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Charles H. Williams,
Attorney and Counselor
at Law, P.S.
707 South Snoqualmie
Street,
Suite 4A
Seattle, WA 98108

Phone:206-707-8524
Toll free:800-854-3458
Seattle Law Office Map

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Seattle DUI Penalties Lawyer

At the law office of Charles H. Williams, Attorney and Counselor at Law, P.S., we provide experienced DUI/DWI defense to people living in and around Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Olympia and Everett, Washington.

Potential consequences of DUI conviction include jail time, driver's license suspension, fines, ignition interlock system, permanent criminal record, and immigration consequences. Penalties increase after multiple DUIs.

Often inaccuracies or mistakes made in police investigations can be used to overturn or undermine a DUI charge. The typical defense has three progressive stages. First we investigate the possibility of challenging the field sobriety testing, the breath test or the blood draw, and even the traffic stop itself. Then, we negotiate to see whether an alternative disposition to DUI conviction can be obtained. Finally, if all else fails, we seek to have illegal evidence suppressed, unsubstantiated charges dismissed or the case tried before a judge or jury.

To speak with an attorney about a drunk driving charge, contact our firm online or by calling 206-707-8524 or 800-854-3458.

Summary of DUI Penalties (RCW 46.61.5055):

Prior offenses The level of DUI penalty in Washington is determined by the number and type of prior offenses (including out-of-state convictions). Prior offenses include: (a) alcohol or drug-related vehicular homicide or vehicular assault, (b) DUI, physical control, reckless driving or reckless endangerment, (c) first-degree negligent driving reduced from DUI or physical control, or (d) deferred prosecution of DUI or physical control. For the prior offense to be applicable, the arrest for that offense must have occurred within a specified period (either 10 or seven years) of the arrest for the current offense.

Class C felony The current offense is a class C felony, with a maximum penalty of state imprisonment for five years and a fine of $10,000, if (a) there is a previous alcohol or drug-related vehicular homicide or vehicular assault or (b) there are four or more prior offenses within 10 years.

Gross misdemeanor The current offense is a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and five years of supervised probation, if there are three or fewer prior offenses within seven years. In addition, there are mandatory enhancements of penalty for either (a) blood or breath alcohol concentration ("BAC") of 0.15 and above or (b) refusal to provide BAC sample — see Misdemeanor DUI Penalty Matrix below.

Probation
The sentencing court is authorized to suspend or defer any portion of a one-year jail term and place the defendant on probation for a period of up to five years. Each failure during probation to comply with a statutorily mandated condition of probation, such as breath testing or chemical-dependency treatment, results in an additional 30-day jail term and 30-day license suspension.

Additional legal consequences In addition to these penalties, the defendant may face the following legal consequences upon conviction:

  • Passenger under 16 — Ignition interlock for an additional 60 days.
  • Immigration denial — Conviction may be a factor in denial of citizenship, of green card or of re-admission (although it is not a basis for deportation). Conviction may also result in denial of entry into Canada.
  • IID offenses — There is a misdemeanor penalty for driving without a required ignition interlock device (RCW 46.20.740) and a gross misdemeanor penalty for tampering with or circumventing a required ignition interlock device (RCW 46.20.750).
  • Vehicle forfeiture — The defendant's vehicle is subject to forfeiture if there are two prior DUI or physical control convictions within seven years (RCW 46.61.5058).
  • Habitual offender status — The defendant's license is suspended for five years upon the third major traffic offense conviction within seven years (RCW 46.65.070).

Misdemeanor DUI Penalty Matrix

BAC

Minimum

jail time

Electronic home monitoring

Minimum

fine

License suspensionIgnition interlock

First conviction (no prior offenses)

Less than 0.15

or no test

24 hours

or 15 days

$82390 days

one year after suspension

0.15 or higher

or refusal

48 hoursor 30 days$1,015

one year/

two years for refusal

one year after suspension

Second conviction (one prior offense)

Less than 0.15

or no test

30 days

and 60 days

$1,015

two years

five years if previously restricted

0.15 or higher

or refusal

45 daysand 90 days$1,405

900 days/

three years for refusal

five years if previously restricted

Third conviction (two prior offenses)

Less than 0.15

or no test

90 days

and 120 days

$1,805

three years

10 years if previously restricted

0.15 or higher

or refusal

120 daysand 150 days$2,605

four years

10 years if previously restricted

Tacoma Felony DWI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, it's important to have an experienced lawyer work to protect your rights and to minimize any potential consequences.

To speak with a Seattle DUI penalties attorney contact Charles H. Williams online or by calling 206-707-8524 or 800-854-3458.

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