If you’re facing DUI (driving under the influence) charges in Washington, its important to understand the costs you could face.
Pleading guilty might seem like the easy way out. But this could impact your financial situation and life in a big way. Defendants could part with up to $10,000.
You can’t afford to resign to a lifelong conviction record and spend thousands in court fees, punitive fines, and administrative charges. So instead, reach out to a reputable attorney to protect your rights and fight for the lowest Washington DUI cost possible.
What’s the Cost of a First, Second, and Third DUI Conviction in Washington?
The statute sets the possible penalties for a DUI conviction, including fines, license revocations, and jail time. However, the circumstances of your case will determine the specific consequences.
The Cost of a First DUI Conviction
If you have no prior DUI convictions in the last seven years, you’ll pay a fine of $350 – $5,000. This cost will accompany a jail term of one to 364 days.
Offenders who tested a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of over .15% or went against implied consent laws by declining a breathalyzer test will pay $500 – $5,000. They may also serve a jail term of two to 364 days.
The Cost of a Second DUI Conviction
If you’ve faced a DUI conviction within the last seven years, you might spend $500 – $5,000 in fines accompanied by a 30 – 34-day jail term. The judge can alternatively recommend a four-day jail term, a 120-day sobriety program, or a house arrest of 180 days.
Unlawfully declining a chemical test or recording over .15% BAC in your second offense could set you up for a fine of between $750 to $5,000 and 45 to 364 days behind bars. You may alternatively face a six-day jail time and either the 120-day sobriety program or a house arrest of six months.
Fines and jail time aside, the court may order a second or subsequent offender to surrender their vehicle.
The Cost of a Third DUI Conviction
This level has more severe consequences than the previous ones. For example, two prior DUIs on your record could attract upwards of $1,000 – $5,000, a 90 – 364-day jail term, or six months in the sobriety program. In addition, the court can order an extra eight days in jail in place of soberness monitoring.
Declining a drug test or recording over 0.15% BAC could attract upwards of $1,500 – $10,000 in reparations. The court may also order the following:
- A 120 – 364-day jail term
- Six months in the soberness program
- House arrest spanning 150 days
The court can order you to submit to a specialized evaluation and heed the recommended educational classes and treatments. You may also have to attend a VIP (victim impact panel) session. All these culminate in added costs.
Washington DUI Cost Enhancements for Child Passenger Cases
Transporting a minor under 16 years at the time of the offense could aggravate your Washington DUI case cost.
The first offense will attract reparations of between $1,000 to $5,000, and you’ll spend an additional 24 hours behind bars. A second DUI involving an underage passenger means an additional $2,000 – $5,000 and five more days behind bars.
Finally, a third DUI offender accused of ferrying a child during the offense will face $3,000 – $5,000 in fines and ten days on top of the standard penalties.
Notably, DUI Charges Might Cost Much More than Your Criminal Fines
Court-ordered fines and jail time aren’t the only possible costs of DUI charges – there’s more to this story. Criminal convictions like this can result in long-lasting financial implications for the accused and their families. What might seem like a mere $350 fine can quickly turn into $1,500 thanks to numerous additional costs.
Hidden Fees Accompanying the Fines
- Apart from the maximum and minimum penalties, you’ll also pay hidden fees for the following:
- Toxicology lab
- Court funding
- Public Safety and Education Assessment
- Title 46
Substance Abuse Education and Treatment
Once you’re done with the conviction, you may have to participate in a drug and alcohol assessment and attend a substance abuse information class. In addition, some offenders have had to attend around-the-clock alcohol monitoring and substance abuse treatment. You’ll be responsible for all these expenses.
Retaining Your Driving Privileges
After the conviction, you may have to acquire an ignition interlock device to retain your driving privileges, The cost will vary depending on the features you are required to have and how long you need to have the device installed for. You won’t be actually purchasing the device, but rather leasing it for the time you are required to have it. You must also apply for a probationary or restricted driving license. Finally, you’ll part with $150 when you finally recover your license.
Higher Insurance Premiums
A DUI conviction will force you to seek an SR22 insurance certificate for 3 years translating to higher premiums by up to 50%.
It Might Cost You Your Career
A DUI conviction can adversely affect your career. For instance, you might face disciplinary action that could limit your income-earning potential, like professional license revocation. Moreover, a DUI record could discourage potential employers who prioritize it.
How Can a Reputable Attorney Help?
A DUI conviction can have profound financial implications and cost you in different impactful ways. Thus, you have to give your case the seriousness it deserves.
Partnering with a reputable Washington state DUI attorney may seem like an added cost, but you’ll likely spend more than you would without one in the long run. An experienced Washington DUI lawyer can:
- Define and protect your rights
- Gather sufficient facts and proof for a solid defense
- Fight to reduce the possible penalties
- Guide you aptly so you can avoid costly mistakes
- Use their experience and networks within the court system to fight for the best possible outcome
Clearly, you have better chances of reducing the cost of your Washington state DUI offense when you involve a legal counsel.
Fortunately, You’re in the Right Place
Are you facing a first, second, or third DUI conviction in Washington? You’re home. Bugbee Law Office, P.S. is home to an experienced team that’s experienced, equipped, and ready to fight for your best interests.
Speak to us to learn how we can help your case.