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Arraignment in King Co for DWLS 3rd Degree

Seattle, WA |

I was arrested last month for driving with a suspended license. I have an arraignment next week in King Co District Court. How should I prepare? I acknowledge that I was driving with a suspended license (3rd degree). What should I expect at the arraignment? I have since made arrangements to pay the ticket that caused the suspension and have gotten a new license.

Will this arrest be on my record forever? If not, how long before it's off of my record?


Not sure how I posted this in DUI/DWI, as have NEVER had DUI/DWI. My offense was a straightforward first-time DWLS 3 with no prior ANYTHING. Found an attorney but can't afford the costs. Am low-income (qualify for food stamps), so wonder about public defender. Can I arrange for one ahead of time or must I wait until the arraignment? Am afraid of going to jail. Would like to know what to expect at the arraignment. Many thanks.

Attorney Answers 3


On a website such as this one or any other internet site don't "acknowledge" or "admit" anything. Talk to an attorney and spill your guts to him/her and no one else.
You will expect to be told what you are charged with and ask to see if you are seeking the appointment of an attorney OR whether you are hiring a private attorney to represent you? If you can't afford an attorney etc. you will make application to the court (financial affadavit-written) so that Judge can read it and see if you qualify. If you do the Judge will appoint you an attorney and reset a court date for you to meet with that attorney. If you don't qualify then you will have to hire an attorney (or represent yourself---never a good idea!!!) and the court will re set a court date for the attorney to get his paperwork filed with the court.

If you hire an attorney now then he/she can be with you at arraignment and it will be much faster but you will have to attend court too. Contact an attorney and discuss your case. Many great attorneys in your area, on so consult with one and make sure you know what you are doing and what type of case the State has against you. Good Luck

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I agree with my colleague Mr. Earl. I also wanted to add that it is good you have arranged to pay your ticket and gotten relicensed. Those factors will help your attorney obtain a more favorable outcome for you in this case. DWLS 3 is a misdemeanor in Washington and carries a maximum penalty of 90 days jail and a $1000 fine. It is unlikely that you will do jail time if this is your first offense. Your attorney may be able to resolve the case for you at arraignment if you hire one beforehand.

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Samantha J Leage

Samantha J Leage


Also, the arrest will remain on your record forever unless you take steps to have it removed. You should ask your attorney about vacating your record and how long you have to wait to make a motion to the court to have your record cleared.

Melissa Aura Keiko Odama

Melissa Aura Keiko Odama


I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Leage. Having reinstated your license, your lawyer is in a good position to better negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction that may entail avoiding a criminal conviction. Good luck to you!


First you should refrain from posting any facts of your case online. Second, you helped your cause by getting a valid license but you may want to talk with an attorney about your situation as you don't want to lose your license again.

If you want to find one in your area here on AVVO you can select "Find a Lawyer" at the top of the page. Good luck.

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