How will my life be affected by a DUI Arrest?

It’s important to understand the gravity that surrounds a DUI arrest—it is a very serious offense. DUI attorneys in Seattle have dealt with many different cases surrounding DUIs. While the severity of the offense can vary depending on a person’s background and record, there are a few things to consider about a DUI arrest and how it will affect your future.

DUI arrest

First Offense, Last Offense

Consequences of the first DUI can be severe and strict, but they will only get worse if you get a second DUI, or even a third.

The first offense of a DUI could result in suspension of your license, potential jail time, ignition interlock device requirements, restrictions on travel, and living with a criminal record. If you are arrested for a DUI, it is vital to contact a Seattle DUI defense lawyer in order to get the charges reduced or possibly dropped. Failure to do so can create more trouble in the immediate and long-term future.

If you are facing your second or third DUI, the consequences are much the same, but involve heavier fines and longer periods of time. A Seattle DUI attorney can make sure that you get the minimum sentence possible. Here is a side by side comparison of DUI consequences in Washington state, by offense number.

First Offense

Jail: 24 hours to 1 year
Fines and Penalties: $865.50 to $5,000
License Suspension: 90 days to 2 years
Ignition Interlock: 1 year

Second Offense

Jail: 30 days to 1 year
Fines and Penalties: $1,120.50 to $5,000
License Suspension: 2 years to 900 days
Ignition interlock: 5 years

Third Offense

Jail: 90 days to 1 year
Fines and Penalties: 1,970.50 to $5,000
License Suspension: 3 to 4 years
Ignition interlock: 10 years

Effects on Employment

A DUI will appear on all employment background checks. This can be a negative conversation to have with a prospective employer, so it is of paramount importance to fully disclose this information upfront.

Contacting a Seattle DUI defense attorney will help ensure that you are able to get this charge as reduced as possible, thus avoiding future complications in getting new jobs and applying for positions.

Potential License Suspension

Though it may seem less severe than the other consequences of a DUI arrest, the suspension of a driver’s license can cause a significant disruption to one’s life.

If you are facing your first offense for a DUI, your license can be suspended for 90 days up to one year. This figure increases if you are facing your second or third arrests. A Seattle DUI defense lawyer can help you to avoid this scenario.

A license suspension can have a direct impact on an existing job, as it can completely impede your ability to arrive at work. For individuals without a friend or family member that can drive them, or a bus to ride to work, having a suspended license is simply not an option. It is vital that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Seattle who can assist you in preventing this outcome.

Ignition Interlock device requirement

A DUI conviction carries a mandatory ignition interlock requirement.  Meaning when it comes time to get your license reinstated following the driver’s license suspension you will not be able to do so until the ignition interlock requirement is satisfied.  Additionally the requirement increases with every DUI a driver receives.  For example a first time requirement carries a 1 year period, a second time requirement carries a 5 year period, and a third time requirement carries a 10 year period.

Underage DUI Charge

A DUI is a terrible offense no matter what age, but you’ll be in worse shape if you’re underage. An underage drinking and driving charge is taken very serious in Seattle. Consequences of an underage DUI can include suspension of your license long-term, heavy fines (depending on your area) and severe problems in gaining employment. This is a particularly sad position to be in as a young professional looking for your first full-time job.

If you have been arrested for a DUI underage, do contact a Seattle DUI attorney to explore what can be done in order to minimize the damage to your future.

Attorney Fees

Seattle DUI defense attorney fees usually start at $5000 at the very least, and can vary depending on who you go to and that attorney’s experience.

However, the fees paid for a strong DUI attorney are a small price to pay for the potential damage to your future that you would be mitigating. If you are unfortunate enough to have been arrested for a DUI, it’s imperative to do whatever you can in order to protect your future.

If you need help in dealing with a DUI offense, Leyba Defense is your go-to Seattle DUI lawyer. Contact Matthew Leyba for a free 60 minute, no pressure, and completely confidential case consultation and learn how he can help you avoid future complications from this unfortunate offense.