Accused of Being a Repeat DUI Offender? Emerald City Can Help

At Emerald City Law Group, our DUI attorneys understand the potential consequences of a second or subsequent DUI conviction. We will fight hard to help you avoid this conviction while also focusing on minimizing the impact of a guilty verdict.

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.51.502 states you can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) if you are found driving while impaired by or under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of them, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, or a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) blood concentration of 5.0 or higher. When you face any DUI charge, whether for drug-or alcohol-related impairment, it matters a great deal whether you have any previous DUI convictions.

Since the DUI laws in Washington are meant to deter people from repeated actions, law enforcement and prosecutors do not have a lot of sympathy for multiple DUI offenders. That’s why repeated DUIs typically lead to harsher punishments. If you already have two DUI convictions, you may even be labeled a repeat offender, which could lead to additional consequences.

Washington Look Back Period for DUI

RCW 46.61.5055 outlines when a previous DUI conviction counts as a prior offense. When you facing DUI charges right now, the prosecutor will look back seven years. If you committed a similar offense with the previous 84 months, your current charge will be a subsequent offense. If you have never been charged with a DUI before or you had a conviction that took place more than seven years ago, then you will be charged with a first-time DUI.

Penalties for a Second DUI

When you have one prior DUI conviction within the past seven years, your current charge will be for a second DUI. With a BAC below .15 percent, then upon conviction you face:

  • Between 30 and 364 days in jail
  • 60 days EHM
  • A fine up to $5,000
  • A two-year driver’s license suspension

If you are convicted of a second DUI and you had a BAC of .15 percent or higher, then your penalties may include:

  • Between 45 and 365 days in jail
  • 90 days of EHM
  • A fine up to $5,000
  • A 900-day driver’s license suspension

Penalties for a Third DUI

If you have two or more DUI offenses within the previous seven years, then you are facing a third DUI charge. With a BAC less than .15 percent, the potential penalties include:

  • Between 90 and 364 days in jail
  • 120 days of EHM
  • A fine up to $5,000
  • A three-year driver’s license suspension

If the results of a BAC were .15 percent or higher, you may be punished with:

  • Between 120 and 364 days in jail
  • 150 days of EHM
  • A fine up to $5,000
  • A four-year driver’s license suspension

Penalties for a Fourth or Subsequent Offense in 10 Years

If you have been convicted of three or more DUI offenses in the previous 10 years – not seven years – then according to RCW 46.61.502(6), you may be charged with a class B felony. In addition to permanently placing a felony conviction on your criminal record, this can lead to:

  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Up to a $20,000 fine

While any previous DUI would have been a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a felony DUI in Washington will lead to a much harsher term of imprisonment. Not only could you spend more than one year incarcerated, you would also be in a prison and not the county jail.

Additional Statutory Penalties

Depending on the circumstances surrounding a DUI conviction, you may be required to complete community service. Hours of community service may be assigned instead of jail time and/or EHM or in addition to them. You may be required to go through a drug or alcohol assessment, and depending on the results, complete counseling. If you are willing to go through drug or alcohol counseling and monitoring right away, this may help you avoid incarceration.

In many situations, a court may order you to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive once your driver’s license is reinstated. Using an ignition interlock device can be inconvenient, yet it may also allow you to obtain limited driving privileges before you are entitled to a full license reinstatement.

Additionally, you may have to follow the restrictions of probation for a period of time. During probation, you might have to abstain from drugs or alcohol and obey other rules. If you violate the terms of your probation, this could lead to additional consequences.

Additional Potential Consequences

If you are convicted of multiple misdemeanor or felony DUIs, you can expect to run into multiple collateral consequences. The punishment for these convictions will likely extend far beyond the statutory punishments handed down by the judge. Some common collateral consequences of multiple DUIs may include:

  • Difficulty obtaining a job or advancing at work
  • Difficulty getting accepted to a college or university
  • Difficulty obtaining financial aid, including grants and scholarships
  • Ineligibility for certain professional licenses
  • Difficulty being approved for an apartment
  • Difficulty obtaining a loan such as an auto loan
  • Changes to your child custody or visitation rights in the other parent’s favor
  • Effects on your immigration status, including the denial or revocation of a visa, permanent residency, or citizenship
  • Inability to travel abroad, including to Canada
  • Ineligibility to own or possess a firearm

Defending Against a Second or Subsequent DUI Charge

At Emerald City Law Group, we are prepared to thorough investigate your situation and determine the most appropriate defenses. Depending on the facts of your case, our experienced prior convictions Seattle DUI lawyers may challenge:

  • The legality of the initial stop
  • The legality of your arrest
  • An evidence that arose from an unlawful arrest or unlawful search or seizure
  • The reliability of a BAC test
  • Whether the BAC test was properly administered
  • Whether the breath or blood sample was contaminated
  • Whether the individual who performed the BAC test was qualified
  • Whether the BAC test equipment was within proper working order

Talk to a Prior Convictions Seattle DUI Lawyer Today

For optimal defense against your DUI charge, call one Seattle DUI attorneys at 206-973-0407. We can discuss your specific case in a free initial consultation.