Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

Google Reviews Badge
253-473-4262

Available 24/7 | We also speak Russian, German, and Ukrainian.

CONTACT US
CALL US

Repeat and Felony DUIs

Repeat DUI offenders in the state of Washington can face fairly harsh penalties—and those penalties may be getting harsher. Under the Revised Code of Washington 46.51.502, if you are found driving while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination, you can be convicted of DUI. The BAC level in the state—and in every state—for impairment is 0.08 percent or higher. In Washington State, a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) blood concentration of 5.0 or higher is considered impaired. When facing DUI charges, whether you have any prior DUI convictions can make a significant difference in the penalties you will face if convicted.

Washington prosecutors rarely have much sympathy for multiple DUI offenders, as the DUI laws in the state are intended to deter drivers from repeated actions. This means that if you already have two convictions for DUI in the state, you could be labeled a repeat offender—which brings additional consequences. Washington has what is known as a lookback period, which determines when a DUI conviction will count as a prior offense. Suppose you are facing a DUI charge today in the state of Washington. The lookback period will be seven years from the date you are arrested, and if you have a similar offense within that seven-year period, the current charges will be considered a subsequent offense. If your last DUI conviction was more than seven years ago, you will now be charged with a first-time DUI, and, if convicted, your penalties will reflect a first-time DUI.

Penalties Associated with a Second Washington State DUI

If you have one prior conviction for a DUI within the past seven years, you are now facing a second DUI. Assuming your BAC was lower than .15 percent, you are facing the following penalties if convicted:

  • From 30 days to 364 days in jail, with a mandatory minimum of 30 days in custody and
  • 60 days of Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM);
  • A fine, up to a maximum of $5,000;
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for two years with an ignition interlock for 2 years;
  • Community service (sometimes in lieu of jail time);
  • Drug and alcohol assessment, with alcohol or drug treatment and VIP program
  • Court-ordered ignition interlock device installation, or
  • Probation court or formal probation.

A second DUI with a BAC of .15 percent or higher brings all the same penalties as above, however the jail time can be between 45 days and 364 days, and EHM can be up to 90 days. A driver’s license suspension can be 900 days, rather than two years with a higher BAC.

Penalties Associated with a Third Washington State DUI

Should you have two or more DUI convictions within the previous seven years, you will face a third DUI charge. If your BAC at the time of your arrest was less than .15 percent, you face the following penalties if convicted:

  • From 90 days to 364 days in jail, with a mandatory requirement of 90 days in custody, and
  • 120 days of Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM);
  • A fine, up to a maximum of $5,000;
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for three years;
  • Drug and alcohol assessment;
  • Drug and alcohol treatment with VIP program;
  • Ignition interlock device, with a 10-year requirement if 5 years was previously imposed;
  • Probation court or formal probation.

A third DUI with a BAC of .15 percent or higher brings all the same penalties as above, however the jail time can be between 120 days and 364 days, and EHM can be up to 150 days. A driver’s license suspension can be four years, rather than three years with a higher BAC.

Penalties Associated with a Fourth or Subsequent Washington State DUI Within 10 Years

The lookback period changes to ten years (rather than seven), when you are facing a fourth or subsequent Washington DUI. In other words, if you have three or more DUI convictions over the prior ten years, you may be charged with a Class B felony, rather than a gross misdemeanor. While any criminal conviction—misdemeanor or felony—on your criminal record can make your life much more difficult, having a felony conviction on your criminal record can truly alter your future. You may find it extremely difficult to obtain employment and are now ineligible for a federal student loan to return to college.

If you had planned to go to college, you could now find it difficult to gain admission to the college or university of your choice. Even if accepted to a college or university, you could now be ineligible for grants and scholarships as well as most financial aid. You may have worked hard to obtain a professional license which you are now ineligible for, could have difficulty obtaining an auto loan, and might even find it difficult to be approved for an apartment rental. You may find that a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction can trigger changes to your child custody or visitation rights (in favor of the other parent), and can have an effect on your immigration status (your visa could be denied or revoked, or you could be denied citizenship or permanent residency status).

In addition to the many collateral consequences associated with a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction in the state of Washington, you face very harsh criminal penalties, including:

  • Up to ten years in prison;
  • A fine as large as $20,000
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for four years;
  • Drug and alcohol assessment;
  • Drug and alcohol counseling;
  • Court-ordered ignition interlock device installation, and
  • Probation.

How Experienced Lakewood DUI Lawyers from the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden Can Help

If you are facing a repeat or felony DUI after an arrest for drunk driving in Washington, it is imperative that you seek highly qualified legal representation. At the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we are prepared to fully investigate your situation, determining the best defense on your behalf.

When possible, we may challenge one or more of the following: the legality of your stop, the legality of your arrest, the reliability of your BAC test, whether the BAC test was properly administered, whether your breath or blood sample was contaminated, whether the individual performing the BAC test was qualified, and whether the BAC equipment was in good working order.

Our DUI lawyers fully understand the potential consequences of a repeat or felony DUI and will fight hard on your behalf to help you avoid this conviction. If this is not possible, we will work to minimize the penalties and consequences associated with a conviction. Contact the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden today to speak to a top DUI defense lawyer in Pierce County.