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Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) Crimes

Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) charges are very serious charges, which may trigger further revocation or suspension of your driver’s license as well as the possibility of mandatory jail time. The consequence for a DWLS charge depends primarily on why your driver’s license was suspended in the first place.

Most people depend on their ability to drive every day. Ms. Odama is an experienced criminal defense attorney and can help preserve your right to drive and is dedicated in getting the best possible outcome for you.

  Degree of seriousness Definition Mandatory Jail? License Suspension/revocation?
DWLS 1st Degree Gross Misdemeanor If a driver meets a definition of “habitual traffic offender” (which is three or more convictions for serious driving crimes) and are caught driving while their license is suspended or revoked they have committed DWLS 1st Degree.  RCW 46.20.345(1)(a) First Conviction:  10 days confinement.

Second Conviction: 90 days confinement

Third (& Subsequent) conviction:  180 days confinement
1 year
DWLS 2nd Degree Gross Misdemeanor If a person operates a motor vehicle while an order of suspension or revocation prohibiting such operation is in effect and they are not eligible to reinstate their license, they are guilty of DWLS 2nd Degree.  RCW 46.20.342 (1)(b). NO 1 year
DWLS 3rd Degree Simple Misdemeanor If a person operates a motor vehicle while his/her license or privilege to drive is suspended or revoked due to such things as failing to pay traffic tickets, failure to respond to traffic infraction, or failure to pay child support, etc. See RCW 46.20.342 (1)(c). NO None

Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and courts take DWLS charges very seriously.  It is very important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer represent you for these charges.  Ms. Odama has seen the long lasting and devastating consequences of DWLS conviction can have on someone’s life.  If you are convicted of a DWLS 2nd or DWLS 1st degree, your license will be re-suspended, which substantially prolongs how long it will take for you to get your license back.


This web page is for informational purposes only. Visitors should not rely upon information on this web page as a substitute for personal legal advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. Contact us If you have an individual legal problem so we can help you with your issue.