Tuesday, November 4, 2014

3 reasons you should always request a DOL hearing following a DUI arrest

Often times I meet with potential clients and one of the first questions they ask is whether they should challenge the proposed license revocation that follows a DUI arrest.  Usually they say they spoke with another attorney or a friend and there is a small chance of prevailing.  Due to this they would rather save the money it costs to challenge the proposed revocation and just deal with it.  In my opinion that is incorrect thinking and here are 3 reasons why.

Additional collateral consequences you may not be aware of

Even if you don't drive and you take the bus everywhere.  Having a suspended license due to a DUI can still cause problems down the road.  Here are a few

  • SR22 insurance will be required for at least years
  • A reinstatement fee will need to be paid when eligible to get license reinstated
  • A driver may need to take both written and driving tests again
  • A driver could be deemed inadmissible to Canada
  • A driver may not be allowed to rent a vehicle for at least 5 years
  • Increase in regular insurance coverage
  • Much, much more

Interview police officers involved without prosecutor

One of the main reasons I always tell people to challenge the suspension following a DUI arrest is that is where I personally conduct a majority of my investigation for the DUI case.  Because the DOL hearing is like a mini trial you can subpoena witnesses to appear and question them under oath.  In most DOL hearings I subpoena at least the arresting officer.  The reason I do this is two fold.  First if they don't appear and they were properly served a subpoena 9 out of 10 times the suspension will get dismissed.  Secondly if they do appear I get a free deposition with all of the prosecutors witnesses without the prosecutor being there, and everything is recorded.

It's helpful with negotiation

Sometimes I have found the ruling from DOL to be helpful during the negotiation with the Prosecutor in an attempt to get the DUI reduced to a lesser charge.  Obviously if a driver prevails at the DOL hearing and the suspension gets dismissed based on some kind of legal issue that is great.  But even if the suspension gets upheld sometimes Prosecutors are receptive to the idea of reducing the DUI knowing full well that the driver is not getting off scott free and they will face a license suspension.  

Obviously challenging a license suspension is an uphill battle.  However I honestly believe there is more benefit to challenging the suspension and the benefit of it outweighs any cost or the nominal fee.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Attorney in Seattle, WA.  If you have been arrested for a DUI feel free to contact our law firm to set up a free consultation with a DUI Attorney.  You can also learn more about Leyba Defense PLLC from our website.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What degree is a license suspended after a DUI conviction

If a driver gets convicted of a DUI here in Washington State.  Then they face at least a 90 day drivers license suspension if it was a first offense DUI and they took the breath test.  Obviously the length of the license suspension can vary depending on the particular facts in the case including the breath test level, or whether they refused the test.  In Washington State there are essentially three different types of drivers license suspensions.

Like I stated above there are essentially three types or degrees of drivers license suspensions here in Washington State.  Here is some basic info on the different types
  • Driving while license suspended in the third degree.  This carries a max penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.  If convicted of this offense there is no additional license suspension.  Typically people get this suspension for unpaid traffic tickets, failure to pay child support, etc.  More from financial stuff.
  • Driving while license suspended in the second degree.  This carries a max penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.  If convicted of this offense there is an additional 1 year drivers license suspension.  Additionally it counts as a serious traffic offense that could result in a longer license suspension.  Typically people get this suspension for a DUI conviction, DOL administrative action, or a reckless driving conviction.  
  • Driving while license suspended in the first degree.  This carries a max penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.  It also carries a mandatory jail sentence if convicted.  Additionally if a driver becomes suspended in the first degree their license license is at least 7 years.  To get to this level a driver needs to accumulate 3 or more serious traffic offenses in a period of 5 years.  These include any vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, reckless driving, DUI, or driving while license suspended in the 2nd degree.
Obviously there is more to these types of suspensions that I just wrote.  But these are the basics.  Anytime a person gets charged with either driving while license suspended second or first degree the goal should always try and get it reduced to a third degree charge.  That would be a best case scenario.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is owner of Leyba Defense PLLC, a DUI law firm located in Seattle, WA.  He is currently rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com, and has been recognized as a rising star in the field of DUI defense by the Seattle Met Magazine. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top reasons to hire DUI Attorney Matthew Leyba

I know, I know this isn't supposed to be some kind of sales pitch marketing blog but a blog where any and all DUI topics are discussed.  However as the owner of the law firm sometimes I just have to do this in order to run my business.  As much as I don't like it please forgive :)

So without further adieu here are the top reasons why you should hire Leyba Defense PLLC if you or someone you know gets arrested for a DUI in King County.

Leyba Defense PLLC exclusively represents people charged with DUI

If you google DUI Attorney you will literally see hundreds of Attorneys out their claiming they practice in this area of law.  And they might, but they also focus on business law, family law, personal injury, etc.  DUI Defense is just a side practice for them and therefore they do not have the necessary experience that comes with exclusively focusing and studying one area of law.  Think about it.  If you needed heart surgery would you go to a general physician or would you go to a heart surgeon.  The same thing applies for Attorneys.   

Leyba Defense PLLC limits the number of clients he represents

Leyba Defense PLLC was founded on the principle that we would run a small practice focusing entirely on the clients and to effectively do this we have to limit the number of clients we represent.  Obviously we still have to make money to run the business, but we are not like so many other DUI firms out there that try to get as much clients as possible to make as much money as possible.  We have a certain number of clients that we represent.  If you come to us and we are at that number then unfortunately we will not take the case.  It's the firms motto and that is why we are able to get such good results for our clients.  Less clients equals more time to spend individually on each case which equals better results.  It's simple math.  

Leyba Defense PLLC has a high success rate in defending DUIs

If you check out our website we have a pie chart detailing the last 100 DUI cases we have represented and what the results were.  Many of the cases have either been reduced to negligent driving 1, reckless driving, or in some cases even dismissed.  The proof is in the pudding and we are the only firm around that post every results we get for our clients.  Good and bad.  Some so called DUI firms out there will post a DUI dismissal or a DUI not guilty, but there is a reason they only show you 2 out of the last how ever many cases they have defended.  Anybody can get a good result once in a while, but the best DUI Attorneys sustain that success over time.  Now every case is different and not every case gets reduced or dismissed.  But most of the time Leyba Defense PLLC is able to work out a plea bargain that is in our clients best interests.

So there you go.  The top reasons why Leyba Defense PLLC is the right firm to represent anybody charged with a DUI in the Seattle area.  

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is the owner of Leyba Defense PLLC, a DUI law firm located in Seattle.  He has been named one of the best DUI Attorneys in Seattle by the Seattle Met Magazine.  He is also rated a 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com