Another elected official in Washington state accused of Driving Under the Influence.
Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello was arrested early Sunday morning for a suspected DUI. A state trooper says that he saw Mello veer onto the shoulder twice before stopping his car. The trooper describes Mello as cooperative and voluntarily submitting to the field sobriety test, reports The News Tribune. The trooper reportedly smelled alcohol on Mello's breath and Mello did admit to drinking alcohol.
Following the arrest, Mello was arrested and taken to the Tacoma Police Department. He submitted to a breath test and it was reported the results were greater than a .08. After he was released from custody, the councilman was contrite and admitted that he made a mistake and was sorry.
So what does Ryan Mello have to look forward to now?
Washington Criminal DUI Process
Whether you are a city councilman or a recent college grad, the criminal DUI process is generally the same and consists of the following types of hearings:
- Arraignment: This is the first hearing following a DUI arrest. You will hear the charges brought against you and asked to enter a plea. This should always be not guilty.
- Pre-trial Conference. At the pre-trial conference, prosecutors and your defense team will typically negotiate a plea bargain or the details of the trial.
- Motions or Evidentiary Hearings. This is a substantive hearing where there are challenges to the case against you. Your attorney may file legal motions to challenge key evidence and will have the opportunity to question and cross-examine the arresting officer and other witnesses. At the end, both sides are allowed to present legal arguments in support of their position.
- Readiness Hearing. Typically held a few days before the trial, the readiness hearing allows the defense and prosecution to discuss the case to see if there is a way of resolving the case short of trial.
- The Trial. This is what you've seen on TV. Your case is argued before a judge and jury (or sometimes, the judge alone).
- Sentencing. If you are convicted of a DUI or accept a plea deal, you will be sentenced. This is where you learn your criminal penalties such as jail time, fines and obligations to the court. You will also be required to submit an alcohol and drug evaluation with the court.
As you can see, the criminal DUI process is a long and complicated process. So if you are charged with drunk driving in the Seattle or King County areas, you will definitely want experienced legal counsel to guide you through this process.
Contact the attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense at 425-284-2000 to schedule your free consultation. Do not fight your DUI case alone!