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Prior DUI Offenses

Prior DUI offenses: You need the best DUI attorney you can afford

Whether you have a prior DUI conviction or a prior DUI offense that was reduced, having prior alcohol offenses will negatively impact any current DUI charge in a number of significant ways. If you have prior DUI offenses, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced DUI attorney to represent you and guide you through the difficult process. Having someone on your side to fight for you when dealing with a current DUI charge with prior offenses on your record is critically important, as both the government and judges will want to impose greater penalties.

In Washington, a "prior offense" is a prior DUI conviction, a conviction for an amended charge that was originally charged as a DUI, or a prior Deferred Prosecution regardless if completed or revoked.

Prior offenses can:

  • Increase the mandatory minimum sentence requirements for in-custody time and Electronic Home Monitoring/Detention (EHM/EHD)
  • Any alcohol evaluation will likely result in longer follow up treatment
  • Increased fines and costs
  • Longer Ignition Interlock Device requirements
  • Longer license suspension and/or revocation
  • Make it more difficult to resolve the case to an amended lesser charge

If you are facing a new DUI charge and you have prior DUI offenses you absolutely need to hire an experienced skilled DUI defense attorney. In Washington state, prosecutors and judges punish those with prior offenses more harshly than a first time offender. They feel that you had your one mistake and that you should have learned your lesson. If given the chance, they'll throw the book at you. Hire someone you trust that will fight on your behalf. 

For over 40 years our Tacoma based firm of DUI attorneys has been defending people charged with multiple DUI offenses. Often, our firm is referred the cases that no one else wants, that seem to difficult, the lost causes, the cases where the person has multiple prior offenses, often at the same time. We take pride in being a DUI firm that handles the cases other attorneys see as too difficult.

We see referrals with difficult circumstances not as a burden, but as a badge of honor. We take pride in not only defending the accused but possibly being that influence that can spark a positive change in someone's life. We care about our clients on a personal level and do our best to set people up for success down the road.

If you have a current DUI charge and you have prior offenses, give us a call today at 253-383-3328 to schedule a free consultation.


Prior DUI Offense Outside of 7 Years

Having a prior offense, either a DUI conviction or a conviction to an amended charge that was originally charged as a DUI, can have a huge impact on your current DUI charge even if it is outside of the 7 year "look back" period.

Although your mandatory minimums will still be similar to a person with a first offense, it doesn't guarantee that will be the likely outcome if convicted.

First, having a prior offense will impact how a prosecutor will treat your case in regards to offering a reduction in the charge or how much jail time to recommend to the judge should you plead guilty or are found guilty after trial.

Second, the judge will consider your prior offense in deciding your sentence, regardless if your attorney and the prosecutor present an agreed recommendation. Having a prior offense could put you in jeopardy for more jail time, more Electronic home monitoring time, or you could be placed on a more strict probation.

Finally, when you obtain an alcohol/drug evaluation, the treatment agency will know about your prior offense, and it will likely lead to increased level of treatment.

Obviously, the closer in time your prior offense occurred the harsher its impact on your new charge will be. For example, a conviction 20 years ago, although it will still have some impact, it will be less detrimental than a prior offense 9 years ago. Either way, when faced with a new DUI charge, having prior offenses on your record will always make the process more difficult.

It is always in your best interest to hire an experienced DUI attorney to fight for you. You need someone in your corner doing everything they can to protect you from the harsh sentence the prosecutor will try to obtain.


Prior DUI Offense Within 7 Years

The severity of the penalties you will be facing will depend upon the total number of "prior offenses" you have within a 7 year window. If you have 4 or more prior offenses within a 10 year window, you will likely be charged with a Felony DUI. You can read more about Felony DUIs here.

As with any DUI charge, the mandatory minimum penalties depend on whether a blood or breath test was performed, the level of alcohol concentration, and whether you refused a test. If you were charged with a drug related or marijuana related DUI, you can find more information here.

