Being convicted of a DUI for a second time can result in layers of penalties, including jail time, onerous fines, and losing your license for years. Throw in ignition interlock devices and other even less pleasant outcomes, and you can quickly see the need for expert legal help as quickly as you can get it. With experienced counsel, it is possible to get charges dismissed or significantly reduced.
Successful DUI Defense is in the Details
In Washington State, specific procedures must be followed by an arresting officer when stopping someone for a suspected DUI. An expert DUI attorney will know the fine points of these procedures and succeed in getting the arrest judged as unlawful. If the officer broke protocol during critical parts of the traffic stop or subsequent search, a court might dismiss the case outright. The charge can also be dismissed if improper procedure leads to the suppression of critical evidence. Also, under certain circumstances (when the driver refuses a field sobriety test, for example), a DUI charge can be defended to at least reduce the charge.
Defending a 2nd DUI Charge
But what if this isn’t your first DUI charge? Because Vancouver, WA takes drunk driving very seriously, the penalties you face for a second conviction are harsh. You could face mandatory alcohol treatment, lose your license for two years, and a maximum jail sentence of one year. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous have a name for it. It’s called the “Drunk Tax,” and it is the gift that keeps on giving. Remember, though, that being arrested does not mean that you will be convicted. However, this is only true if you hire a Vancouver, WA DUI lawyer who has the experience and a proven record of success defending other drivers.
Possible Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction
- Maximum sentence of 1 year in jail
- Maximum $5,000 fine
- There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail or 60 days of electronic home monitoring.
- A license suspension of 2 years, minimum.
- Registering a 0.15 BAC or above, or you refused the breath test, the mandatory minimum jumps to 45 days in jail or 90 days of electronic home monitoring.
- Registering a 0.15 BAC or above, or you refused the breath test, the license suspension period ranges from 900 days to 3 years.
- Required installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of license reinstatement, additionally to be used for 5 years if previously had to use an interlock device.
- A 5 year probation with standard DUI conditions. See my WA DUI probation page for further info.
Your best option for avoiding all of this mess is to avoid drinking and driving. But if you are arrested for DUI and want the best outcome, get expert DUI counsel immediately. Contact us today and get the information you need to defend yourself.