What Is Probation? Why Is It Important?

In Washington, a gross misdemeanor such as a DUI carries a maximum of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Simple misdemeanors such as Negligent Driving 1st Degree carries a maximum of 90 days jail and a $1,000 fine. Most criminal convictions typically result in the court imposing probation time upon you. In Washington, DUI’s typically carry 5 years probation. Reduced charges such as Negligent Driving or Reckless Driving carry a maximum of 2 years.

How does probation work? Typically the judge will suspend some of your sentence upon the condition of staying out of trouble and abiding by other conditions. If you violate any of those conditions during the time that you are on probation, the judge has the power to impose some of that suspended time.

Far too often, people are not aware of their conditions of probation, and accidentally violate the law. We often see violations for someone who either is arrested on new charges – such as Driving With a Suspended License, Ignition Interlock Violation, or even a new DUI charge – or someone who fails to complete their court-ordered classes. Violations of these conditions can result in additional jail time.

In fact, Washington law mandates a 30 day sanction for violations of certain probation conditions, including committing a new DUI, driving with a suspended license, driving without a functioning ignition interlock device, or driving without mandatory SR-22 insurance. It is important to have an experienced attorney guiding you.

We understand the complexities of the court process and of conditions of probation. We understand the interplay between the law and its everyday application. And we know how to ensure that you do not incur any new criminal charges.

When facing a criminal DUI charge or a probation violation, we know how to assist you best in addressing these conditions. Contact us today.