Many initial DUI court appearances in Spokane County are being delayed due to Covid-19. Social distancing restrictions at the Spokane Courthouse have led to limits on the number of cases set on any given day. Historically, someone accused of driving under the influence on the weekend would be required to physically appear in court for their First Appearance Hearing on the following Monday. Recently, most folks accused of a DUI aren’t going to court until several weeks after the incident. This delay removes much of the urgency to learn about DUI processes. It’s important to minimize the risk of Covid-19, but for some, this delay in initial court hearings has led to missing an important DUI deadline.
Under the old system where most people accused of a DUI had a court hearing on the next business day they would immediately review their DUI paperwork. This led to them contacting an experienced DUI attorney over the weekend or on Monday morning knowing they had to appear in court later that afternoon. Through reviewing their DUI paperwork and speaking with an attorney folks learned about a 7-day deadline for trying to save their driver license through a separate Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative hearing.
This DOL hearing is completely separate from the court process for a DUI. The clock for this deadline begins ticking on the day of the arrest and doesn’t stop just because the court case has been delayed. If someone misses the 7-day deadline for requesting a DUI hearing with DOL, then they’re all but guaranteed to endure a minimum 90 day suspension of their license, at least three years of SR-22 insurance costs and possibly a requirement for the ignition interlock device.
An experienced DUI attorney can explain whether this 7-day deadline applies to your case, but only if you take action immediately after the incident. The attorneys at Cooney Law Offices can guide you through both the court and DOL processes. Contact them today to see how they can help you.