Folks accused of one DUI often face another later in life. An old DUI arrest within the past seven years will most likely count as a prior offense sentence enhancer, but you must analyze both the date and court resolution to be sure. In a prior blog post we addressed how dates work. Now we’ll focus on what types of DUI count as prior offenses.

Under Washington law the most common prior offenses are DUI arrests within seven years that result in a DUI conviction, a reduction and plea of guilty to Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment or Negligent Driving 1st Degree. A Deferred Prosecution on a DUI charge, even one that is successfully completed, will count as a prior offense, too.

Convictions from another state can also count as prior offenses. If an out of state DUI arrest resulted in a conviction or deferral based on alcohol addiction, drug addiction or mental health problems, then it will count as a prior offense. When an out of state DUI arrest is pled down to a lower charge, then you must compare the language of the statute for the reduced charge to Washington State’s Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment and Negligent Driving 1st Degree statutes. If that out of state statute contains similar language to the Washington State’s, then you likely have a prior offense sentence enhancer.

DUI arrests can resolve in ways that don’t count as prior offenses, like when the charge is dismissed for lack of evidence the accused was driving. Some folks are arrested for DUI and blow below the legal limit leading to dismissal or a reduction to non-criminal traffic violations. These situations are rare, so if there was a prior DUI arrest within seven years, then there’s a good chance it will count as a prior offense.

If you’re facing a DUI, then contact the attorneys at Cooney Law Offices today. We can analyze whether it’s a first offense DUI or higher and explain your options for fighting the case. Cooney Law Offices. We can help!