When charged a third time with a DUI offense in Washington, it is critical that you seek an experienced Washington DUI lawyer to assist you in your criminal defense. Washington courts are very tough on people with prior DUI offenses and it is likely you will be slapped with serious penalties. This post will explore what to expect if you have been charged with a third DUI.
Consequences for a Third Offense DUI
As a former offender, if you are charged a third time you likely have already experienced a license revocation or suspension. Other penalties for first and second offenses include mandatory minimum sentences and jail time, driving with a ignition interlock device in your car, probation, and substance treatment. If you are convicted a third time, you will face these same penalties and it is unlikely prosecutors will entertain any reduction in charges. In fact, jail times are typically extended and stricter conditions will be imposed on your release.
Your Lookback Period
Washington DUIs have a "Lookback Period.” This means the courts will reflect on your driving record within a given period (in this case it is seven years) where any prior DUIs will be considered in sentencing. Even if these DUI offenses occurred in another state, they will be considered and will impact your sentence. If your prior in the second-year period was a first-time offense or if it was your second within that period,your sentence will be increased if you are convicted.
When convicted for a third offense DUI within seven years and your BAC was under 0.15%, you will face jail time of 90-364 days and 120-day electronic monitoring device is required. Plus, your license will be revoked for three years and you will be fined $1,121 to $5,000. If your BAC was above 0.15%, these penalties rise to 150-day in home electronic monitoring and fines of $2,821 to $5,000, plus an interlock device required for one year minimum in your car after a four-year license revocation.
DUI charges are gross misdemeanors unless injuries result from your DUI and unless you are convicted multiple times. Felony DUIs are punishable by a minimum of six to twelve months to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Felonies are far more serious, hindering many privileges such as voting, securing school loans, or getting housing. An attorneys with experience, we may be able to help you avoid a felony conviction.
What to Do When You Are Charged with a Third DUI
If you have been charged with a third DUI and are concerned about the penalties, your best bet is to call our firm today. Every day, former prosecutor Steve Karimi works to help people just like you fight their DUI charges and receive less severe penalties. You have nothing to lose to learn your best strategy for a criminal defense because your first consultation is free. Knowledge is power. Call us today to schedule your appointment.