Most folks accused of DUI in Spokane will have an initial court hearing or First Appearance the next business day after their arrest. However, in some situations these initial court hearings are delayed for two to three weeks. Unfortunately, this delay leads some folks to ignore the case until that future court hearing, which means they’re missing an important deadline for their separate Department of Licensing (DOL) case.

Having a DUI court hearing on the next business day creates a sense of urgency. Folks immediately review all their paperwork from law enforcement and often contact a DUI attorney – even over the weekend. Through reviewing their paperwork and speaking with an attorney these folks learn about a 7-day deadline for trying to save their driver license by requesting DOL hearing.

This DOL hearing is completely separate from the court process. The clock for this deadline begins ticking on the day of the arrest and doesn’t stop just because someone doesn’t have a court hearing right away. 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.

There are some limited circumstances, like a non-breath test refusal blood draw DUI, where the 7-day deadline does not apply. However, these cases are rare so the best plan is to simply request a DOL hearing right away and preserve your ability to challenge a loss of license.

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 us today to see how we can help you.