Thanks for hiring me! You have submitted your contract and payment. Here is what to expect being part of a DUI or criminal case:
Please remember your court dates. Case results and most updates come by email and official copy in the mail usually the same day of your court date and right after we get your results. Email is the quickest and most organized method of sending your results letter and other documents. If you prefer the results by other means, ie. Phone call or text, please let us know. Phone calls are made for urgent updates or for matters easier discussed over the phone.
This is typically the first hearing in the process (excluding a potential bail hearing or first appearance/probable cause hearing). In this hearing, you will plead not guilty through me. That means, I do most of the speaking for you. The judge will read you your rights and the nature of the charges. For example, he will state “on x date you were alleged to have been driving under the influence when y happened.”
For most people with a first time DUI, the judge will release you on your own personal recognizance (PR release). That means you are released without bail, ignition interlock, or other restrictive condition. All you have to do is promise to return back to court for your pretrial settlement conference hearing.
Please note: For second time offenders or people with very high breath or blood results, the judge may order you to install ignition interlock in your vehicle. Bail may be necessary if you have a history of missing court dates. If you have multiple DUI offenses in your past history, you may be ordered to have SCRAM (ie. alcohol monitoring anklet), Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM), or a combination of SCRAM/EHM and/or ignition interlock. That would be an extreme situation and I would discuss the possibility of anything beyond a standard release condition if pertinent in advance.
Pretrial Settlement Conference Hearing
This is where I get a deal for you. I will negotiate with the prosecutor first by email then by phone in advance of the hearing. Sometimes I am able to communicate an offer or resolution of the case in advance of the pretrial hearing. Other times, I will communicate the offer at the hearing itself. Please note, for a first pretrial hearing, I will not negotiate more than a week before the hearing in most circumstances. Evidence such as the police report, dash cam video, and/or breath result/ blood result is often not ready or analyzed before then. In 65% of all DUI cases, your offer will come by the first pretrial. In 80% of all other misdemeanor cases, the offer comes within the first pretrial. For the rest of the cases depending on the situation, the offer will come by the second pretrial.
Common deals for a DUI case are negligent driving first degree and reckless driving first degree. This is discussed on the offer sheet you will receive. Speak to me to know more.
Common deals for other misdemeanor cases are: compromise of misdemeanor (COM), stipulated order of continuance (SOC), or an amendment to a traffic infraction. Some people receive deferred sentences. Speak to me to know more about your individual case.
Typical resolution time for a DUI is 2 to 3 pretrial hearings. Typical resolution time for all other misdemeanor cases is 1 or 2 pretrial hearings. Each pretrial hearing is 30 days apart. Pretrial hearings take 30 min to an hour of your time.
If you get a deal at a pretrial, I will continue the case to a disposition hearing. This is where your deal can be entered. I will go over the plea forms in full with you and the case will be resolved in front of a judge.
Disposition hearings take 1 or 2 hours.
Disposition hearings are common in King County District Court. They are less common in Municipal Courts or other counties, such as Pierce County. Cases in those other jurisdictions are resolved at the pretrial hearing.
Court Date Preparation
Come on time, but not too early. All hearing types include other cases. Cases are called in order of what is early.
I often go from court to court and case to case, so please locate your courtroom and sit in the back I will call your name and find you when I arrive in court.
Dress casual to business casual. No need to wear a full suit, but do not wear shorts either. It is a good idea to look better at a disposition hearing.
Please refer to the DUI checklist for your obligations in a DUI case.
Yranela & Associates, “Law Offices” agrees to provide, for a fee the following services: representation at all pre-trial hearings, pre-trial motions hearings, accompanying briefs, and pleadings for client. This representation agreement will encompass the case in the Court. This fee agreement does not apply to trials, appeals, or any other cases. A trial will be covered by a separate agreement if necessary and if Client chooses. Post-disposition hearings for probations violations will be covered by a separate agreement. Upon the Law Office’s receipt of the fee, the funds become the property of the Law Office and will not be placed in a separate trust account. The fact that you have paid your fee in advance does not affect your right to terminate the client-lawyer relationship. In the event our relationship is terminated before the agreed-upon legal services have been completed, you may have a right to a refund of a portion of the fee. The fee paid does not include fines or court costs, which the Client will be responsible. The client-lawyer relationship does not begin until the fee is paid AND the attorney-client agreement is signed. Law Office may be retained by a minimum down payment, the “Retainer.”
The law office strives to make everyone happy. I encourage you to share feedback and we will make every reasonable accommodation. However, in the event you choose to end representation before your case concludes in DOL or the court, we reserve the right to keep a portion of the attorney fee paid equal to the amount of work already performed on the matter, with a minimum of $300 will be retained by the law office. If we have already attended or concluded a DOL hearing, then the office will retain $500. If we have attended one criminal hearing, the law office will retain the full retainer paid or $1500. The office will retain an additional $200 for every hearing after that.
Note: Full payment is due on the final court date (disposition date). Alternatively, you can choose to go on a monthly payment plan for the last half of your attorney fees. We will contact you for more information if you choose to do a payment plan.
We’ve handled and gotten thousands of tickets dismissed for our clients all across Western Washington. When you get a raw deal, we push back and get fines significantly reduced by using the law to our advantage. Call 425-260-9366 to talk about your ticket and how we can help win your case.