Cynthia Macklin   Attorney at Law

Legal Representation for Accident and DUI in Tacoma, and surrounding Counties

Accident, Injury and DUI Law Office

DUI Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t I have a right to a lawyer for free??

Answer:  If you cannot afford an Attorney, you may be eligible to have a Public Defender appointed to represent you. There are many very experienced and knowledgeable Public Defenders.  Additionally, there are some that are not so knowledgeable and experienced.  When you are appointed a Public Defender, you do not get to choose who will represent you. Most Public Defenders carry very large caseloads.  That is, they often have many many clients.  The biggest complaint I hear from clients who were previously represented by a Public Defender is that they call and leave several messages and the Attorney never calls them back and that every time they went to court there was a different Public Defender covering their case that knew nothing about the case.

 
Why would I pay to hire a DUI Attorney?

Answer:
It is not cheap to hire an Attorney, but what you should get is peace of mind knowing that when you call your attorney, they will either pick up the phone or will call you right back. Cynthia Macklin gives all of her clients here cell phone number.  Because she is in court so often, she encourages her clients to text or call and leave a message.  She has a policy of calling back all clients who leave a message no more than 24 hours from the time they called.  Seldom, however, does it take her 24 hours to call back; an hour or less is typical.

Also, when you hire a private Attorney, you should get an attorney who knows your case and your situation.  An attorney who will always be there at court and not have a different attorney covering all the time.  You should get answers to your questions and an attorney who listens.  That is the Attorney Cynthia Macklin is.  She has a reputation for building strong client relationships.  That is a direct result of her attention to detail and paying attention to and being available to her clients.


I was arrested for a DUI, and I refused the Breath Test, what are the consequences if I am convicted?

Answer: Penalties for a conviction on a “Refusal” DUI can be harsher than had you not refused. Attorney Cynthia Macklin can often get the charges reduced or in some cases, dismissed. A good Attorney will try to mitigate the damages as much as possible. See DUI Penalties for more information on mandatory jail and penalties.


I was arrested for a DUI, is my license suspended now?


Answer: Your license will be suspended on the 60th day from the date you were arrested.  The length of the suspension will vary.  See DUI Penalties for more information on how long you might expect your license to be suspended.

You can try to fight that suspension.  If you choose to try to fight a suspension, you must file a request for a hearing with the Department of Licensing (DOL) no later than 20 days after the date you were arrested. Once the request is filed, the license suspension will be stayed until you have your hearing and a determination is made of whether you win the hearing or not.


If my Attorney can get a plea bargain for me in the criminal court for something other than a DUI can DOL still suspend my license?


Answer: Yes, DOL can still suspend your license through the administrative process. 

How am I going to work or go to my appointments if my license is suspended?

Answer: You can apply for a Temporary Restricted License that will allow you to drive during the suspension period.  You will need to pay an application fee, obtain SR 22 Insurance and show proof you have an Interlock Ignition Device installed on your vehicle.

 When a police officer pulls me over and asks if I had been drinking, how should I answer him?


Answer: You do not have to answer any questions. This is often very awkward for people.  We have been raised to believe that when an Officer asks us something, respectfully we should answer.  However, keep in mind that when an officer is asking questions, they are evidence gathering.  You are well within your rights not to answer. Do provide the Officer with your license, registration, proof of insurance and politely identify yourself. Then if the Officer continues to ask questions, tell the Officer that you don’t wish to answer questions without first talking to an Attorney.   

If the Officer asks me to take the Field Sobriety Tests (FST) (walk the line, touch your nose, follow the pen with your eyes, etc.) do I have to?

Answer: No, the FSTs are voluntary and you are not legally required to take them.  In fact, it is in your best interest to refuse to do FSTs.  They are difficult for anyone and are just another way for the Officer to gather evidence to use against you.

If the Officer asks me to blow into a portable breath machine there in the field, should I do it?


Answer: No, the Portable Breath Test Machine (PBT) is not legally required.  Seldom can a prosecutor get the PBT test in as evidence because they are not scientifically sound. The only purpose the Officer has for getting you to do the PBT is to gather enough evidence to arrest you. Taking the PBT is voluntary, you can say no.

The Officer asked me if he could search my car.  What should I say?


Answer: Say No. An Officer needs to have clear probable cause to search a car without the owner’s consent.  Do not consent! If the Officer has actual legal grounds to search your car, he can get a warrant.

 I was taken to the Police Station and they told me to blow into a Breath Test Machine (BAC).  Should I do it?

Answer: the answer to this question varies depending a many factors.  You should request to speak to an Attorney to get advice as to whether you should or should not blow.  The Attorney will talk to you and gather enough information from you to determine what is the best course of action under the current circumstances.  When you ask to speak to an Attorney, the Office will get one on the phone for you and is legally required to give you privacy to speak to the Attorney.

Am I allowed to represent myself in court on a DUI?


Answer: Most courts highly discourage you from representing yourself because the stakes can be so high on a DUI.  Not only the immediate consequences, but a conviction can detrimentally affect your employment and future.  If you still insist on representing yourself after the Court warns you against it, you can represent yourself, however, the court will put on the record that you understand that you will be held to the same standard as an Attorney regarding all the laws, rules of evidence and court proceedings.

If I am found guilty of DUI, what do I have to go to jail?

Answer: Yes, there are mandatory jail penalties for all DUI convictions.  See DUI Penalties for more information.

I still have questions about my DUI case. Where can I get more help?

Answer; Call Attorney Cynthia Macklin at 253-566-0808.  She will give you a free initial consultation.