Washington Misdemeanor DUI Attorneys
What Are the Penalties for Misdemeanor DUI?
A DUI is a gross misdemeanor in the state of Washington. That means a person
convicted may receive a sentence of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000
fine, plus fees and assessments. At the time of this writing, a DUI in
Washington is not a felony unless the driver has 4 or more "prior
offenses" as listed in the law, within the past 10 years, or if they
previously were convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide while
under the influence, or if they have ever been convicted of felony DUI
or felony Physical Control in the past.
Even though a DUI is gross misdemeanor, the penalties and consequences
of a conviction for DUI can be very serious, such as:
Jail - Mandatory minimum jail terms are required upon conviction, but the judge
can always impose any amount of jail up to a maximum of 364 days.
Fine - Mandatory minimum fines are also required, but the court can impose
any fine up to the maximum fine of $5,000 and impose fees and assessments.
License suspension or revocation - A minimum suspension of 90 days is imposed upon conviction for a first
offense in 7 years. However, if the breath test was 0.15 or higher, the
test was refused, or if this was a second or subsequent offense within
7 years, there will be a longer license revocation. SR22 insurance, a
reissue fee, is required to reinstate the license, as well as driver testing
if the license was revoked.
Ignition interlock restriction - The offender must drive only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock
device which prevents a vehicle from being started, or from running during
random testing, if alcohol on the person's breath registers 0.025 or more.
Chemical dependency evaluation and treatment - The offender must obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and attend
at minimum, an alcohol and drug information class and a DUI victim impact
panel. However, if the diagnosis is one of dependency, treatment can range
from 3 months to 2 years.
What Are the Defenses to a DUI Charge?
The defenses are numerous and depend on the facts in any given case. A
DUI may be dismissed if law enforcement contacted the driver unlawfully
or arrested the driver without probable cause. Rarely will a court dismiss
a charge for lack of probable cause to arrest for DUI, so long as the
person is driving and has the odor of alcohol on his or her breath.
A few of the issues that could result in a person being acquitted at trial,
or their DUI being dismissed or reduced to a charge that carries less
serious consequences include:
- If the driver drank after driving but before the arrest
- If the driver pulled the vehicle safely off the roadway before being pursued
by law enforcement
- If the breath or blood test was not properly administered
- If there were significant procedural errors in the process of getting a
search warrant for blood
- If there is no breath or blood test result and the field sobriety tests
were not done or not administered properly
The only way to defend against a DUI is to have a skilled, experienced
and knowledgeable DUI lawyer; one who is willing to invest time and a
lot of effort in your defense. These cases are difficult, but they can
be won, we know, because we are driven in defense of those who drive.
Allow Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. to look over the facts of your case and
provide you with a free initial case review.
to get more information about DUI misdemeanors.