Tacoma DUI Attorneys
If you are arrested for DUI by a police officer from the City of Tacoma, your case will be prosecuted by the Tacoma City Attorney’s Office. Your court hearings will be held in the Tacoma Municipal Court in the County-City Building of Tacoma and Pierce County.
The City Attorney’s Office is known for having tough prosecutors who will aggressively pursue those charged with Driving Under the Influence.
Typical “hotspots” where DUI arrests are made in Tacoma include the 6th Avenue bar district, the T-Dome area, and South Tacoma Way.
DUI filings in Tacoma Municipal Court typically happen Within a few days of a DUI arrest, although, depending on the circumstances of the case, charges might be filed more quickly or several months later.
At first appearance (Arraignment), the assigned judge will set “conditions of release” which may also include enhanced conditions such as bail or alcohol monitoring – Ignition Interlock Device (IID), SCRAM, or EHM with Sobrietor.
Following arraignment, the court will issue a pretrial hearing date, usually about four to six weeks later. The Tacoma Municipal Court bench is known for being tough on DUI and other criminal offenses from Arraignment forward, particularly when there is prior related history. In recent years, City of Tacoma prosecutors have gotten more restrictive in their DUI plea negotiation standards.
Q: What can I expect if I’m charged with DUI in Tacoma Municipal Court?
A: The prosecutors in the Tacoma City Attorney’s office will aggressively pursue those arrested for DUI. The penalties they will seek include: jail time, license suspension, fines, court costs, home detention, alcohol/drug treatment and ignition interlock devices.
Q: Does the Tacoma Municipal Court require probation?
A: The City of Tacoma does not have a probation department. Those who are being monitored after a DUI conviction – or for a conviction of a lesser charge – will be placed on “bench probation.” That means the judge’s staff will “check your file” routinely to make sure you are staying up to date on your treatment, that you are paying your fines and that you are maintaining law-abiding behavior, etc.
Q: Who are the Tacoma Municipal Court judges?
A: Currently there are three full-time Municipal Court judges: Judge David Ladenburg, Judge Drew Ann Henke, and Judge Dwayne Christopher. There are also court commissioners who are hired by the judges to handle any number of different hearings. Each of the judges has a unique legal background. Puget Law Group attorneys routinely practice in front of all the judges and commissioners on the Tacoma Municipal Court bench and are well-versed in the appropriate approaches to achieve high-quality results.
Q: Will the Tacoma Municipal Court require me to install an Ignition Interlock or “blow and go” device?
A: Depending on the circumstances of your case, a judge in Tacoma Muni may require you to have an Ignition Interlock (IID) installed on your vehicle while your case is pending. Yes – even before you are found guilty – a judge can require you to have that device on your vehicle. Circumstances that might cause a judge to require a pretrial Ignition Interlock Device include: a high BAC result, if you were in an accident or if you have one or more prior DUI arrests. An experienced lawyer will be able to tell you if the prosecutor will request a “blow and go” device and know how to effectively argue against such a requirement.
Q: Can I do a deferral or diversion in Tacoma Municipal Court?
A: Each case is different, however, if your case is handled properly, there are almost always opportunities to have your case reduced, dismissed or deferred. Puget Law Group attorneys, from the moment they meet you, are considering the allegations of the case and thinking of the best proactive steps you might take to obtain the best result. Sometimes that will include advising our clients to obtain a voluntary Alcohol/Drug Assessment. Sometimes we will suggest a DUI Victim Impact Panel. We may even suggest you begin an alcohol or drug treatment program. Oftentimes taking these initial steps will be crucial in overcoming a prosecutor’s reluctance to a reduction, dismissal, diversion or deferral.
This sounds terrifying. Is there hope?
Absolutely. The DUI attorneys at Puget Law Group have the skills, knowledge and experience to aggressively fight your DUI charge in Tacoma Municipal Court, and we do so for our DUI clients on a regular basis.
Our DUI team, simply put, has no competition. We are the only DUI Defense firm in Washington state with six former DUI prosecutors, and five defenders rated a perfect “10.0” on AVVO.com. Partners Dan Gerl, Casey Arbenz, Jared Ausserer, and Gina Buskirk are all former DUI prosecutors, as are Associate Attorneys Teresa Groves and Amanda Danforth.
Our DUI defense team has over 100 years combined experience handling DUI cases throughout Western Washington. And although every DUI case is unique, and no outcome can be guaranteed, we have been able historically to obtain reductions, dismissals or deferrals on over 97% of DUI-related charges in the Tacoma area.
If you or someone you love is arrested for or charged with DUI, there is only one number to call – 800 BEAT DUI.