Charged with DUI? Consequences of a 1st DUI Conviction

By in Driver's License, DUI Defense, FAQs

One of the first things people want to know when they come to talk to us is “what kind of punishment am I looking at? Most know there are certain mandatory minimum punishments required for a DUI conviction, but they aren’t sure what those are.

By the time you’re done reading this post you’ll know.

Two Courses of Action with DUI Charge

The first thing that’s important to understand is when you arrested for DUI there are actually two different courses of action that begin to take place:

  1. The criminal process; and
  2. The Department of Licensing (DOL) Administrative process.

These two processes, while usually going on at the same time, are completely independent of one another. That means if you win the DOL process the criminal process can still get you in trouble, and vice versa.

It’s critical that you address both if you are arrested for DUI, and they both have completely separate processes and procedures. Let’s talk about the DOL process first.

The DOL and Your DUI Arrest

When you drive a car in Washington State you are impliedly agreeing not to drive with a breath test level of .08 or greater. If you do that, the DOL will attempt to suspend your license.

If this is the first time you have provided a breath test over .08 then you are subject to the following consequences:

  • 90 day driver’s license suspension; and
  • 3 years of SR22 insurance.

If this is the first time you have been asked to take a breath test and you refused to take the test then you are subject to the following consequences:

  • 1 year driver’s license suspension; and
  • 3 years of SR22 insurance.

You can fight this suspension if you submit a hearing request form within 20 days of the date of your arrest. To learn more about this process you can either call the experienced DUI attorneys in our office or you can click here.

Consequences of a 1st DUI Conviction

To get started, a DUI is a gross misdemeanor. Most gross misdemeanors are characterized by their maximum punishment or the worst possible thing that could happen to you. For gross misdemeanors, the maximum punishment is 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.

But don’t freak out just yet. Most gross misdemeanors are negotiated down so the punishment is some community service and a small fine.

DUI convictions, though, are a little bit different. There are mandatory minimum punishments required for a DUI conviction, and the exact punishment depends on the facts of your case – punishments are enhanced if you refuse a breath test or have a breath test greater than .15.

Here is a break down of the mandatory minimum sentence if you are convicted of a 1st time DUI in Washington State. Most good DUI lawyers will be able to get this result for you, assuming the facts aren’t terrible.

1st DUI Conviction: Breath Test Over .08 but under .15

If you had a passenger in the car that was under 16, some of these penalties are increased:

  • There is an additional 24 hours of jail (48 total);
  • There is an additional fine of $1000 ($1940.50 total);
  • There is an additional 6 months of ignition interlock device (18 months total);

This is the minimum punishment required. It’s important to note that in some courts, prosecutors will ask for much more than this. That’s why it’s critical to have a great DUI defense attorney by your side. If you need one, call us right now at 206.429.4238 to schedule a free consultation.

1st DUI Conviction: Breath Test Over .15

If you had a passenger in the car that was under 16, some of these penalties are increased:

  • There is an additional 24 hours of jail (72 total);
  • There is an additional fine of $1000 ($2195.50 total);
  • There is an additional 6 months of ignition interlock device (18 months total);

This is the minimum punishment required. It’s important to note that in some courts, prosecutors will ask for much more than this. That’s why it’s critical to have a great DUI defense attorney by your side. If you need one, call us right now at 206.429.4238 to schedule a free consultation.

1st DUI Conviction: Test Refusal

They have made a test refusal have the highest punishment. This isn’t because test refusals are the worst, it’s because if you refuse to take a breath test it’s much harder for you to be convicted of DUI. Nevertheless, if you refused to take a breath test and were arrested for DUI, this is the mandatory minimum punishment you are facing:

If you had a passenger in the car that was under 16, some of these penalties are increased:

  • There is an additional 24 hours of jail (48 total);
  • There is an additional fine of $1000 ($2195.50 total);
  • There is an additional 6 months of ignition interlock device (30 months total);

This is the minimum punishment required. It’s important to note that in some courts, prosecutors will ask for much more than this. That’s why it’s critical to have a great DUI defense attorney by your side. If you need one, call us right now at 206.429.4238 to schedule a free consultation.

Arrested for DUI? Talk to a DUI Lawyer Now.

If you’ve been charged with DUI, time is of the essence, even if you don’t have a court date yet. To find out everything you need to know about your DUI arrest, give us a call for a FREE consultation – 206.429.4238.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Witteman 3 years ago

    Great article with good information. Thanks.

  2. Louis Goodman 2 years ago

    Useful Sharing Article..Helpful all dui…

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