If you were arrested for DUI in Snohomish County by the Washington State Patrol or the Snohomish County Sheriff, your case will be filed in the Snohomish County District Court System. Depending upon which precinct your arresting officer works out of your case will either be filed in the Everett Division at the Everett Courthouse, the South Division Courthouse in Lynnwood, at the Evergreen Division Courthouse in Monroe, or at the Cascade Division Courthouse in Arlington . The filing of your case in the District Court System means that the prosecutors working on your case will be Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutors and the Judges will be elected Snohomish County District Court Judges.
At this time, DUI cases that are filed in Snohomish County District Court may take two to six weeks to be filed. There are, however, exceptions where you case might be filed immediately. This means you should not wait before speaking with a Snohomish County DUI lawyer. 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 Snohomish County DUI attorney will be prepared when your case is filed. This will ultimately save you money, time and stress.
In rare cases the officer will file your case directly with the court and your arraignment will be within 72 hours of your arrest, if not the next day. In those instances the officer will give you your court date. If you have a court date within the first few days after your arrest, it is imperative that you contact a Snohomish County DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The quick filing may mean that because of the facts of your case or your DUI history that your matter is being fast tracked so that a judge may impose bail or some other conditions on your release.
In the four divisions of the Snohomish County District Court that hear DUI cases there are a total of 9 elected judges. 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 or discretionary decisions in your case. It can only be filed before the named judge has made any discretionary rulings on your case. Having retained an experienced DUI attorney, 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. As your DUI attorney will set your next court date and you can be confident that we will exercise your affidavit judiciously.