If you were arrested for a Seattle DUI (in the city of Seattle by a Seattle police officer), you will have to act much more quickly than if you were stopped for DUI in most other parts of the state. As opposed to jurisdictions where charges are filed into court by a prosecutor, in the City of Seattle, a DUI is usually filed directly into Seattle Municipal Court by the arresting officer. This means that instead of having several days, if not weeks or months before you go to court, you will likely be in court within 72 hours. Contacting a Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible after arrest will be important.
Bail in Seattle DUI Cases
The biggest immediate threat facing individuals charged with DUI in Seattle is that the prosecutors will seek bail in most cases. Compounding this is the fact that the Seattle Municipal Court judges in this court routinely agree to this request. This means that even a person who has never had a DUI, or been in trouble with the law for that matter, may be required to post a large amount of bail or risk being taken into custody at their first hearing. It happens every day in Seattle Municipal Court that a person accused of his first DUI is led away in handcuffs, in shock. Do no let this happen to you as it is entirely avoidable. To ensure you remain free while your DUI case is pending in this court, the most important thing is to contact Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. After even a brief consultation, we will be able to let you know exactly what you need to do. We want to allay the courts concerns about you so that the judge feels comfortable releasing you after arraignment, without making you post bail or having an ignition interlock device installed in your car.
Seattle DUI Conditions of Release
The existing reality in Seattle DUI cases is that if you have what the city considers as a high profile case, the odds are very high that bail, at a minimum, will be required. In extreme cases, this court requires that even if bail is posted, the defendant can only be released into home detention with an in-home breathalyzer. High profile cases are cases where there was an accident, where the BAC (breath test) was over a .15 or there was a refusal, or the defendant has any prior DUI related history. If any of these apply to your situation, you not only want to contact a DUI lawyer, you’ll want to be set up with a bail bondsmen as well. See our resources section for a list of bail bondsmen.
Seattle Municipal Court Facts
In Seattle Municipal Court there are a total of seven (7) elected judges as well as a handful of commissioners and Pro Tem Judges that could hear your case. Another reason to be prepared with counsel prior to going to court is the judge before whom your arraignment will be heard. During the course of your case you will have one opportunity to file what is called an “Affidavit of Prejudice” against a judge. This prevents the named judge from making any legal rulings on your case. It can only be filed before the named judge has made any discretionary rulings in your case. Having retained an experienced Seattle DUI lawyer, you will have the benefit of our insights into the judge who will be presiding over your case. This may have an impact on bail and your conditions of release as well as on the future outcome of your case. It is also important that your next court appearance is set before a judge who will be a fair and unbiased trier of fact. Your Seattle DUI lawyer will set your next court date and you can be confident that we will exercise your affidavit judiciously.