The state of Washington takes DUI seriously, and that is reflected in the seriousness of the penalties that those who are convicted may face. If you have been caught while driving under the influence, then you have probably already begun to feel the heat of the punishment that comes from a DUI arrest. This is true even if you have a totally clean driving record apart from the DUI. While things will certainly change after a DUI incident, all hope is not lost—an experienced attorney can help you put things back in order and look forward to a brighter future.
Legal Ramifications of a DUI in Seattle
First, it is important to distinguish between a DUI arrest and a conviction for a DUI. A DUI arrest can occur in the State of Washington if you are over the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol content of over .08. Once you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, your license will immediately be suspended. The suspension of your license can last anywhere from 90 days to two years—the length will depend on the particular circumstances of your arrest and what is on your driving history. However, you do have 20 days starting from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing. If your DUI charges are cleared in this hearing, then your license will not be suspended.
In addition to the immediate consequences of being arrested for a DUI, there are potentially additional legal penalties if you are convicted of the DUI. A conviction could lead to additional license suspensions, as well as up to 364 days in jail. There may also be fines of up to $5,000. These penalties can be compounded if your BAC was extremely high, you refused a chemical blood test, or you have prior DUI convictions on your driving record.
Aside from the legal consequences of a DUI conviction, there can be additional penalties in a few other areas of your life. These include:
- A DUI conviction will show up if someone runs a background check on you, meaning one bad choice you may have made on a given night could prevent you from obtaining employment in the future—it could even cause you to lose your current job.
- Your insurance company will hear about your DUI, and your premiums will likely become way higher.
- DUIs come with a fair amount of societal stigma. Having to face friends and family after being arrested for driving while under the influence can be embarrassing or shameful and can cause personal relationships to suffer.
Contact an Experienced Seattle DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you will likely need the assistance of an experienced Seattle attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law. Steve Karimi is that attorney—with experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, he can analyze things from both sides and give you qualified advice on how to move forward with your case. For a free consultation, call the law offices of Steve Karimi at 206-621-8777.