Struggling To Determine What To Do After You Were Arrested Or Received A Summons?
All counties have different local rules and procedures. It is important to understand, particularly in the age of zoom court, whether you know what to expect at your first or next hearing.
Some counties are doing administrative bookings (arrest you, finger print, and release on PR) and not holding people in jail depending on the nature of the criminal charge. If this happens to you, it is important that you determine two things:
1. The date of your next court appearance. The date may be provided to you at the time of your booking or it may be mailed to you in the forms of a Summons. If the court and/or Department of Licensing does not have an accurate mailing address for you, it is likely that you will miss this court date and have a warrant issued for your arrest. If you are without a mailing address, you need to check regularly with the Clerk of Court and/or Washington State Court website to determine when you are required to make your next appearance. Be aware that not all hearings are included on the Washington State Courts website.
2. Do you have a Department of Licensing hearing to request? Many criminal charges will trigger an administrative licensing suspension. You have 7 days to request a DOL hearing if you have been charged with DUI or certain other criminal driving offenses. Even if your court date has not been set or it has been set for many months in the future, your DOL timelines is triggered as soon as you are arrested. You have no recourse if you miss this timeline and you may become suspended regardless of whether you have even had your first criminal hearing.
Different Counties, Different Procedures
Also, be aware that certain counties, such as Thurston County, there are very different protocols than in the neighboring county of Pierce. You may not have a Summons mailed to you and it may be up to you or your attorney to reach out to the Prosecutor to get your matter placed on the criminal calendar. If you cannot reach your public defender, it is up to you to determine your status. In the end, you are the person subject to penalties such as a warrant.
Unable to Reach Your Attorney?
If you have been unable to reach your public defender or are struggling to resolve your criminal case, Witt Law Group offers free consultations to determine if we can assist with your matter. We handle criminal defense cases in Kitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County. We also handle cases in the local municipalities such as Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale and Bremerton. We have helped thousands of clients with DUI, Assault, and many other criminal charges. Do not do it on your own. Call or text today. 360-792-1000.