If you were arrested for DUI in Pierce County by the Washington State Patrol and in most cases by the Pierce County Sheriff, your case will be filed in the Pierce County District Court System. Your DUI case will be filed at the Pierce County Courthouse in Tacoma. The filing of your case in the District Court system means that the prosecutors working on your case will be Pierce County Deputy Prosecutors and the judges will be elected Pierce County District Court Judges.
The judges in Pierce County are some of the few statewide that will use electronic home monitoring (EHM) as a condition of release in DUI cases. This means that in certain instances, defendants are taken into custody at arraignment and held until they qualify to be placed into a home detention program. This condition is rare in the case of first offense DUIs but common enough in cases of second or subsequent DUIs to merit serious consideration. If this is your second offense or more, and your DUI occurred in Pierce County or Tacoma, you need to call a Pierce County DUI attorney experienced in this jurisdiction as soon as possible. At this time, cases that are filed in Pierce County District Court may two to six weeks to be filed. This does not mean that you should wait before talking with an attorney. Your privilege to drive is at risk of administrative suspension through the Washington Department of Licensing. You have 20 days from the date of your DUI arrest to request an administrative hearing. There are also several steps that you can begin working on now that will ultimately be helpful in the preparation and negotiation of your case. By being proactive you and your Pierce County DUI lawyer will be prepared when your case is filed. This will ultimately save you money, time and stress when your case is filed.
In the Pierce County District Court there are 8 elected judges who may handle your case. Another reason to be prepared with counsel prior to your case being filed 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 rulings on your case. Having retained experienced Pierce County DUI attorneys you will have the benefit of our insights into the judge who will be handling your arraignment. This may have an impact on 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 DUI attorney will set your next court date and you can be confident that we will exercise your affidavit judiciously.