Washington state law classifies DUI as a gross misdemeanor. Keep in mind that this is no minor infraction, but, in fact, is a criminal act. If you want to stand a chance in trying to get out of a DUI conviction, you should consider hiring a reliable DUI attorney in Federal Way to help you in your defense. Otherwise, you could be facing some serious consequences that could put a lasting dent in your reputation.
What does it entail when you are charged with a gross misdemeanor? WA state law defines misdemeanor as one of two main classifications of criminal acts (the other being felony), which is typically filed in district and municipal courts. This can further be divided into simple and gross, the latter having a sentence of up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
Apart from the criminal charges, DUIs also violate driving laws and regulations on proper conduct. Attorney Sharon Chirichillo writes in AVVO.com:
You’ll also face consequences by the Department of Licensing (DOL). For example, immediately after you are arrested for a DUI offense, the officer will punch a hole in your license. Losing the right to drive varies from state to state; however, if you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, your license will likely be suspended for a period of 1 year for a first refusal, or for 24 months if you have previously refused to submit to a breath test.
Refusing the Breath Test
If you think that you can get away from a conviction by refusing to take a breathalyzer test when a police officer pulls you over, think again. If a law enforcer has reason to believe that you might be driving while intoxicated, they are required to take your blood alcohol content, otherwise your licensed could be suspended for about a year.
The state doesn’t take kindly to repeat offenders, either. A conviction of a second offense within a seven-year period could earn you a $5,000 fine, a two-year license suspension, and up to a year total jail sentence. Thanks to stricter DUI laws, you could also be required to maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for about five years.
If you want to make sure that you get a lighter penalty, or in the best-case-scenario, be acquitted from all charges, you should get excellent representation in court. Hiring a reputable Federal Way DUI lawyer like Kim E Hunter, PLLC who can act as a competent and caring representative alongside you, can go a long way in helping you beat your DUI charge.
(Source: Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Washington State, AVVO)