Aggravated DUI Laws in Washington State

Washington’s drunk driving laws impose harsh penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. The punishment can be particularly severe in cases involving aggravating factors. An accused driver may face jail time, steep fines, and a long-term suspension of his or her driver’s license. The impact of an aggravated DUI conviction can be devastating for an individual and his or her family. You may experience the effects in your professional and personal life, such as being unable to drive yourself to work or facing the financial burden of having to pay court-ordered fines and other costs. We respect how difficult this situation is for you and your loved ones. Our Tacoma-based office treats each case with the discretion and dignity we would want for a member of our own family. Below, you will find information to help you better protect your rights in the wake of a DUI arrest.

What does it mean to be arrested for an aggravated DUI?

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) – which outlines the state’s drunk driving laws – does not include aggravated DUI as a separate criminal offense. Instead, the term typically refers to those elements that may be viewed as “aggravating” factors in a DUI charge. Many of these aggravating factors are addressed in the Washington Courts’ “DUI sentencing grid” (per RCW 46.61.5055). This guideline helps the court determine an appropriate punishment in DUI cases that include aggravating factors:

  • Criminal record – Your current DUI charges and potential penalties are influenced by any previous convictions you have had for related charges, such as DUI or other criminal offenses.
  • Accidents and injuries – The charges against you likely will be elevated if you were involved in an automotive accident in connection with your DUI charges. This is especially true if the accident involved property damage, personal injury or a fatality.
  • The presence of minor children – You face additional fines and jail time if there were children ages 16 years or younger in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest.
  • Any potential threat you pose to the community – You may face more severe penalties if the court believes you are a danger to the general public.
  • Refusal to submit to a breath test – The court may enact harsher penalties if you refused to submit to a breath or blood test after your arrest on suspicion of DUI.

Note that all prior convictions are taken into consideration as aggravating factors in your case. This is true, provided the conviction occurred within seven years of your DUI arrest date.

What are the penalties for aggravated DUI?

The potential penalties for an aggravated DUI will be more severe than most DUI penalties, especially compared to a case involving no other offenses and a driver with a “clean” record. Penalties may include:

  • jail time;
  • fines;
  • suspension of driver’s license; and
  • more.

An attorney can assess the details of your case to provide a more accurate idea of the potential penalties you will face.

I’m ready to fight the DUI charges against me. Who should I contact?

You have the right to consult a defense attorney after arrest on suspicion of aggravated DUI. Contact Daryl Graves Law at our Tacoma-based offices to schedule a case evaluation – 253-383-7777.

Free Consultation

Daryl Graves Law, PLLC practices primarily in the areas of criminal defense law and personal injury. If you are seeking representation in one of these, or simply have a question that you would like to ask an attorney, feel free to call Daryl Graves Law, PLLC at 253-383-7777 or complete the form below.

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