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DWLS 3rd degree and on probation for a dui

Vancouver, WA |

I got a dui on july 4th 2009. I recently got stopped and got a dwls in the third degree. I went to court and he gave me a court date for 60 days out to get a license. I called my probation officr and she said DOC will put a track.on it? She said ill either get a warrant or a court date in a couple weeks for violating probation. Ive never had to report to her or anything. I think its called in-active probation? What should I expect?

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Attorney answers 4


This is the number one way people get in trouble when on probation for DUI and the pitfall nobody seems to know about until it's too late. Whenever any jail time is suspended under a DUI the court is required by state law to set some conditions for you to follow. One of those mandatory condition is that you don't drive without a license and/or insurance.

If the court finds that you have violated this term it must impose 30 days of the suspended time. There does not need to be a conviction for the new offense to find a violation. Unlike mandatory sentences under Washington's DUI laws the court can order you to serve the time on alternatives such as EHM or community service.


Certain subsequent violations of DUI in-active probation had mandatory revocations--driving with a suspended license is one of those. The mandatory revocation is 30 days minimum. Ouch! So, you'll not want to easily admit you were driving with a suspended license. My guess is that the new case has a continuance to get your license so that the charge will be reduced to a non-suspended license charge. In that case, there is no finding for a new violation. But the probation court could make a finding of its own (or revoke you based on your own admission--don't do that). So, you'll want an attorney on both cases because a finding on either will subject you to 30 days minimum.
At your service,


As the previous attorneys said, driving without a valid license will on probation for a DUI requires a mandatory 30-day sanction. An attorney may be able to negotiate an alternative to jail. What will likely happen is that the court where you had the DUI will summons you to court for a violation hearing to address the new charge. You should get an attorney immediately who can help try to mitigate the damage and try to get the DWLS 3 charge dismissed or reduced.

Also, get your license back as soon as possible! This may be helpful on the DUI case as well. And make sure you are otherwise in full compliance on our DUI -- fines are paid or up to date, you've completed all treatment and classes or are fully in compliance if you are still in treatment.


You can fight the new Charge, and try to get it reduced or dismissed, but even that is no guarantee that you won't be punished for violating conditions of your probation (which last for 5years on a DUI, and only 2years on a lesser offense like Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving if your DUI was reduced).

It's just as Important to have an attorney now as it was to have one in 2009. The probation court only has to find that you probably committed the DWLS 3 to impose a penalty, so even if the DWLS case can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the probation court can still punish you.

Look us up at and we'll put you in touch with our affiliates in Vancouver, WA. Bottom line: you need a lawyer & you need your license re-instated before court. ZY