Saturday, April 18, 2015

DUI arrest in Seattle and you're a Pharmacist....what happens next?

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Seattle or anywhere in Washington State and you're a Pharmacist then you could face the possibility of some serious job repercussions depending on the final outcome of your case.  It is best to contact a Seattle DUI Attorney immediately to determine what your next steps should be.  

RCW 18.130.180 lays out what conduct, acts, or conditions constitute unprofessional conduct for a license holder.  It discusses the commission of an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, corruption, and the conviction of a gross misdemeanor or felony.  And yes a conviction for DUI is a gross misdemeanor and therefore one of the reportable offenses that would affect a Pharmacist.

However upon a closer look at the statutes involving these issues WAC 246-16-210 states a conviction means a court has decided a person is guilty of any gross misdemeanor or felony.  It includes guilty, no contest, and deferred or suspended sentences.  

Now generally when a driver gets arrested for a DUI and they contact my office for legal representation.  Typically the goal is to try and get the DUI reduced to a lesser charge.  Either reckless driving or negligent driving 1.  Both of these are lesser offenses than a DUI meaning they don't carry nearly the consequences a DUI does.  

However if a Pharmacist is involved then even a DUI amended to reckless driving may still cause problems, because a reckless driving is a gross misdemeanor.  Whereas a negligent driving 1 is called a simply misdemeanor, which is not mentioned in the statute concerning consequences for license holders.

So what happens if a Pharmacist gets convicted of a DUI or reckless driving.  Then you need to check out WAC 246.16.860 which determines the sanction.  For a conviction of a gross misdemeanor the minimum conditions may be some sort of reprimand, training, monitoring, probation, or supervision.  The maximum penalty could include oversight for 5 years involving the same sort of probation, training, supervision, etc.  

So the good news at least based on the current status of the law as of writing this blog is it looks like a first offense DUI or reckless driving conviction may not result in the suspension of a license.  Rather it may involve some sort of supervisory condition, although that is at the discretion of the Department of Health.  Obviously if an individual has multiple offenses or other charges then something more serious may apply and it would be important to seek counsel for an experienced Seattle DUI Attorney.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is the owner of Leyba Defense PLLC.  A boutique DUI law firm located in Seattle, WA.  He has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best DUI Attorneys in Seattle by the Seattle Met Magazine's annual "Best of" edition.  He is also the highest rated DUI Attorney according to, a lawyer rating service. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

WA State legislator proposes bill that would make fourth offense DUI a felony

Now that the 2015 Washington State legislative session is under way.  The annual what can we do to make DUI laws tougher here in Washington State has begin.  The latest example is a proposed bill that would make a fourth offense DUI a felony.  Currently under Washington law a felony DUI law charge applies if a driver has been convicted of a DUI four times within the past decade, essentially making a fifth offense DUI a felony.  

This legislation was proposed last year, and the year before, and the year before it seems.  And it always comes back to the same thing.  Money.  Like all things it always comes back to money.  Regardless of how you feel about DUIs, and by now means do I condone drinking and driving.  But the cost of new legislation and implementing the laws means more in some cases than the idea.  

Would making a fourth offense DUI a felony be a good idea.  Of course it would.  Despite being a DUI Attorney in Seattle, if a driver doesn't learn their lesson by the third time then chances are nothing is going to help them.  At least that is my opinion.  Perhaps facing a lengthier jail sentence would cause a multiple repeat DUI offender to reconsider their choices.  

The problem with this legislation is how will the bill be implemented financially.  It is not as simple as saying okay your fourth DUI is now a felony.  There are costs that need to be factored.  Probation, jail, and monitoring fees are just a few off the top of my head.  

If you're interested in an article about this new legislation here you go.  I would be surprised if this bill passed.  Again not because it is not a good idea, but we still don't have any money here in Washington State.  

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle.  He has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best Seattle DUI Attorneys by the Seattle Met Magazine, and is currently the highest rated Seattle DUI Lawyer by 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

How often can you expect to have Court on a DUI case?

One of the most common questions I get asked as a Seattle DUI Attorney is how many times will I have to go to Court for my DUI case.  The answer is pretty simply.... It depends.   Here are the factors that will determine how often a defendant would have to go to Court for a DUI case.

If the DUI gets reduced to a lesser charge or something along those lines and a plea deal is negotiated then obviously there may not be that many Court dates.  Typically in this situation a defendant will have to attend at least 3-4 court dates.  The first hearing would be the arraignment, there may be something called a pretrial hearing where the defendant will enter the plea deal, and then there would be a sentencing hearing.  So depending on the number of pretrial hearings it potentially could be 3-4 dates.  

If the DUI gets set for trial then there could be many court dates.  Again like the previous example there would be an arraignment, a pretrial hearing, but instead of a sentencing hearing there would be a few other court dates.  The next hearing would be a motion hearing.  This is where a motion to dismiss or suppress evidence would be litigated.  The next hearing would be something called a readiness hearing or omnibus hearing.  Basically this is just where the parties go in front of the Judge and announce whether the trial will actually commence on the date chosen or whether it will be moved.  Then of course the trial date.  

I would say depending on the jurisdiction and how busy they are if a case gets set for trial that will include anywhere from 10-30 additional court dates.  For example I recently has a DUI jury trial here in Seattle and my client and I appeared approximately 30 times before the trial actually started.  This is actually a lot and not the norm but sometimes it happens.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle.  He is the owner of Leyba Defense PLLC a DUI law firm.