DUI with Suspended License

Seattle Lawyers for Defense of Drunk Driving Charges

If you get involved in activities that violate the law or don’t meet requirements imposed by the court, you may face a driver’s license suspension in Washington. This can hugely, adversely impact your life, making it difficult to get to your job or pick up your kids after school. However, the situation can be made worse if you decide to drive anyway and you are under the influence when doing so. If you get charged with a drunk driving offense with a suspended license, an experienced Seattle DUI attorney at Blair & Kim may be able to help.

DUI With Suspended License

You can be charged with a DUI under different circumstances, and the penalties will vary. Generally, a first DUI is a gross misdemeanor. You can face 1 to 264 days in jail among other potential penalties whether you’re convicted of a per se DUI with a blood alcohol content under .15% or you’re convicted based on being impaired. One potential penalty for a DUI conviction is a driver’s license suspension; however, you can also face a driver’s license suspension for other reasons. Your driver’s license can be suspended administratively after a DUI arrest even without court proceedings or charges or where the charge is reduced to a lesser offense.

If your license is suspended for a DUI or another reason, and you drive anyway and get caught, you can be charged with driving while your license is suspended. There are multiple degrees for this offense, and each degree has its own penalties. You can face penalties for both, and for the DUI you can have your license suspended again. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can help you navigate the legal system under these circumstances.

Driving While License Suspended

Driving while your license is suspended is usually a gross misdemeanor as well, and it also comes in several degrees. Under Revised Code of Washington section 46.20.342, you can be convicted for first degree driving while your license is suspended if you drive in Washington while your license is suspended or revoked, or when your privilege to drive is suspended or revoked in another state, and you’re a habitual offender. Habitual traffic offenders are those who are convicted of three or more vehicular crimes within 5 years or twenty or more moving traffic infractions. The vehicular crimes that give rise to a habitual traffic offender designation could be vehicular homicide, DUI, hit and run, eluding an officer, or driving with license suspended. Alternatively, you could be designated as such for getting twenty or more moving traffic infractions. For a first degree driving while license suspended charge, you may face up to a year in jail, a maximum fine of $5000, or both.

You can be charged with second degree driving while license suspended if you drive a car while you’re in a suspended or revoked status and you weren’t eligible to reinstate the driver’s license or privilege. This charge is a gross misdemeanor. A conviction can result in a year of incarceration, up to $5000 in fines, or both of these, plus a mandatory lengthening of your suspension by an extra year.

You can be charged with third degree driving while license suspended if you drive in a suspended or revoked status where the suspension or revocation was sustained because you didn’t respond to a traffic infraction notice or you didn’t reinstate your license. The penalties for third degree driving while license suspended can be 90 days in jail, up to $1000 in fines, or both.


When there is more than one crime associated with the same incident and one of the crimes is a felony, the calculation of the sentence may be complicated. For example, if you are convicted of a felony DUI involving vehicular homicide, which was committed while your license was suspended, you can face sentences for both of these crimes. In Washington, sentences may be served consecutively or concurrently, with consecutive sentences running one at a time, and concurrent sentences served at the same time. There’s a presumption that sentences will be concurrent. However, it depends on the calculation of an offender score. The less serious crime is treated as if it’s a prior crime for calculating the sentence of whichever crime is more serious.

Consult an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Seattle

DUI with a suspended license in Seattle can result in a range of penalties, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes there are consequences to the whole family as the result of a DUI with suspended license. Our criminal defense and family law attorneys unite to develop unique strategies for each of our clients. Our firm also defends those accused of DUI and other offenses in Kings County, Redmond, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Call Blair & Kim at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie