If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you may be asking if a DUI will affect a concealed weapons permit. The collateral consequences of a DUI conviction in Seattle can be widespread and may even limit a Constitutional Right you thought you would have forever. More specifically, a felony DUI or a DUI conviction that involved a firearm can lead to the loss of your right to possess any firearm, let alone your right to carry a concealed gun.
To learn more about your Concealed Carry Permit after a DUI, contact our Seattle DUI defense lawyers at Emerald City Law Group right away. We will explain how your rights may be limited after a misdemeanor or felony DUI conviction. We may also be able to help you restore your firearm rights after a felony conviction. Call 206-973-0407 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Washington State Concealed Carry Laws
Under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.502, you can be arrested and found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any drug if you drive a vehicle within the state:
- While under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug,
- While under the combined influence or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug,
- You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more within two hours of driving, or
- You a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of 5.0 or more within two hours of driving.
However, a DUI can be charged as a felony in Washington for various reasons, including if you had four or more DUI offenses within the previous 10 years or were previously convicted of vehicle assault or homicide. If you have one or more aggravating factors in your case, you DUI can move up from a gross misdemeanor to a class B felony.
You can also be arrested and found guilty of a crime without actually driving your vehicle. Based on RCW 46.61.504, if you are found to be in actual physical control of a vehicle within the state while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or over the legal limit for alcohol or marijuana, you can be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. However, you can also be charged with a class C felony physical control of a vehicle if you were previously charged with a felony DUI or felony physical control offense.
Statutory Punishments for a DUI Conviction
If you are convicted of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired, you can expect certain statutory punishments. A first-time offense is typically a gross misdemeanor and punishable by:
- Up to 364 days in jail, with a minimum of 24 hours in jail
- 15 days of electronic home monitoring (EHM)
- Up to a $5,000 fine
- 90-day driver’s license suspension
If you are convicted of a class C felony, your statutory punishment depends on your criminal history. However, you face multiple years in prison and tens of thousands dollars in fines. You will also have a longer driver’s license suspension and additional collateral consequences.
Collateral Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Many of the difficulties of a DUI conviction are collateral consequence of having this offense on your permanent criminal record instead of statutory punishments. If you are convicted of a DUI, it can drastically affect your life, particularly if your offense was charged as a felony. Some of the collateral consequences may include:
- Difficulty obtaining or keeping a job
- Ineligibility for certain professional licenses
- Difficulty remaining in school
- Difficulty obtaining financial aid, including grants and scholarships
- Changes to your child custody or visitation rights in the other parent’s favor
- Effects on your immigration status, including the denial of a visa, permanent residency, or citizenship
- Difficulty traveling abroad, including to Canada
- Changes to your right to own a firearm or obtain a Concealed Carry Permit
Gun Ownership Rights After a Felony DUI
When convicted of a felony DUI, you will lose your right to own a firearm in Washington. Simply having a firearm in your possession becomes a new crime. RCW 9.41.040 states you can be charged with the offense of unlawfully possessing a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony and you:
- Own a firearm
- Have a firearm in your possession
- Have a firearm under your control
Can I Lose My Concealed Carry Permit if I Get a DUI?
Based on RCW 9.41.070, you may be entitled to a Concealed Carry Permit in Washington unless you are:
- Ineligible to own a firearm in Washington, such as for a felony conviction,
- Ineligible to own a firearm under federal law,
- You have a felony offense pending in court,
- You have an outstanding arrest warrant, or
- You have been ordered to forfeit a firearm within the past year applying for the permit.
If you were convicted of a felony DUI, you will not be able to own or possess a firearm and you will not be eligible for obtaining a Concealed Carry Permit. Your right to possess a firearm must be restored under Washington or federal law before you will be eligible for a Concealed Carry Permit again.
Under these rules, you can lose your right to a Concealed Carry Permit based on a misdemeanor DUI as well. If you had a firearm with you when you were stopped and arrested for a DUI, you may have been required to forfeit the firearm to the police. RCW 9.41.098 states the court can order you to forfeit your firearm if you were found to have a concealed weapon without the proper permit or if the firearm was used or displayed during a non-felony. If a lawfully required forfeiture of your firearm was within the past year, you could be denied a permit.
Restoring Your Firearm Rights
Washington law gives you the opportunity to fight to get your firearm rights back. As long as you have been free from any criminal offenses for five years following your conviction and there are no current arrest warrants or charges, you may petition the court to reinstate your rights. If your firearm rights are reinstated, you may once again be eligible for a Concealed Carry Permit.
For the right defense against your DUI charge and consequences that may follow, call one of our Seattle DUI defense lawyers located in King County at 206-973-0407. We can discuss your specific case in a free initial consultation. For legal help with another criminal defense charge or personal injury claim, call one of our Seattle criminal defense attorneys or personal injury lawyers today.
How a Seattle DUI Lawyer Can Help
A lot of question come up if you are charged with a DUI in Washington State.
At Emerald City Law Group, we are here to answer them and advise you on what to expect after a DUI. Once we are on your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get all the facts, obtain the evidence that may benefit or hurt your case, and will determine the strongest possible defenses for your situation.
Depending on the situation, we can fight for the charges to be dropped or reduced, pursue a plea agreement, or prepare for trial. We will use all our resources to avoid a conviction entirely or minimize the penalties and collateral consequences.
If you have been charged with a DUI in or around King County, Washington, let us explain how we can help. Contact us online or call 206-973-0407 to schedule a consultation.