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Patricia Ann Fulton

Patricia Fulton’s Answers

14 total


  • Diversion programs for DUI

    First-time DUI - are there classes or diversion programs I can do to avoid a conviction? I really don't want to put that on job applications.

    Patricia’s Answer

    Other than the deferred prosecution program (which I generally do not advise on first time DUI cases) Washington does not have a formal DUI diversion program. However, depending on the court and the prosecutor on your case, it may be possible to work out a diversion type agreement that will result in the DUI case being reduced or dismissed after a period of time if you comply with certain conditions (such as taking some classes, etc.).

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  • Someone elses DUI

    Somebody stole my car and drove it into two other cars near my house. Someone from the neighborhood told the cops that they saw me in the car which cant be true because I was at home sleeping. The cops came, got me out of bed and arrested me for...

    Patricia’s Answer

    In some circumstances, a witnesses statement may be enough to convince a jury you were behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you have a witness you could testify that you were home in bed at the time of the incident. However, it may be possible to discredit this witness by showing that she could not have seen what she believes she saw, that she has some reason to be untruthful about the incident or bias, that she was simply confused or mistaken. An experienced attorney can investigate all of these options and advise you about your case.

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  • BAC test accuracy

    Is it heard of for people to win a DUI case claiming the BAC test machine isn't working properly? I tested 1.4 and I'd only had 3 beers.

    Patricia’s Answer

    While generally most breath test machines are fairly accurate, there are certainly exceptions to this rule and your case may be one. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to access the repair and maintenance records for the machine on which you took the breath test and may be able to establish a malfunction from these records. Additionally, it may be helpful for you to consult with a expert on your case to attack the accuracy and reliability of the breath test.

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  • DUI arrest when not driving

    My friend borrowed my car and abandoned it after a minor accident. The police arrested me for DUI; they said some witnesses saw the car swerving before the accident. I wasn't there - how can I be arrested? The person who borrowed my car has lef...

    Patricia’s Answer

    This is an unfortunate situation for you - but it sounds like a very weak DUI case and not likely one the prosecutor could proceed on. Based on the facts in your questions, I think it would be impossible for the government to establish that you were behind the wheel of the car at the time of the incident and that the person who was driving the vehicle was under the influence. Unfortunately, just because you have a good case and are innocent doesn't mean you don't need a qualified attorney. I recommend consulting with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible so that your case can be handled correctly from the start.

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  • Penny and breathalyzer

    I have heard that putting a penny under your tongue can throw off the breathalyzer. Can any offer advice on whether this works?

    Patricia’s Answer

    Prior to administering a breath test to you, Washington law requires that the officer check in your mouth to confirm that you have nothing (other than fixed dental work) there. This would include a penny, mouth jewelry, or any other foreign object. Regardless of whether or not a penny can effect the actual breath test results, a breath test administered while you had a penny in your mouth would not be legally admissible.

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  • Appealing DUI

    I've heard I can appeal a DUI conviction. Does it ever make sense to do that?

    Patricia’s Answer

    Appealing a DUI conviction could make sense in your particular case. It would depend on the exact issues in your case and the circumstances surrounding your conviction. I recommend discussing your case with an attorney familiar with DUI cases and the appeal process to get an accurate assessment of the pros and cons of appealing your case. I recommend doing this quickly as you generally have a very limited time after conviction to file your appeal.

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  • Sloppy police work for DUI

    I got a DUI and blew over the limit. Yes, I was drunk, but the cops were really sloppy about it and I don't think they followed the right procedures in booking me or running the breath test. Can I get off on a technicality?

    Patricia’s Answer

    It depends on what mistakes the officer made. Certain mistakes made by law enforcement can result in dismissal of the charge and others to suppression of your breath test. While getting a breath test suppressed is generally very helpful to your case, it does not mean the charges will be dismissed or that the prosecutor will not be able to win at trial. An experienced DUI attorney can investigate your case to determine just what mistakes were made and what advantages they might give your defense.

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  • Blood test requirement

    Can the cops force me to take a blood test because they suspect I was drinking?

    Patricia’s Answer

    Under certain circumstances, you could be required to submit to a blood test. First, if you are under arrest for vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, you have no right to refuse to a blood test. Second, if you are under arrest for DUI and the police have a reasonable belief that you might be impaired by drugs they can request (and you can refuse) a blood test. Finally, if you are unable to perform a breath test or in a location that does not have a breath test (a hospital), the police can request (and you can refuse) a blood test. It is not generally a good idea to refuse a breath or blood test as there can be significant consequences to your driver's license. I recommend that you ask the officer to allow you to speak with an attorney before deciding to take or refuse a breath or blood test.

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  • DUI and felony probation

    I am on felony probation. Does a DUI conviction mean I've violated my probation?

    Patricia’s Answer

    Probably, it would depend on the terms of your probation. It is likely that as a condition of your probation you are required to have no new criminal law violations. It may also be that you are prohibited from using alcohol or drugs. A conviction for DUI would be considered a violation of both of these conditions.

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  • Cross-state DUI

    My sister had 2 DUIs 7 years ago in PA. They were 3 months apart. She lost her license, paid her fines and did her time in court ordered alcohol treatment classes. She was arrested in WA this past weekend for DUI and blew .149 breathalizer. In WA ...

    Patricia’s Answer

    The recent Washington arrest may be considered a third offense -- it will depend on two things. First, is the government in Washington aware of the out of state DUI convictions? As an attorney, I am ethically prohibited from telling the court and prosecutor about my client's possible out of state criminal history (though I cannot mislead or be untruthful to the court). This can be a sticky situation, but an experience attorney will know how to handle it without disclosing your history to the court. Second, were these two prior arrests within seven years exactly of the new arrest date. It is important to confirm the exact date to know if they will count.

    A third offense DUI conviction in Washington with a .149 breath test has the following mandatory minimum sentence: 90 days in jail followed by 120 days of electronic home monitoring; approximately $1800 in fines and costs; 3 years of license suspension; ignition interlock; and up to 5 years of probation. A judge could impose up to the maximum of a full year in jail and a $5000 fine.

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