Interesting article in Seattle this morning about pending DUI cases & fallout

I read an interesting article today in the Seattle Times newspaper. It was in all places the Sports section and it was about Washington Husky tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Mr. Sefarian-Jenkins is currently charged with a DUI from an arrest in Seattle a few months ago. There are allegations that he crashed his vehicle, was intoxicated, and had a blood alcohol level around 0.18. But the article posed an interesting question that I myself have asked.

Is it a bad time for Austin Sefarian-Jenkins or any defendant for that matter in a DUI case to have a pending charge? In my opinion as someone who represents those charged with DUI offenses every day. Yes it is a horrible time to be charge with a DUI in King County or even the State of Washington for that matter. Currently in my opinion as a practicing DUI Attorney in Seattle there are three things working against those accused of DUI in our area.

First the public backlash of DUI defendants is at a all time high. This has all stemmed from two high profile vehicular homicide cases by repeat drunk drivers. Clearly these were unfortunate incidents and innocent people were killed. But the media has taken this incident, along with Government officials and made it a rallying cry for pushing tougher DUI laws.

Secondly the the largest Prosecutors office has begun implementing a policy of not offering any kind of reductions unless there are serious proof problems in the case. And even in those situations it really depends on who the Prosecutor is. So if you’re facing a DUI charge and this particular Officer is the one handling it. Then it is going to be extremely difficult to get a reduction. Gone are the days of walking into Court and negotiating a Neg 1 the day of the pretrial. An experienced Seattle DUI Attorney is now needed more than ever.

Lastly is the uncertainty over what is going to happen with existing DUI laws. There is a major push to toughen them up in Washington State. A bill has been passed in the Senate and is making its way through the state legislature. Due to this uncertainty it has been difficult to advise clients on the current landscape of DUI cases and what a likely penalty they face. The good thing is if you’re currently charged with a DUI in Washington State then you’re not likely to face any of these tougher penalties. The implementation wouldn’t begin for a few years, but that is just a guess.

About the author: Matthew Leyba is a Seattle DUI Attorney. His practice focuses on representing those accused of DUI and other traffic offenses. He is currently rated as one of the Top Seattle DUI Attorneys by Avvo, and listed as a Rising Star in DUI Defense by Super Lawyers Magazine. An honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys receive.