If you are arrested for drunk driving in the Seattle area you face the very real possibility of jail time.
However, while Washington DUI statutes do provide for mandatory minimum jail terms as a possible penalty, many DUI defendants do avoid going to jail.
Generally, even for a first DUI conviction, you will be required to serve some form of incarceration even if that includes house arrest. But if your case is reduced to a lesser offense such as negligent driving in the first degree or reckless driving, there is no statutory mandatory minimum jail penalty. In these cases, you could avoid jail as a penalty -- though that is not always the case.
Factors That Can Determine Whether You Go To Jail
Some factors that can determine whether you face jail time can include:
- Criminal History. If you have prior DUIs on your record, your chances of going to jail are much higher.
- Results of Breath/Blood Test. If you are three or four times the legal limit, your odds of going to jail are probably higher than if you test slightly over the legal limit.
- Passengers in the Vehicle. The fact that you have passengers in your car at the time of arrest (especially minors), can impact your penalties.
- Contrition/Hostility. Your attitude following the arrest can greatly impact your penalties. If you are helpful and show remorse, you could get off with a lighter penalty. On the other hand, hostility and lack of contrition will not gain any sympathy from judges or prosecutors.
How a Seattle DUI Attorney Can Help
A Seattle DUI attorney can help your case by possibly negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors to a reduced charge that does not include jail. In many cases, a defendant will only have to serve community service.
While every case is different and we cannot guarantee a result, the lawyers at Wolff Criminal Defense can provide an educated opinion built on experience and expertise on how we can best resolve your case. If you have any questions about your DUI case, contact us at 425-284-2000 for a free consultation.