DUIs and Misdemeanors
The State of Washington has some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States, so much so that a penalty for a gross-misdemeanor, a DUI, can be more severe than the penalties for some felony offenses. Do not wait when you are arrested for a DUI, call an attorney immediately. Effective and successful representation in DUI cases requires an aggressive and proactive defense on your behalf.
A first time conviction will result in jail and the loss of your driver’s license. Either may result in the loss of your job, placing your financial well-being, and the well-being of any family you support, in jeopardy. A conviction also results in mandatory court fines, costs and assessments. On top of that are the higher insurance premiums, SR22 insurance, and the cost and humiliation of a mandatory ignition interlock device and you begin to realize the full consequences of the charge you are facing. For certain repeat offenders, beginning July 2007, a DUI is no longer a gross misdemeanor—it is a felony.
We will explain exactly what you should do, and how to avoid mistakes that could permanently damage your case.
*** As of January 1, 2009, the time in which you have to request a hearing with the Department of Licensing is now 20 days from the date of arrest. ***
As a general rule, there are two categories of Misdemeanors. There is the Gross Misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine, and the Misdemeanor (sometimes referred to as "Simple Misdemeanor") which carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the offense resulted in injury to another person, or damage to another person's property, you may be required to make restitution. In addition to any restitution, if you are sentenced, you may be required to pay fines, court costs, serve jail time, be required to perform community service, face possible driver's license suspension, and be put on probation.
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