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Driving on a Suspended License (DWLS) Defense in Washington

Driving on a Suspended License (DWLS) Defense in Washington

Driving on a suspended license (DWLS) in Washington is the state’s most charged criminal traffic offense. There are many ways an individual can have a license suspended and it can be extremely difficult to restore a suspended license.

What Are the Penalties For DWLS in Washington?

There are three different categories or “degrees” of a DWLS charge. Each has its own peculiarities and level of severity.

License Suspended 3rd Degree

DWLS in the 3rd Degree is driving on a suspended license at a time when the person was eligible to have the license reinstated. The most common examples of this are when a person’s license is suspended due to an unpaid traffic ticket, unpaid child support or not getting reinstated after a period of suspension. 

This probably is the most beatable charge. Judges and prosecutors are primarily concerned with citizens being licensed and insured before they drive. Assuming the driver’s criminal history is not significant and a license has been reinstated, this charge will usually be reduced to an infraction if not dismissed completely.

We’ve helped hundreds of people not only beat this charge but get their driving privileges back as well.

License Suspended 2nd Degree

DWLS 2nd degree is more serious than 3rd degree. If your license is suspended because of a DUI, reckless driving, hit and run, or felony driving crimes, then your license is suspended in the 2nd degree. DWLS 2nd degree is a gross misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. A conviction for DWLS 2nd degree carries an additional year of license suspension beyond the Washington license suspension you are already serving. 

The ways to avoid suspension are to 1) have your license back at the time of the sentencing and 2) the judge recommends against re-suspension. In certain cases, you may be eligible for a restricted license that will allow you to drive during your Washington license suspension.

This charge is very beatable if you do the right things. Harbeson Law is an experienced Washington DWLS lawyer. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

License Suspended 1st Degree

DWLS 1st degree is the most severe DWLS charge. A person who is charged with DWLS 1st degree is accused of driving after her license was suspended for being a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). It s a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. What separates first-degree DWLS from the other two is that it carries a mandatory jail sentence. For a first conviction, one must serve 10 days in jail. On a second conviction, the mandatory sentence is 90 days. On a third or subsequent conviction for DWLS in the first degree, the jail sentence is 180 days. These mandatory minimum jail sentences make DWLS 1st-degree a more serious charge than DUI.

Read What The Customers Say About Michael

I had 3 DWL in the 3rd degree infractions in 2 different cities resulting in 3 warrants and a revoked license. I called Michael and met with him the next day. Within 3 weeks my warrants were gone and I was able to go get my license. I didn’t have to do anything. I have one court date coming up and Michael will be there with me. Michael answers his phone when I call ALWAYS……..” – David – 5 Stars on avvo.com

Michael’s experience and knowledge of the law allowed the outcome of my case to be settled with exactly what I wanted. He was able to get the charge against me reduced significantly and also ensured there were no strings attached. (no community service, probation, etc.). I would recommend Michael as a personal attorney to anyone would find themself in such a situation. Terrance – 5 Stars on Google My Business

Schedule a consultation with Michael Harbeson for a DWLS case evaluation.

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