Mandatory Jail Time for DUI Convictions in Washington

Mandatory Jail for DUI Conviction

The penalties for a DUI in Washington can be severe and include substantial fines, electronic home detention, loss of driving privileges, and jail time. Significantly, even if you have no prior offenses, you can be charged with a gross misdemeanor — and mandatory jail time can be imposed. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a DUI may be charged as a felony, which can come with even greater consequences.

If you’re facing DUI charges in Washington, it’s essential to understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be convicted. A knowledgeable and skilled DUI attorney can assist you with mounting a solid defense and fighting the mandatory jail time that may come with a conviction. With 35 years of experience, the Fox Law Firm PLLC is committed to helping clients throughout Washington obtain the best possible results in their DUI cases.

How is DUI Jail Time Determined?

The amount of time to which you may be sentenced depends on the charges for which you’ve been convicted. In Washington, there are different penalties based on whether it is your first, second, or third DUI within seven years. While the first three DUIs are generally charged as gross misdemeanors, a fourth DUI within a ten-year window is charged as a felony and carries greater consequences if you are convicted.

A judge can also take the following factors into consideration when it comes to sentencing:

  • Your DUI history
  • Your BAC results
  • You refused to submit to a BAC test
  • Drugs were also at play
  • You were involved in an accident in connection with the DUI
  • Children under 16 were present in your vehicle
  • You caused injury or fatality to another
  • You caused property damage
  • The court believes you pose a threat to the community

Regardless of any aggravating factors, minimum mandatory jail time is still required under Washington law if you are found guilty of the DUI charges brought against you. The Fox Law Firm understands the impact DUI jail time can have on your life and is dedicated to achieving a positive outcome for every client.

How Much Time is Imposed for Washington DUIs?

Even if you never had a prior DUI, Washington state imposes mandatory jail time. If your BAC was between .08 and .14, Washington state requires a minimum of 24 hours in jail for a first DUI offense. If it is your first DUI and your BAC was above .15 or higher, or you refused the breath test, 48 hours of mandatory jail time is required by law.

If you’ve been charged with a second DUI within seven years — and your BAC was lower than .15 — a judge must sentence you to no fewer than 30 days in jail followed by 60 days of electronic home confinement. In the event your BAC was .15 or highter, or you refused to take the breath test, 45 days of jail time is imposed followed by 90 days of electronic home confinement. The maximum amount of jail time for a misdemeanor DUI is one year.

A third DUI offense is punishable by a minimum of 90 days in jail up to one year, followed by 120 days of electronic home confinement. However, if your BAC is .15 or higher or you refused the breath test, jail time is followed by 150 days of electronic home confinement.

DUI charges can be overwhelming and stressful. But no matter how complex your case or steep the consequences, the Fox Law Firm will work relentlessly to minimize the damage you may incur —personally, professionally, and financially.

Jail Time for Felony DUIs in Washington

A fourth DUI within ten years is charged as a felony in Washington and punishable by a possible prison term. When evaluating an appropriate sentence for a felony DUI, a judge will consider your “offender score,” based on the number of points corresponding with any previous offenses.

If a victim passes away as a result of injuries caused by a driver’s impairment within three years of a DUI incident, the charges can increase to a DUI vehicular homicide — a Class A felony. If you are convicted of vehicular homicide, years in prison are possible on sentencing.

Being convicted of a felony DUI can change the course of your life. The Fox Law Firm offers aggressive advocacy for felony DUIs and works diligently to obtain the most favorable outcome, whether by plea bargain or proceeding to trial.

Contact an Experienced Seattle DUI Attorney

Whether you’ve been charged with a gross misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI, it’s crucial to have an attorney on your side with the insight and experience necessary to protect your rights. Offering reliable representation and compassionate counsel, the Fox Law Firm PLLC has been committed to fighting DUI charges for clients since 1985 — and securing effective results in their cases. Contact Attorney Jon Fox for a free consultation by calling (425) 274-9190.