Are harsher felony DUI penalties coming to Washington?
That is the proposal detailed in House Bill 2280, a new piece of legislation that was just passed by the Washington House of Representatives. As KIRO7 reports, the bill, if passed, would make a fifth DUI within a 10-year period a Class B felony. As current law stands, this offense is a Class C felony.
What's the difference? A Class C felony can result in a maximum of five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A Class B felony, however, can expose the accused to up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Under House Bill 2280, any DUI charged to a driver who was previously convicted of vehicular homicide while intoxicated or vehicular assault while intoxicated will also be considered a Class B felony. That means harsher penalties for any driver charged with a DUI who has previously hurt someone else on the road due to drunk or "drugged" driving.
House Bill 2280 has not yet been passed-- it now sits in the Washington State Senate for consideration and will only become a law if it is later approved by the Governor. Its early success in the House, however, bodes well for the future of the bill.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious DUI-related crime, then I invite you to contact my firm today. At the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, clients can depend on aggressive and dynamic defense counsel when faced with these allegations. I am a former prosecutor who understands how our state processes the accused and will do everything I can to ensure that you receive the consideration you deserve before the law.
Want to learn more about your defense options? Contact a Snohomish County DUI defense attorney you can trust at 888.252.1961 today.