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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4

    Default Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, in Washington State

    I have had some complications with a ticket in my state, I missed a court date and I was filing for a just cause hearing to try and get a new hearing. I was told that I had until April 30th to send the hearing notice in or the DOL would suspend my license for FTA/Unpaid Ticket.

    I mailed it, priority overnight mail on April 27th. To make sure, I called the DOL on Monday (the 30th) to ask if my license was clear. The guy told me I was clear to drive, I assumed that they got the noticed and were going to send me a letter telling me when/if I should show up for my just cause hearing. Five days later, I got stopped. The officer came up and said, "Okay, I need you to pull over the car on the right hand side [cause I was on the left] because your license is suspended and I can not let you drive, did you know it was suspended?" I was shocked.. I was like, "No I didn't."

    Anyways, long story short he wrote me for DWLS3. He then told me that my license was suspended at 12:01 AM on April 29th. (That's a sunday) So that means when I called on the 30th, the guy told me wrong when he said I was clear. I have phone records to prove I called, I spent 14 minutes on the phone. Is this a legitimate defense, I was talking to the prosecutor and she said that the state just has to prove that you knew it was suspended and that you were driving on it. I was really trying NOT to get this ticket because my applications to law enforcement. The other ticket is all closed, paid for etc and my license was given back to me the day after I got the DWLS ticket.

    Anyways, I had a public defender and she seemed to be on my side. Today though, she did a 180 when I went to my pre-trial and said I couldn't win in court and that I should just plead guilty. I didn't want to, but she acted like I had no other options.

    So, I plead guilty. Driving away, I felt regret, I shouldn't have done that. I just lost my job, and it put my life on hold for five years. I am trying to be a police officer and a DWLS will DQ me for five years and I work for a driving company now so if this criminal traffic goes on my record, I get fired.

    So, how do I go about changing my plea? I just entered it today. I have tried to call my public defender but she refuses to return my phone calls it seems. What are my chances of getting it changed to Not Guilty and get a continuance in order to get different counsel.. any advice is much appreciated.

    Jordon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, WA State.

    Here's the problem. Not only did you plead guilty, you were factually guilty. What basis is there to revisit the plea?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, WA State.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Here's the problem. Not only did you plead guilty, you were factually guilty. What basis is there to revisit the plea?
    I don't believe I was factually guilty. They have to prove that I was knowingly driving when my license was suspended. That phone call proves that I made an attempt to find out if my license was suspended or not. They told me no, so I drove.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, WA State.

    So we get an exchange like this:
    Judge: You admitted under oath that you knew your license was suspended when you entered your guilty plea.

    You: I was lying.
    Unfortunately, that type of exchange doesn't normally end with the judge setting the charges aside.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, WA State.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    So we get an exchange like this:
    Judge: You admitted under oath that you knew your license was suspended when you entered your guilty plea.

    You: I was lying.
    Unfortunately, that type of exchange doesn't normally end with the judge setting the charges aside.
    Is that not the case for anyone who ever removes their guilty plea? I just would like to have a fair trial. When I went to court that day, I was not going to plead guilty. I got up next to my attorney and they said they didn't do bail forfeitures anymore and she put the hand over the mic and told me that I had no other options except to plead guilty.. I wasn't thinking clearly, I didn't have time to really think about what pleading guilty does to my life.

    Thanks for your help though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Washington State
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    5

    Default Re: Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, in Washington State

    The problem is the court system is the actual agency who handles your infraction. They are not the same as DOL and I hope you didn't get the two confused. This is government and nothing works fast in government. The court you mailed your payment to has to notify DOL that you have completed payment on the fine. DOL has to release your operators license and you should not drive until you have the letter of release in hand.

    You received a letter from DOL stating your license was going to be suspended on a certain date at a certain time. Did you indeed contact Department of Licensing or did you contact the courts?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4

    Default Re: Driving While Suspended, 3rd Degree, in Washington State

    Quote Quoting easydui
    View Post
    The problem is the court system is the actual agency who handles your infraction. They are not the same as DOL and I hope you didn't get the two confused. This is government and nothing works fast in government. The court you mailed your payment to has to notify DOL that you have completed payment on the fine. DOL has to release your operators license and you should not drive until you have the letter of release in hand.

    You received a letter from DOL stating your license was going to be suspended on a certain date at a certain time. Did you indeed contact Department of Licensing or did you contact the courts?
    I never received the letter, but I know that is my fault according to the courts because the address on my I.D. is shut down, I use a P.O. Box and instead of sending to the address I put on the ticket for the court date they sent it to the home address. If it takes that long to notify the DOL that my license was suspended, why did the computers show I was suspended on the 28th when I was pulled over?

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