Driving on a suspended license (DWLS) in Washington is the most charged criminal traffic offense in the state. That is likely because of the countless number of ways an individual can have his license suspended and the difficulties involved with getting the license out of suspension.
The crime of DWLS falls in to three categories or "degrees". Each has its own peculiarities and level of severity. Regardless of the degree charged the goals remains the same. We will help you avoid the conviction for the criminal charge but perhaps more importantly assist in getting the drivers license restored. See below for a complete discussion on the separate DWLS charges. Or call or email one of our Washington DWLS attorneys for a free consultation at any time.
DWLS First Degree
This is the most severe DWLS charge in the State of Washington. A person who has been charged with DWLS 1 is being accused of driving after her license was suspended for being an Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). It s a gross misdemeanor meaning it is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. What separates first degree DWLS from the other two is that it carries a mandatory jail sentence. For a first conviction one must serve 10 days in jail. On a second conviction, the mandatory sentence is 90 days. On a third or subsequent conviction for DWLS in the first degree, the jail sentence would be 180 days. These mandatory minimum jail sentences make DWLS 1 a more serious charge than DUI.
In addition to the jail, DWLS in the first degree is also a major moving driving offense. That means that a conviction could lead to a who new period of HTO suspension. If you have been charged with DWLS 1, do not hesitate to call us. Our attorneys are experienced DWLS lawyers. We've helped countless people not only beat this charge, but get their driving privileges back as well.
DWLS Second Degree
One charged with second degree DWLS is accused of driving while on a suspension other than an HTO while not be eligible to reinstate his driving privileges. Common examples of this include people who have had their license suspended due to a DUI conviction or administrative sanction or after a Reckless Driving suspension. There is no mandatory jail but it is a gross misdemeanor so it is punishable by up to a year in jail and $5,000 fine. Prosecutor's will ask for jail and judges will routinely give jail to someone convicted of DWLS 2 if the person has a significant record of driving on a suspended license.
This is a charge that is very beatable if you do the right things. Contact one of our Washington DWLS lawyers for a free consultation and to talk about your specific situation.
DWLS Third Degree
This is the most common criminal offense in the state of Washington. DWLS in the Third Degree is simply driving on a suspended license at a time when the person was eligible to have the license reinstated. The most common examples of this are when a person's license is suspended due to an unpaid traffic ticket, unpaid child support or not getting reinstated after a period of suspension. This probably is the most beatable charge in the Washington. Judges and prosecutors are primarily concerned with citizens being licensed and insured before they drive. Assuming the driver's criminal history is not significant and she gets her license reinstated, this charge will usually be reduced to an infraction if not dismissed completely.
Feel free to consult with one of our Washington DWLS lawyers to find out more.