DUI Arrest in Snohomish County, Prosecuted in King County?
May 20th, 2009
If a DUI arrest occurs within the city limits of Bothell, then there are three potential courts in which the case might be filed. This is because some of Bothell is in Snohomish County and a portion of it is in King County. It is one of those rare cities where jurisdiction for a DUI arrest may be in Snohomish County District Court, or in King County District Court, depending upon where the DUI arrest occurred. Generally speaking, if the DUI arrest has been made by the Washington State Patrol, the case will be filed into Snohomish County District Court if the arrest occurred at or north of Thrasher's Corner. A DUI arrest south of this location will be filed into King County District Court, Redmond division, so long as the DUI arrest was made by the Washington State Patrol. On the other hand, a DUI arrest by a city of Bothell police officer anywhere within the city of Bothell will be filed into the Bothell Municipal Court.
This very strange situation can lead to a Snohomish County DUI arrest being filed in, and litigated in, King County District Court, despite the fact the driving and DUI arrest did not occur in King county. An alert DUI defense attorney will analyze this situation to determine whether a constitutional challenge may be raised to the filing of a DUI charge where the arrest occurred in one county into a District Court in another county. Alternatively, this situation may well be the subject of a motion to change venue in the appropriate DUI case. There are statutory and perhaps constitutional issues raised by implications of filing DUI charges in the "wrong" court and an experienced DUI defense attorney will consider how to raise these issues in connection with an effective DUI defense.