If you were arrested for DUI in Kitsap County by either the Washington State Patrol or the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, the DUI charge will be filed in the Kitsap County District Court and prosecuted by the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office. If you were arrested by the Bremerton, Port Orchard, or Poulsbo Police Department, the case will be filed into the respective municipal courts of those jurisdictions. The prosecutors however will still be from the Kitsap County Prosecutors Office as they act on a contract basis for those municipalities. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Kitsap County, contact a Kitsap County DUI Lawyer as soon as possible.
Mandatory Bail upon DUI arrests in Kitsap County
A person who gets arrested for DUI in Kitsap County will, with very few exceptions, be booked into jail and held until either bail is posted or he is released by a judge on his personal recognizance after the initial appearance. Even worse is that the required bail amounts in this jurisdiction tend to be very high, even for persons without a DUI history and who have very low breath tests. Bail for first offenders is routinely set between $5,000.00 – $10,000.00 depending on the jurisdiction. For those with prior DUI history, the initial bail amount will be much higher. Kitsap County is probably the most aggressive jurisdiction in Washington when it comes to booking and holding those arrested for DUI. If the arrest occurs on a Friday or Saturday night, the arrested person will be held until the next court day unless bail is posted. For assistance posting bail go to client resources – bail bondsmen.
First Appearance in Kitsap County District Court
Whether or not bail is posted, the first appearance date will normally be set within 24 hours of arrest, irrespective of weekends and court holidays. At this initial appearance, DUI charges will be filed, the person will be arraigned and asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It is almost always recommended that a plea of not guilty be entered at arraignment. Additionally, the court will impose a series of conditions on the DUI defendant to follow while the case is pending. Just as with the requirement that anyone arrested for DUI in Kitsap County be detained upon the posting of bail or bond, Kitsap County District Court Judges are not shy about imposing rather strict conditions on a defendant at arraignment. Orders directing even first offenders not to drive without an ignition interlock device are common. For those with a history of DUI, requirement of a SCRAM bracelet or even placement into a home detention program is a possibility. Consultation with a Washington DUI lawyer prior to this first appearance can often save a great deal of expense and inconvenience.
Also, remember that in this early time period you will have an affirmative duty to request a hearing from the Washington Department of Licensing in order to challenge any proposed license suspension or revocation. This request must be made within 20 days of the arrest. For more information on the DOL proceedings go toWashington Department of Licensing Administrative Hearings.
Kitsap County DUI procedure beyond the initial appearance
After the initial appearance, the court will set a return date called a pretrial conference. Prior to this hearing your DUI lawyer will have reviewed the facts and discovery in your case, identified all legal motions and presumably have begun negotiations with the prosecutor. At the pretrial hearing, the case may be resolved, it may be set for trial or it may be continued to allow for additional research, investigation, or negotiation. If you have not acquired DUI defense counsel prior to the first appearance, it is imperative that you do so well in advance of the pretrial hearing. That can often mean the difference between a positive resolution to the DUI charge and an avoidable negative outcome.
A DUI charge in Kitsap County presents a number of challenges but also an equal number opportunities. Review some of the tips contained within this site. Our Washington DUI Self Help Guide is a good start. Or contact a Kitsap County DUI/DWI attorney at Milios Defense for a free consultation. We would be glad to advise and assist you.