Pulled over for a DUI but not charged?

I was pulled over in Seattle and accused by a police officer of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) but I wasn’t charged. What does this mean? Can I still drive? What happens next?


A person can be pulled over and arrested for a DUI without being charged upon release. In other words, the officer has referred your case to the prosecutor who examines the evidence and later decides whether you should be officially charged with a DUI. It can take the prosecutor anywhere from a few days, a couple months, or up to two years.

If you were pulled over in King County by the Washington State Patrol the WSP generally refers the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office and may eventually be filed in King County District Court.

Now some officers will arrest you, perform the BAC test at the jail, and then release you on your own personal recognizance. Other officers will arrest you, perform the BAC test at the jail and then book you into jail. If this happens you may only be held for a maximum of 72 hours without being charged. In order to hold someone for the 72 hour period the person generally goes before a judge within that 72 hour period and the judge determines whether there is probable cause that the person was driving while intoxicated. Most people are “bailed out” or “bonded out” by family or friends before seeing a judge. If this happens and you still haven’t been charged there are a couple of things you can do: 1) call the court the first business day within the 72 hour period, or shortly after, and ask if you’ll be charged with a DUI; 2) watch your mail carefully, this includes making sure the mailing address you have listed on your driver’s license is up to date; and 3) stay away from criminal activity.

If you’ve been arrested and not charged call us for a free consultation.   We offer an affordable DUI defense, and can help you through this difficult and confusing process–the Law Offices of Raymond Ejarque, (206) 621-1554.  We can further help you with the specifics of your case and answer any additional questions you may have.