Hi, I’m Roger Priest, lead attorney at VanWa Legal PLLC in Vancouver Washington and here today I am here to answer a question that I hear a lot which is, “Can I get my DUI reduced?” While it is possible to get your DUI reduced, it is very fact specific depending on your particular case. I can say that it is not uncommon in the state of Washington for a first-time DUI offender to sometimes be able to negotiate their DUI case down to a reduced charge of perhaps negligent driving or reckless driving or reckless endangerment. Those charges can oftentimes carry less severe penalties because DUI carries a mandatory jail sentence and neither of the other charges require the same. They also can help avoid the same length of license suspension cost and overall term of probation depending on your particular facts. You may be able to qualify for a reduction so it’s always advisable to talk to an attorney.
What things can lead to a reduced charge? Oftentimes it will be imperative that you have no prior DUIs on your record. That the blood alcohol concentration or amount of illicit substances in your system is not so high as to make you incredibly dangerous while on the road. There should have been no severely dangerous driving. It always helps if you were respectful to law enforcement and ultimately having a clean record and potentially having a good history of being a contributing member to society. All of those things can sway a prosecutor to consider offering to reduce the charge of DUI in your particular case. Whether or not you’ll qualify again is very fact specific so it pays to talk to an experienced DUI attorney about your particular case to see if that may be a possible future for you.
One thing to consider is that even if you can get your DUI reduced to negligent driving, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, one of those charges. Washington law does still count those as a prior offense if you were to go and get another DUI charge in the next seven years. Because Washington treats a second or subsequent charge of DUI with much harsher penalties, it’s important to remember that getting a break on your first DUI doesn’t mean that it goes away. It simply means that you can avoid some of the most severe penalties but if you don’t take the charge seriously and go out and commit another DUI in the next seven years, understand that you will be facing the same penalties that you would have faced had you never gotten your DUI charged reduce in the first place.
If you’d like to talk to an experienced DUI attorney about your particular DUI case, please give us a call at VanWa Legal PLLC and I’d be happy to discuss your case with you and whether we can help you achieve your goals in your charge in your case, thank you and have a wonderful day.