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Washington State DUI Defined law and cost
Washington State

DUI Defined

Washington law broadly defines DUI as the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, such that the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely is impaired. This applies even if the driver has a lawful prescription for the drug. While any level of intoxication could lead to a DUI charge, the law specifically states that a driver whose blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher within two hours of driving has committed a DUI offense.
The state has the burden of proving that a driver was intoxicated or under the influence of a drug while driving. Police often obtain evidence through a blood or breath test but may also testify as to a driver’s behavior and apparent state of intoxication.
DUI as Gross Misdemeanor
Most DUI offenses are prosecuted as gross misdemeanors in Washington. A gross misdemeanor typically has a maximum possible sentence of 364 days county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. The specific sentence for a conviction of a gross misdemeanor DUI must consider the driver’s BAC, if such information is available, and any prior DUI offenses.
DUI as Class C Felony

In certain circumstances, the law treats a DUI as a class C felony, which has a maximum possible sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $10,000. The state may prosecute an alleged DUI as a class C felony if the defendant:

    • has at least three prior DUI conviction within the previous ten-year period
    • has a prior conviction for vehicular homicide while intoxicated
    • has a prior conviction for vehicular assault while intoxicated; or
    • has an out-of-state conviction for vehicular homicide or assault while intoxicated
DUI is a Serious Offense
Driving under the influence is a serious offense. The specific level of a DUI offense, and the penalty a court is authorized to assess, depend on several factors, including the extent of a driver’s impairment due to drugs or alcohol and the number of a driver’s prior DUI offenses. A charge of driving under the influence requires careful preparation and an attorney who is experienced in local DUI law and courts.
Alcohol and Drug Treatment
A person accused of DUI in Washington State may be required to undergo an alcohol and drug treatment evaluation. There are three main components to this evaluation: the client, interview, the level of the breath test, and the number of DUI or alcohol related incidents. The single biggest factor in determining whether or not treatment will be recommended is the person’s DUI and alcohol or drug related history.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is crucial to have effective representation immediately. Alleged DUI charges does not mean Guilty!

Even if you think the facts of the case aren’t in your favor, having the best possible criminal representation can be the difference between jail time and probation, or having your record destroyed with an avoidable felony or misdemeanor conviction. At Snohomish Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys give you time and attention, to ensure you are treated fairly under the criminal justice system.

We know State DUI Laws

We have a unique appreciation of the difficult challenges our clients face on a daily and long-term basis. We view our role as far more than just that of legal counsel. We are an extension of our clients’ lives.

Unlike lawyers at other law firms, our lawyers have dealt with thousands of cases, litigating matters of a wide range of severities and we have delivered important victories to our clients. Our reputation as aggressive, zealous advocates in the courtroom allows us to deliver results to our clients.

Our goal is to fight for and to deliver to you the best results possible, whether that be by way of an acquittal or favorable judgement at trial, a favorable settlement deal, or an outright dismissal. Unlike other firms, we will give you our all. There is no such thing as a case that is too big or too small.

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    “Snohomish Law Group attorney Philip Wakefield did an outstanding job in representing my daughter. He laid out the legal process in detail, set expectations, and worked hard to obtain a better than hoped for result. Should anyone in the Snohomish area ever need an attorney, I highly recommend Snohomish Law Group!!”

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    “I’m going to write my review straight forward I was looking at being convicted of my 10th DUI I thought I was dead meat as they had me dead to rights. However Mr. Wakefield and his team proceeded to not only get the charge reduced but also no fine and no jail time. My eternal gratitude to the Snohomish Law Group”

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