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When is a Washington DUI Charge a Felony?

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Jan 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

The majority of drunk driving cases in Washington are not treated as felonies. In fact, only in limited situations will someone be charged with a felony for a DUI. Some factors that may influence whether you face a felony DUI charge include your personal history of DUIs and the circumstances surrounding your most recent arrest.

DUIs as Gross Misdemeanors

In most cases, a drunk driving charge is considered to be a gross misdemeanor in Washington. For a gross misdemeanor charge, you can face penalties including up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, license suspension, and mandatory ignition interlock requirement. You could face other penalties as well and you will want to consult with a Seattle DUI attorney to fully understand the charges brought against you.

DUIs as Felonies

As mentioned above, certain aggravating circumstances in your history can lead to a felony charge for your DUI. For example, if you have multiple DUI convictions on your record, or have previously been convicted of vehicular homicide or assault while driving under the influence, you may face felony charges for a run-of-the-mill DUI arrest.

If you face a felony charge, you can face significant prison time and substantial fines along with a license suspension and ignition interlock requirement. Again, you will want to consult with a Seattle DUI attorney to learn the specifics of your case.

Contact a Seattle DUI Attorney

The penalties for a DUI are severe. This is true whether you face a misdemeanor or felony charge. To learn more about the penalties you face and to understand your available defenses, you will want to work closely with an experienced Seattle DUI defense attorney. Contact the attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense at 425-284-2000 to see how we can help you.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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