Being charged with a felony DUI in Seattle, Washington, comes with some serious long-term consequences, as according to Weber Law, the state has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the U.S.
Washington DUIs are challenging to deal with independently as they are complicated offenses. Still, a DUI lawyer can have your charges reduced or even dismissed if you collaborate with them early on in your case.
Learn more about Weber Law here and how DUI attorneys in Seattle can make a huge difference in DUI convictions. Let’s see exactly what constitutes a felony DUI in Washington and what the punishments are.
Washington Felony DUIs
In some cases, a DUI is classified as a gross misdemeanor in Washington; however, a DUI can occasionally be classified as a felony. There are three main scenarios where your DUI can be classified as a felony in Washington, and they are as follows:
- Your DUI can be considered a felony if you had four or more DUI offenses within the last ten years.
- If you had a previous conviction for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence, your DUI will be classified as a felony
- If you, as a driver, had any previous felony DUI convictions, your current DUI offense will also be labeled as a felony DUI
There is also a fourth scenario where you can be convicted of a felony DUI in Washington. Under chapter 9.94A RCW or 13.40 RCW, if you are a juvenile caught driving while under the influence, your offense will be classified as a class C felony.
If you reach a fourth DUI conviction, it will be classified as either a class B or class C felony. A class B felony in Washington is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
A class C felony DUI conviction is a lesser punishment, but you may still face up to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fee. Class A DUI felonies are the harshest convictions, and they mainly apply to drivers that caused the death of another person while driving under the influence. Class A felonies come with a life-in-prison conviction and a maximum $50,000 fine.
Even though defendants may face these penalties if they are convicted of a felony DUI, the regular penalties and sanctions of a normal DUI will also apply to their case. This means that, if convicted, you will also face license suspension, undergo alcohol treatment, probation, face additional fines, or an ignition interlock device imposed on your vehicle, among other penalties.
How to Fight a Felony DUI
Washington has among the harshest punishments for DUI convictions. Nevertheless, DUIs aren’t as easy to establish as one might think. There are many ways a defendant can contest the evidence brought against them.
With a skilled lawyer by your side, you might even have your charges reduced or entirely dismissed. Your DUI lawyer will use the best strategic defenses for your case depending on your circumstances and the charges brought against you.
Being convicted of a DUI in Washington can be challenging for any driver as it will influence their life for many years to come. Consider contacting a DUI lawyer in Seattle, Washington, immediately if you want a better chance of receiving a favorable outcome for your case.