

  • How long can I expect to be on probation for a DUI conviction?

    Up to five years. Most Washington State Judges will impose the “full” five years (60 months), although occasionally I have seen Judges on 1st offense DUI’s impose only 2-3 years. However, this is the exception and not the norm.

  • What’s the difference between “active” probation and compliance?

    Active probation is where you are ordered to report to probation. You will have to meet with a probation officer of the specific Court on a regular basis. (typically monthly – the frequency of meetings really depend on the Court) Probation is the Court’s “eyes” so to speak to ensure that you timely comply with conditions and obligations of your sentence. Active probation tends to be quite costly. In non-active probation or Sentence Compliance as some Courts call it; you are not assigned a probation officer and do not have to contact probation. The Court Clerk essentially monitors the case. In most DUI cases or reductions where no treatment is ordered your case will most likely be placed on non-active or sentence compliance.

  • Why was a Court Hearing set in my old DUI case?

    Generally, it is when you violate the conditions of your DUI or Physical Control probation. The same would apply even if you received a reduction to Reckless or Negligent Driving. The sentencing Court will set conditions of your probation such as the following at Sentencing:

    Complete an alcohol/drug evaluation and follow recommendation, pay all Court fines and costs, report to probation, not drive a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance, no driving with breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater, no refusal of alcohol test of breath or blood upon reasonable request of a law enforcement, no new criminal violations of law, no alcohol or drug related infractions and Ignition interlock device requirements per DOL.

    The most common DUI probation violations: new criminal law violations, failure to do treatment, failure to do victims panel, failure to report to probation, driving without a valid license/insurance and positive UA’s, among many others.

    You should always consult with a DUI attorney before going to the Court Hearing. It is usually a good idea to have an attorney with you.

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