Local DUI help from an experienced lawyer
All misdemeanor DUI offenses in Washington are heard in either a county district court or municipal court. If a Washington driver is stopped and arrested by a Trooper of the Washington State Patrol or a County Sheriff's Deputy their DUI will be filed in a district court. While the laws governing DUI's in Washington is uniform throughout the state, the criminal process varies dramatically based on jurisdiction and where the DUI charge is filed.
For example, if a person is stopped in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle and arrested for DUI by a City of Seattle Police Officer, their first appearance will be within a few days afterwards. If another person was stopped in the Westlake area of Seattle by a Washington State Trooper, their first court date will typically be within a few weeks. In addition, some courts impose very stringent conditions (bail, interlock requirement) while others do not.
Many people are not sure (or do not remember) which law enforcement agency the arresting officer was affiliated with. Should they have a copy of the breath test ticket, at the bottom will be a line for an "arresting agency" where the officer will hand write their agency. Should the bottom of the ticket read "Washington State Patrol" or "WSP," and the arrest occurred in King County, their case will be filed in King County District Court. The same goes for "King County Sheriff's office of "KCSO."
Alternatively, if it was a local police agency, then it will be filed in the city's municipal court. An arrest by a Seattle Police Officer will lead to charges filed in the Seattle Municipal Court. If the DUI arrest occurred by a Kirkland Police Officer, then the case will be filed in Kirkland Municipal Court. The same applies for a person arrested by a Bellevue Police Officer and charges will be filed in the new Bellevue District Court.
If you are not sure where the case will be filed, call an attorney
Often times the arresting officer will tell the person which court their DUI charge will be filed. Should a person not be clear, the best thing to do is to reach out to a lawyer. Immediately. Seattle DUI lawyer Aaron Wolff is available 24/7 and can be reached directly at 206-504-2500.