You should hire an attorney. Although it is apparently quite rare for a court to sentence anybody to jail time for a first offense of driving while license suspended in the third degree, a good attorney can really improve your chances of a favorable result. See http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.20.342. DWLS 3 is a misdemeanor, but maybe you or your attorney could plead it down to some lessor offense (i.e. a traffic infraction), depending on the circumstances.
[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]
While every court is different, it would seem unlikely that you would receive any jail time for a first offense DWLS 3rd. Many courts and prosecutors will work with you to postpone the court date in order to allow you to pay of old fines and get your license reinstated. If you can do that there's a good chance you can get the charge reduced to a non-criminal, civil infraction like No Valid Operator's License with Identification. You should definitely hire an attorney or get a public defender since it sounds like you would qualify for one.
Please note that this is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post represents only the poster's opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in the State of Washington. For more information about our law firm and services, please visit my website at www.brodskylawfirm.com. I hope this post was helpful to you. Thank you.
As the other two attorneys said, you're probably not going to get any jail time for a 1st offense. However, if you are re-licensed then you may be able to resolve the matter with a traffic infraction called No Valid Operator's License on Person 2nd degree. The advantage of this is that it is not a criminal conviction.
Have you talked with the Court to see if they have a re-licensing program? If they do, that may help you get your license back. If not, try to continue your criminal case long enough to become re-licensed. Take the money you would have used to hire an attorney and put that towards getting your license back - it's a better use of the money.
Craig Cahoon The Cahoon Law Office, PLLC 206-795-1779 email@example.com
If you don't have a bad record and this is your first DWS 3rd you will be fine. Use your money to pay off your old tickets and GET A LICENSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I mean show the court that you are really paying all you can. Good luck to you.
DUI DUI as a criminal offense DUI sentence DUI and driver's license penalties DUI and suspended license License reinstatement after DUI DUI and criminal records DUI and college enrollment Criminal defense Misdemeanor crime Crimes against society Right to counsel in criminal cases Criminal court Criminal sentencing Criminal fines Criminal conviction Criminal record License suspension for traffic tickets DUI fines
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.