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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26785
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I live in. I got pulled over with a suspended license after

Customer Question

I live in Washington. I got pulled over with a suspended license after a dui conviction. I have bad depression and anxiety and am wondering if I could do house arrest or community service in lieu of 30 days in jail if I have a doctors note
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


Is this your second DUI offense in Washington? If so, a minimum of 30 days is mandatory and community service is not going to be an option

A doctor's note can't be cross-examined and the criminal justice system is not like school where a note from a doctor will excuse you from the consequences of your actions. You need to retain a lawyer for your case and sign a release with your doctor so that your lawyer can confer with him about the severity of your condition and the impact of incarceration on you. With enough ammunition in your favor, your lawyer may be able to mount a good argument for house arrest.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No this is my first offense, and I have no priors. I thought my license suspended on the 20th but it turned out to be the tenth. Unfortunately poor attention to detail isn't a qualifying excuse. Do I have a chance of house arrest or community service?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the reply.

If this is only your first DUI, there's no reason to believe you'd get jail time unless the facts of your offense are particularly awful: you had a young child with you in the car, for example, or the case involved an accident causing injury or death.

You need to get yourself a lawyer. You may have missed the administrative hearing and didn't challenge the suspension of your license, but you can still fight the case and avoid jail. On a first offense, a lawyer may even be able to negotiate a reduction of these charges to another type of driving offense so that you would avoid DUI fines and penalties altogether.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already been convicted of the dui as of the 9th. I have a lawyer but he isn't being the most helpful. I was convicted of dui, I'm serving my day in jail on December 11th, and my license is suspended for 90 days. I got an nsp from my alcohol assessment and I have compete my victims panel. I thought my license suspended the 20th but it was actually the 10th (I'm am idiot). I was ctied driving with the suspended license a week after my conviction. Which is why I'm trying to find out if there is a way to get lieu of jail time for house arrest or community service. I do not have any priors and with the exception of what I told you, my driving record is fine. I also don't have the best luck. So I was driving while suspended after conviction.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

The Washington DUI process has two prongs: the administrative hearing regarding your suspension and the court matter regarding your criminal case. I didn't realize that you already were sentenced to the day in jail and that you continued to drive once your license was suspended. That's a second case.

You're not going to get out of the 24 hours of jail as you've already been sentenced to that. But as to the driving without a license, jail time is not mandatory. Your lawyer could likely negotiate a fine, community service, probation or some non-incarceratory disposition. if you wanted to resolve the case with a plea agreement. Driving with a suspended license is not the type of case where jail time is typical for a first offense of this sort.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Really? I thought 30 days was mandatory? I don't have a profound understanding of the law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

No. Thirty days would be mandatory in your state for a second DUI offense. But your charge this time is not a DUI. It's driving on a suspended license in the second degree, and as it is the first time you've been charged with this offense, although it is a gross misdemeanor potentially punishable by a maximum of a year in jail, there is no mandatory minimum this time.