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Ted C. Barr
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Ted Barr’s Answers

3 total

  • I was "put under arrest" last night, cops claiming I failed sobriety tests. By breathalizer was clear and I gave blood, which

    they say will be available in a couple months. I wasn't ticketed or booked and was let go 3 hrs later. My car was impounded which I retreived today at $350.00. Also a non refundable $375.00 must be paid to request a hearing. Where do I stand?

    Ted’s Answer

    First of all, asking an attorney if you need an attorney is "sometimes" a little like asking a barber if you need a haircut. "Of course you need a haircut even if just a little off the sides and back because I'm a barber." Or, "of course you need an attorney, you're in big trouble, because I'm an attorney". My answer is that you might need an attorney at some point but you don't need one right now. In other words, you don't need to panic and start spending a bunch of money unnecessarily at this point.

    Second, if the officer/trooper punched a hole in your license it is a temporary license. It is unrestricted, that is good 24/7 it's just that it is only good for 60 days from the date of your arrest. Within that amount of time the DOL case will either likely be resolved or your will be able to get your regular license back.

    Third, to protect your interests, you should mail in the hearing request form with a check for $375.00. This will keep your license from being automatically suspended 61 days from the date of your arrest. Make a photocopy of the form and your check before you send in the originals. Be sure to mail them in "certified mail/return receipt. That way you will get the green card back proving that DOL received the envelope and you will have a copy of what was in the envelope.

    DOL is going to then do one of two things; either schedule a suspension/revocation hearing for you by telephone within 60 days in which case you should then consult with/hire a "DUI Attorney" right away; or they will cancel (at least temporarily) their action against your license until they get the results of the blood test back and send you your $375.00 back.

    If based on the results of the blood test (if alcohol shows up) they decide to proceed against you later (it can take around 2-3 months for the testing to be completed as the Washington State Crime Lab is understaffed and very backed up work wise) they will send you a new Notice of Suspension with a new Hearing Request Form and give you a fresh 20 days to mail in the form with another $375.00 for the hearing. You should then immediately engage a "DUI Attorney" at that point. If the results of the blood draw come back negative for alcohol but positive for drugs they will will probably leave you alone (based on the current law/DOL policies) but this will not affect a possible court case (criminal charge) which is a separate case.

    Bottom line, take the steps I mentioned above to protect your interests but do not spend the $$ on an attorney, yet.

    With respect to the criminal case (court case) if the Prosecuting Attorney decides to file charges against you (they have up to two years to file the charges and don't have to tell you if they decide not to) they will do so in the Kirkland Municipal Court (if it was a Kirkland officer) or in the Northeast District Court (if it was a state trooper). If it was a state trooper they might not file the charges for a couple of months as the state courts are quite backed up. If it was a Kirkland officer the charges will probably be filed within the next 30 days. In any event, whichever court the charges are filed in, you will get a subpoena or notice to appear for your arraignment from the court. Typically you will get this about 7-10 days before you have to appear. In other words, with still plenty of time to line up a "DUI Attorney". If the address on your driver's license is valid, you are good to go. If not, you should go on-line and update it a.s.a.p. as that is likely the address they will send the notice to.

    Bottom line, you don't need an attorney right now for your "prospective" criminal/court case but you should get one as soon/if you hear from the court.

    Finally, with respect to your car being impounded and the $$ associated therewith. An officer can do that pursuant to an arrest. You can request an impound hearing but you will likely lose.

    If it would make you feel better, you could call a "DUI" attorney for a free initial consult.

    See question 
  • My son was ticketed with DWLS 3rd degree -- drove on suspended license to see grandpa before they pulled the plug at hospital...

    Will they send him to jail or is there any grace for an emergency like this? Court date Oct 30..... what is the cost to get an attorney for something like this?

