Washington State has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the entire country. Unlike some states, there simply isn’t a ‘get out of jail’ free card in Washington; in short, the one break, I made mistake doesn’t exist. Thus, it is imperative that one cited for DUI immediately seek the guidance of an experienced DUI attorney so as to ensure her rights are protected to the greatest extend possible.
A first time DUI in Washington State is considered a gross misdemeanor, not a felony. A Washington DUI carries a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. In all cases where a conviction is entered, there is a mandatory minimum sentence, which a judge is required to impose and cannot reduce: Jail time or electronic home monitoring (house arrest); Probation & fines; Washington or out of state driver’s license suspension; Suspension of a commercial driver’s license (CDL); WA SR-22 auto insurance (proof of financial responsibility certificate); Mandatory ignition interlock device; and Alcohol or drug treatment.
There may also be enhanced penalty situations depending on the level of alcohol detected in the person’s breath or if the person elects to refuse to provide a breath sample (by words or even actions, as determined by law enforcement).
The criminal penalties for a DUI that results from prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or even Marijuana are the same as for an alcohol related DUI. For a Marijuana DUI, the presumed level of intoxication is 5 nanograms of THC per ml of blood. For other drugs, there is no presumed level of intoxication, as such, the information obtained by law enforcement from field sobriety tests and blood test results will be used by the prosecutor in an attempt to prove intoxication.
A person can be convicted of a Physical Control DUI if it is determined that she was not driving the vehicle at the time of arrest, but has control of the vehicle. The penalties for a Physical Control DUI are the exact same as a driving DUI. The one difference between a Physical Control DUI and a driving DUI is that a lawyer may be able to argue that the person’s vehicle was ‘safely off the roadway’; in short, the person pulled over prior to being stopped by law enforcement.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI charge, immediately contact a Seattle DUI Attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. DUI charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI Lawyer. SQ Attorneys – a team of DUI lawyers – can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.