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Disclaimer: The criminal driving defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a Washington State drunk driving lawyer or attorney for a free initial consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Washington.

My defense law firm serves the following Western Washington communities, among others: Snohomish County, King County, Skagit County, Alderwood, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Brier, Camino Island, Darrington, Edgewood, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Tulalip, Mukilteo, Silvana, Smokey Point, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway, Anacortes, Bow, Burlington, Clearlake, Concrete, Hamilton, La Conner, Lyman, Marbelmount, Mount Vernon, Sedro Wooley, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Mercer Island, Redmond, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodinville.

I also serve the following Zip Codes: 98011, 98012, 98020, 98021, 98026, 98033, 98034, 98036, 98037, 98043, 98046, 98052, 98072, 98082, 98087, 98201, 98203, 98204, 98205, 98206, 98207, 98208, 98213, 98223, 98241, 98251, 98252, 98256, 98258, 98259, 98270, 98271, 98272, 98273, 98274, 98275, 98287, 98290, 98291, 98292, 98293, 98294, 98296
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Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Defense
Driving while license suspended in the third degree is the least serious of the three levels. It generally means that you owe some money to the Department of Licensing. If you pay the money then you can get your license back.

Where people run into problems with DWLS 3rd, is the simple fact that if they had the money they would have paid the fines. The Court’s penalty for DWLS 3rd can be jail time but is more often fines – which of course only compounds the underlying problem.

There was a time when Bankruptcy (chapter 13) seemed like the only answer for some drivers. In recent years, many jurisdictions have adopted re-licensing programs that work with drivers to get their fines paid off. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the Court where you owe fines and ask their clerks office about their re-licensing programs.

Fighting the Crime Itself

In order for the Prosecutor to establish their case, they only need to prove three things:  1.  The Defendant drove a motor vehicle.  2.  In the State of Washington.  and 3.  On the day in question, the Defendant was suspended in the second degree. 

Inherent within these elements are two more requirements: First, was the Defendant stopped by law enforcement legally?  Second, did the Department of Licensing comply with the requirements of Due Process when it sent notice to the Defendant of his or her license suspension?

The first three items are factual questions.  If the Prosecutor cannot prove those facts in Court, then the case will either get dismissed or the Defendant will be acquitted at trial.  The last two items are legal questions.  Sit down and talk to a lawyer about the facts of what happened.  If there was a problem with the Probable Cause for the stop or a Due Process violation, your lawyer will find it.  These types of problems can be fatal to the Prosecutor s criminal case because the remedy for a violation like these is suppression of the evidence - which means the Defendant wins.

Minimizing the Impact

If it looks like you are going to get convicted of DWLS 3, then the question becomes how do we minimize the impact of that conviction.  The answer is to get re-licensed.  The difference in sentencing between someone who is still suspended at the time of sentencing and someone who has their license back can be substantial.

Every single (and that s a lot) client I have ever had with a DWLS 3 charge has always asked me the same thing: Can we delay the process so that I can get my license back?  Sometimes people are successful and sometimes they are not.  We can delay the process for a while but Courts are under increasing pressure to timely process cases through the system.  What this means to you is that you need to be prompt in you attempts to get your license back.

Driving While License Suspended
(DWLS) 3rd Degree

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