    Ted’s Answer

    Although this is technically a crime (simple misdemeanor) DWLS 3rd is at the lowest crime level, so there is no mandatory jail time involved and no further license suspension with DOL if he is convicted of the DWLS 3 (unlike DWLS 2nd or DWLS 1st). It is highly unlikely a judge would put him in jail unless he has multiple driving with suspended license convictions on his record or he is on probation somewhere for a serious offense like DUI. If so, he will probably get a review hearing notice on the original case as a result of this new DWLS 3 which would be serious (on that case).

    You do not say how he got to the point of having his license suspended originally. If it was for unpaid traffic tickets, unpaid child support, etc. then he is probably going to be ok and is eligible to get his license back once he deals with the underlying cause (pays off the tickets or at least gets on a payment plan because that is what DWLS 3rd is - when someone has their license suspended but is eligible to get it back once they clear some hurdles) gets liability insurance, and pays DOL a reinstatement fee. For the DWLS 3 (unless he has a horrific record) assuming he can get his license in hand before October 30th and walk into court with it and proof of insurance I do not believe he needs an attorney for the DWLS 3. Most courts (again you don't say which court he is in) are most interested in just seeing he is re-licensed and if he walks in with what I mentioned they will probably just fine him $25.00 and close the case. If, on the other hand, he is on probation in another court for something more serious (DUI, Reckless Driving, etc) and this DWLS 3 in this court triggers a review in another court, he had better get an attorney for that review.

    If he cannot get his license back (so he can walk into court with it) by October 30th, he should still show up on October 30th, tell the judge he is working on getting his license back, explain why he does not yet have it and tell the judge how much more time he needs to get it. Most judges will give him one continuance to make that happen but only one so he better be working on it and ask the judge for enough time on the continuance so he can for certain get his license. I'm thinking he should ask for 30-60 days to return.

    Also, if the judge gives him the continuance, he better not get caught driving again until he has his license in hand. The judge will certainly make "no further driving without a license and insurance" a condition of his release and the continuance. If the judge does that for him and he gets caught doing it again before he returns to court, he will probably get a trip to the "Gray Bar Hotel" next time around. If that happens, then he would want an attorney with him at that time. But for now, I think if you follow the steps I've outline above he will be alright on his own.

    As for what attorneys charge, that depends on how specialized and experienced the attorney is. Some will handle a case like this for a flat $500.00 or so. Others, like me (old, specialized, very experienced) are pretty pricey. I don't handle any case/review whatever for less than $2,000.00. There you go. You just got $2,000.00 worth of advice for free courtesy of AVVO. Send them a thank you note. Good luck!

    P.S. The reason your son was driving (dying grampa) while likely to evoke sympathy and understanding from the judge, is not a legal defense. He was either suspended or not and unless he has an argument that he was not on proper notice of the suspension (all DOL has to do is mail the notice to his last known address on file with DOL) it is likely he would be found guilty.

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  • My license was revoked for my 3rd dui for seven years am i eligable for the relicensing program?

    i have three dui's on my record have been in no criminal trouble in two years my license was revoked for seven am i eligible for relicensing

    Ted’s Answer

    You have been revoked as a result of being found a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). Although as a HTO you are not eligible for a "re-licensing" program as such, you are eligible to petition the Department of Licensing for a "stay" or freeze of the revocation of your license so that you can keep driving on an unrestricted basis. Once DOL receives your petition they will determine if you are entitled to a hearing. If you prevail at the hearing (usually a telephone hearing) you can get your license back provisionally. If you do not prevail you will get a chance to petition them again.

    The four requirements that must be met to succeed in the hearing are:

    1. Establish that the offenses that resulted in the HTO status were the result of alcohol/drug addiction.

    2. Obtain an assessment from a state approved alcohol/drug treatment agency that you are alcohol/drug dependent.

    3. Complete at least 60 days progress in an alcohol/drug treatment program at a state approved agency.

    4. Provide a current status report from an agency/counselor.

    There are then requirements that must be adhered to (such as no serious traffic offenses, i.e. Hit and Run, DWLS, DUI, etc.) after the stay is granted in order to retain your license during the balance of the seven years.

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