Written by Stryder Wegener
Driving while your license is suspended may seem like it’s not a major issue. In many situations, driving may be a necessity. Whether you’re commuting to work or dropping your kids off, making a quick trip with a suspended license might seem harmless. Driving while license suspended (DWLS), however, is one of the most expensive offenses you can commit. According to authorities, its enforcement costs millions of taxpayer dollars without a proportionate increase in public safety.
Traffic offenses can turn from a small issue to a larger problem very quickly. One way to avoid this is to reach out to an experienced Seattle traffic lawyer for help. For assistance with traffic cases in Washington, contact Emerald City Law Group. We understand that simply accepting your punishment with no questions is not always the best course of action.
DWLS III is the Most Commonly Charged Crime in Washington
Millions of dollars worth of taxpayer money have been spent on DWLS enforcement in the state of Washington. Typically, a DWLS charge stems from a previous moving violation. For several reasons, it is not uncommon for drivers to not follow through on paying for their ticket. Another common mistake drivers make is not showing up in court to contest their ticket. Thousands of Washington motorists have had their licenses suspended for not responding to a moving violation ticket. Those who continue to drive after having their license suspend risk being arrested for DWLS if they are pulled over again.
The Number of Driving While License Suspended Charges Accounts for the Cost
A recent Washington ACLU report estimates that over $1.3 billion has been spent on the enforcement of DWLS in the third-degree. These costs came as a result of over 1.5 million DWLS criminal charges being filed. These charges led to almost 900,000 convictions. Inconsistency also plays a role in the financial burden DWLS III charges pose to those living and traveling through Washington. The report also observed that the law is not applied equally across the state’s jurisdictions. There is also some concern about the disproportionate amount of DWLS charges brought against ethnic minorities, young drivers, and the economically disadvantaged.
Other DWLS-Related Issues
The ACLU has recommended that DWLS not be charged as a crime. Indeed, some jurisdictions in Washington no longer treat it as a criminal offense. The focus of the report was on ways to decrease the effects of driving without a license, without overly criminalizing it. Concerns abound that the law is essentially being used as a weapon against poor or minority drivers. Some feel the right move is to address the problem as a social issue, rather than a criminal one. By looking at it in this way, there is hope that the issues relating to DWLS can be addressed without burdening communities unnecessarily.
Contact a Seattle Traffic Lawyer at Our Firm for Help
Discussing your case with a skilled Seattle traffic attorney is the best way to avoid a license suspension, among other consequences. Emerald City Law Group is well-equipped to assist you with driving while license suspended any other traffic citations or offenses in the Seattle area. We have a wealth of experience in traffic law, and we are prepared to help you. We know what it takes to fight these charges, and we will protect your rights every step of the way.