Understanding Your Snohomish County Driving While License Suspended Charge

If you have been charged with driving while your license is suspended or revoked (DWLS) in Snohomish County, Washington you are probably wondering what the difference is between the different degrees of the crime and what your options are. An experienced driving while license suspended defense attorney can help you understand your charge, go over your case in detail looking for any potential defenses, and can help guide you towards your best possible resolution.

There are three degrees of driving while license suspended. Driving while license suspended or revoked in the first degree (DWLS1) occurs when you drive while your license is revoked for being a habitual traffic offender. DWLS1 is a gross misdemeanor offense which means, if convicted, you could be sentenced up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence determined by prior DWLS1 convictions. This means, if convicted, the judge is required by law to impose a sentence of at least ten days in jail if you have no prior DWLS1 convictions, ninety days in jail if you have one prior DWLS1 conviction, and one hundred eighty days in jail if you have two or more prior DWLS1 convictions. RCW 46.20.342(1)(a). Also, a DWLS1 conviction will extend the period of your suspension for an additional year. RCW 46.20.342(2)(a).

Driving while license suspended or revoked in the second degree (DWLS2) occurs when you drive while your license is suspended or revoked and you are not eligible to reinstate your license. The most common reason for someone to be DWLS2 is if they were suspended as a result of a DUI. DWLS2 is a gross misdemeanor which means, if convicted, you can be sentenced up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. There is no mandatory minimum sentence. RCW 46.20.342(1)(b). However, if you are convicted of DWLS2, the department of licensing will extend your suspension for an additional year. RCW 46.20.342(2)(b).

Driving while license suspended or revoked in the third degree (DWLS3) occurs when you drive while your license is suspended but you are eligible to reinstate your license. The most common reason for someone to be DWLS3 is if they were suspended for failing to pay a traffic ticket. DWLS3 is a misdemeanor which means, if convicted, you can be sentenced up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. RCW 46.20.342(1)(c). There is no mandatory minimum sentence or additional license suspension.

Clearly, there are many different considerations with each DWLS case. Your DWLS Defense Attorney can help you go over the details of your unique case and help guide you towards your best resolution.

I, Snohomish County criminal defense attorney Lance Fryrear , have over a decade of experience defending DWLS cases. This experience coupled with the seven years that I spent as a prosecuting attorney gives me the unique ability to see your case from both sides to anticipate arguments and aggressively advocate on your behalf. For many of my clients , I have been able to successfully argue for a reduction in the charge or even avoid conviction altogether.

Contact DWLS Defense Attorney Lance R. Fryrear today for your free consultation. I will put my seventeen plus years of experience to work for you.