How Will a Seattle DUI Affect Your Future?
Most adults understand that getting arrested and charged with DUI is not good. Few, however, realize just how much their lives will change and for how long. Driving Under the Influence is one of the most common criminal offenses in the U.S. However, until it happens to you, you may not fully understand the consequences of a DUI conviction.
Here are some criminal and driver’s license penalties for a Seattle DUI conviction.
- License Suspension - You will have your driver’s license suspended at the 60-day mark (60 days from the date of your arrest) unless you request a hearing with the Department of Licensing and achieve a successful outcome. Even then, if the courts convict you later on the criminal DUI charges, they will suspend your license for between 90 days to four years, depending on your BAC and whether this is your first, second, third, or subsequent DUI. For many Seattle individuals, driving loss presents a severe hardship. Many use their vehicles to attend work, school, errands, and recreational activities. The loss of a driver’s license affects every aspect of life.
- Jail - You could face up to 364 days in jail for a first DUI. A second DUI results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail (or 60 days of electronic home monitoring), or up to one year in jail. A third DUI carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail (or 120 days of electronic home monitoring), up to one year in jail. If your BAC was 0.15 or above, or you refused a chemical test, the mandatory minimum increases to 120 days in jail (or 150 days of electronic home monitoring).
- Fines - There is a maximum $5,000 fine for a first, second, or third DUI conviction.
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Installation - A first DUI conviction requires installing an ignition interlock device for one year. A second DUI conviction requires installing an ignition interlock device for five years, and a third DUI conviction requires ten years.
- Probation - A first, second, and third DUI conviction requires a 5-year probation period that includes the following “standard” DUI conditions:
- You must serve all ordered jail time
- You must pay all your fines in full
- You must not have a subsequent stop and breath test over 0.08 percent
- You may not refuse a breath test
- You must not drive without a valid driver’s license and insurance
- You must not commit any violation of WA criminal law
- You must complete a DUI Victim’s Panel
- You must undergo Alcohol or Drug Evaluation, as well as any recommended follow-up treatments
Beyond your criminal and driver’s penalties, your future could be affected by your DUI for a long time in the future in the following ways:
- Increased insurance premiums - Your insurance company will receive notification of your DUI. In most cases, your insurance premiums will increase significantly, making auto insurance unaffordable for many.
- Community service - In some cases, the courts may require you to perform community service.
- Loss of future opportunities - Any background check will pull up the conviction if the courts convict you of a felony or a misdemeanor DUI. A felony conviction can prevent you from obtaining employment or cause you to lose your current job—and, in some cases, even a misdemeanor DUI conviction can impact your career. A felony DUI conviction can prevent you from receiving federal student loans or renting a home.
- Loss of reputation - In many cases, even when you are not convicted of DUI charges, the arrest and charges can alter how your employer and co-workers perceive you. While Seattle is a big city, there’s still a good chance that others will know about your charges.
- Negative effect on personal life - In addition to your professional relationships, DUI charges and/or convictions can also cause your personal relationships to suffer.
To minimize the effects a Seattle DUI can have on your current and future life, contact a knowledgeable Seattle DUI attorney today.
Contact Our Seattle DUI Defense Lawyers Today
If you are facing DUI charges in Seattle, you must act quickly. It is important to take these charges seriously and call an experienced Seattle DUI attorney to defend your future.
The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC, have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout the state of Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. We know how to fight serious criminal charges and can protect your future. Call us today!