My niece was in a car accident and was taken to the hospital by the police because she refused to go by ambulance. The police were gone before any family arrived at the hospital and no police names or paperwork was left other than a piece of paper notifying that the car was totalled and that the car was being impounded. The hospital did a blood test and it was way over the legal limit as she was told by hospital staff. How long does the police department have to file DUI charges after the accident? Is there a statute of limitations in the State of WA for a DUI arrest as no charges have been filed yet?
DUI / DWI Attorney
A DUI in the state of Washington is a gross misdemeanor. The statute of limitations for the filing of a gross misdemeanor is two years from the date of incident. This means that the state can file a DUI charge against your niece anytime in the next two years. The wait likely will not be that long. Assuming that the officer had a blood sample taken from your niece for evidentiary purposes, the charge will likely be filed within two (2) to (6) weeks from the time the results are sent back to him. There are several things your niece can be doing proactively to assist in her defense even before charges are filed. She should contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss her situation.