A Seattle DUI has very serious consequences, including jail time, a probationary period, the suspension of your driver’s license and a possible criminal record. When you are arrested for DUI, some of these penalties are automatic and will have a major impact on your life, unless a Seattle DUI attorney is able to help you to prove your innocence or plea bargain down your crime.
Mandatory Minimum DUI Penalties
Washington State has imposed mandatory minimum penalties on those convicted of a DUI. These penalties depend upon whether you have been convicted of a DUI in the past and on what your BAC level was at the time of your arrest. For instance, for someone who has had no prior offenses and whose BAC was below .15, the minimum penalties require 24 consecutive hours of jail time and a $350.00 fine.
For someone with a single prior offense, on the other hand, a BAC below .15 will result in a minimum of 25 days of jail as well as an additional 90 days of house arrest. The fine will also jump up to a minimum of $750. A single prior offense may include any prior DUI or reckless driving convictions, as well as any prior convictions for vehicular assault or homicide.
When your BAC is higher or you have more offenses on your record, the penalties and fines quickly become more stringent. A person with two prior offenses and a BAC over .15, for instance, faces 120 days in jail and another 150 days of house arrest along with a $1500 fine.
In addition to all of these penalties, an ignition interlock device must be installed on your vehicle if you are found guilty of a DUI, even for a first offense.
Because these penalties are mandatory minimums, a judge must apply them regardless of the circumstances surrounding your DUI. This means that you have few options once you have been found guilty of driving under the influence.
Getting Help from a Seattle DUI Attorney
While the mandatory minimum penalties cannot be changed, a Seattle DUI attorney can still help you in many cases to minimize the penalties you face or to avoid the consequences of a DUI altogether.
If your Seattle DUI attorney is able to raise a winning defense against your DUI, such as a rising BAC defense, or is able to make an illegal search and seizure argument, then you may be found innocent or have the charges dropped and face no consequences at all. Even when this is not possible, your Seattle DUI attorney may be able to help you to arrange a plea bargain to allow you to escape with the minimum amount of penalties you can.
Contact your Seattle DUI attorney today to find out how to proceed in minimizing the potentially serious penalties that could result from your DUI.