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DUI NewsFlash - Prior ACTUALLY means PRIOR.

Who would have thought it? As DUI sentences are enhanced based on the number of “prior” convictions you as a defendant have, the definition of the word “prior” has always been in some dispute. In fact, I’ve seen it argued that because the statute defines “prior” as “within seven years”…that “within” gives you seven years on EITHER side of the DUI – making a 14 year window.

Thank heavens, the Supreme Court has finally told us that prior means prior.

The Seattle Weekly is reporting that the court has finally clarified a "confusing" statute for us as DUI attorneys.

Amazing but true. We needed the court to clarify this for us. To give you an example of how illogical this line of reasoning is, I once had a zealous prosecutor tell me that my client (who had been arrested for DUI twice in his life) was a third time offender. How does this work?

DUI #1 resulted in no conviction due to a Deferred Prosecution.
DUI #2 (clearly a second offense) revoked the Deferred Prosecution, causing DUI #1 to be sentenced. However, since DUI #2 was WITHIN seven years, it counted as a prior. But you can’t have TWO second offenses, so clearly DUI #1 was his THIRD offense.

Are you kidding me?

If you have one DUI, two DUIs, Prior DUIs, or any questions ABOUT DUI, call Seattle DUI Attorney Jonathan Dichter at 425-424-9401 for your FREE CONSULTATION to try to make sense out of this senselessness. He’ll help you navigate the legal jargon and work to get you the best possible result for your DUI case.