If so, then the first appearance in court should occur within one judicial day of the arrest pursuant to RCW 46.61.50571 (link provided below) and the date and location of the court appearance should be written on the citation. Look carefully at any citation you were given. An individual who was booked into jail and did not bail out will be brought to court on the next judicial day. This procedure applies to an individual who, as the statute states, is served with a citation or complaint at the time of arrest.
Were you released without being given a ticket for DUI?
If so, then you likely are not yet formally charged with DUI but, in the words of the statute, you must "appear in court for arraignment in person as soon as practicable, but in no event later than fourteen days after the next day on which court is in session following the issuance of the citation or the filing of the complaint or information." This usually means that once the prosecutor files a DUI complaint with the court (which in some counties can take weeks) the court will mail a summons to you for the first court date. It therefore is important that the court have your correct address so that you will receive the summons.
Where can I get information about my court date?
A good place to start is with a DUI defense attorney who is familiar with the local court system, since procedures may vary slightly from county to county. There is information available on the Web, at the Washington State Courts website. For cases pending in District Court, try the link below, "Court Website Date Search" through which the state provides information about court dates as reflected in the Washington State court computerized docket system. This page will not return every court date that might be pending in Washington State, however, since some cities don't provide real-time data to the state court system. If the arrest was made by a city police officer, try calling the court clerk. A statewide list of all the court phone numbers kept by the Washington Courts webpage is provided below.
Disclaimer: Don't just rely on the Internet to find out your court date.
Procedures vary from county to county and also, there is no guarantee that the information listed on a court website is 100% accurate or complete. It is possible that a court date is pending and it is not listed anywhere on the Web. Thus, it is advisable to confirm that a court date is pending or has not yet been set. This is an example where a good DUI defense attorney with knowledge of the local DUI court procedure can be of great assistance.
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