What to expect
Chances are quite high that a person facing a fourth DUI in Washington will be held in custody while their case is pending unless they can post what will likely be very high bail or bond.
The judge has an obligation to consider the safety of the community when deciding whether to allow an accused person to be released from custody.
Often, the judge will rule on the side of caution in this regard and may not be satisfied to let the person be free in the community, even if the person offers to have an ignition interlock device or be on electronic home detention.
An experienced Washington State DUI lawyer will know the best arguments to persuade a judge from holding a person in custody while their case is pending.
The penalties for a DUI conviction become increasingly harsh with each subsequent offense. So, while a first-time DUI offender may get by with a “slap on the wrist,” a person with a fourth conviction for DUI is facing very serious consequences, even if one or more of the three prior DUIs occurred a long time ago.
There is a misunderstanding that many people have about DUI sentences; they believe that if the prior DUIs are outside of 7 years, the judge cannot sentence them beyond the mandatory minimum for a first offense.
This is not the case. Although the judge may not impose less than the mandatory minimum, when it is a second, third, or fourth DUI conviction, the risk of getting a year in jail increases proportionally.
Washington State DUI laws and the courts’ decisions regarding them are always evolving. You need a DUI lawyer who creatively challenges the evidence against you, who understands the science and technology of breath and blood testing, and who has the experience to notice mistakes made by the police and prosecutors in DUI prosecutions, you need Callahan Law, P.S., Inc.
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Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in our nation. These laws carry increasingly severe penalties for those who drink and drive. Washington lowered the BAC limit from .10 to 0.08 in January of 1999. Drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 or above can now be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, because public sentiment is so very negative toward drunk drivers, prosecutors will often pursue a DUI conviction even when the driver’s test result is well under .08! This is possible because they can obtain a conviction if they can show the person drove while “affected by” alcohol, and/or marijuana or any drug, including prescription or over-the-counter medications.
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