One Prior DUI Offense Within 7 Years

If your alcohol concentration was below .15 or there is No Test Result, you will be subject to mandatory minimum penalties of:

  • 30 days in-custody time (jail)
  • 60 days of Electronic Home Monitoring/Detention (EHM/EHD)
  • Fines of $1,245.50 PLUS additional costs, fees and assessments
  • Two year revocation of your license
  • Ignition Interlock Requirement - If you had a requirement from previous DUI conviction(s) this requirement could be 5 or 10 years
  • Alcohol/Drug Evaluation and any follow up treatment - If this is your second offense within 7 years, most courts will not accept a NSP evaluation.
  • Victim Impact Panel (VIP)

If your alcohol concentration was above .15 or you refused the test, you will be subject to the mandatory minimum penalties of:

  • 45 days in-custody time (jail)
  • 90 days of Electronic Home Monitoring/Detention (EHM/EHD)
  • Fines of $1,670.50 PLUS additional costs, fees and assessments
  • 900 day Revocation of your license OR 3 year revocation if you refused the test
  • Ignition Interlock Requirement - If you had a requirement from previous DUI conviction(s) this requirement could be 5 or 10 years
  • Alcohol/Drug Evaluation and any Follow up treatment - If this is your second offense within 7 years, most courts will not accept a NSP evaluation.
  • Victim Impact Panel

Two or More Prior DUI Offenses Within 7 Years

If your alcohol concentration was below .15 or there is No Test Result, you will be subject to mandatory minimum penalties of:

  • 90 days in-custody time (jail)
  • 120 days of Electronic Home Monitoring/Detention (EHM/EHD)
  • Fines of $2,095.50 PLUS additional costs, fees and assessments
  • 3 year Revocation of your license
  • Ignition Interlock Requirement - If you had a requirement from previous DUI conviction(s) this requirement could be 5 or 10 years
  • Alcohol/Drug Evaluation and any Follow up treatment - If this is your third or more offense within 7 years, courts will not accept a NSP evaluation and you are likely looking at 1 to 2 years of treatment.
  • Victim Impact Panel (VIP)

If your alcohol concentration was above .15 or you refused the test, you will be subject to the mandatory minimum penalties of:

  • 120 days in-custody time (jail)
  • 150 days of Electronic Home Monitoring/Detention (EHM/EHD)
  • Fines of $2,945.50 PLUS additional costs, fees and assessments
  • 4 year Revocation of your license
  • Ignition Interlock Requirement - If you had a requirement from previous DUI conviction(s) this requirement could be 5 or 10 years
  • Alcohol/Drug Evaluation and any Follow up treatment - If this is your third or more offense within 7 years, courts will not accept a NSP evaluation and you are likely looking at 1 to 2 years of treatment.
  • Victim Impact Panel

Felony DUI - Four or More Offenses Within 10 Years

There are a number of instances where you could be charged with a felony DUI. One such way is if you have had 4 or more prior offenses within a 10 year period. Being charged with a felony is not something a person should take lightly and not something they should attempt to handle on their own. If convicted, you are facing several months to years in prison, substantial fines, and the loss of several Constitutional rights.

It is in your best interest to hire an experienced and competent felony DUI attorney familiar with fighting DUIs and especially Felony DUIs. For over 40 years our DUI firm has been doing just that.

If you would like to set up a no cost no obligation consultation with one of the top DUI attorneys in Washington, please call us at 253-383-3328 or submit a request here.

You can find a more in-depth explanation and information about felony DUIs here.

Contact Us

We are located next to the building that holds the Pierce County District Court, Pierce County Superior Court, and the Tacoma Municipal Court. We have free client parking in the alley located between South G St. and Yakima Ave. If you have any trouble finding our location or have a question about scheduling an appointment give us a call at 253-383-3328.

705 South 9th St
Ste 204

Tacoma, WA 98405
253-383-3328
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 08:30am - 05:00pm

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