First DUI was in 2006, off probation and all charges dropped September 2011. My arraignment in Monday 5/21 and need to know some options. I willl be requesting a public defender.
I don't quite understand your question. If your DUI was dropped 5 years after you were charged, my assumption is that you entered into a deferred prosecution. Those still count as a prior. However if the DUI was dismissed for other reasons, then it may not count as a prior.
However, considering that this is your second DUI in the last seven years (unless again, it was dismissed not because of a deferred proseuction), the mandatory minimum penalties you are looking at are either 1) 30 days in jail, followed by 60 days of electronic home monitoring (EHM), or 2) 45 days in jail followed by 90 days EHM. Minimum 1 is if you took a blood test or a blood draw and the result of that test was .149 or lower blood alcohol reading, and/or there were any illegal or prescription drugs in your system. Minimum 2 is if you refused to take the blood/breath test (you can argue later whether or not you knowingly refused) or the result of that test was a .15 or higher.
You definitely need to plead not guilty at arraignment and get an attorney right away, whether it be the public defender or a private attorney.
You need to take this case seriously, especially since it is your second DUI. If your prior DUI was dismissed outright and not amended to a lesser charge, or you did not enter a deferred prosecution, it will not count as a prior. But if it was reduced to a lesser offense that you ended up pleading guilty to or you entered a deferred prosecution, then it still counts as a prior offense if you are convicted of a second DUI. The penalties for a second DUI within seven years are severe, as the previous attorney correctly explained. Do whatever you can to retain counsel as soon as possible.
If all charges were "dropped" in 2011 from a 2006 arrest, you were probably on a deferred prosecution. Did you go to 2 years of treatment? If you were on a deferred prosecution for a first offense, that is truly unfortunate. I always strongly advise against entering a deferred prosecution on a first offense.
Why? Because there is always the possibility that they will get another DUI within 7 years. Like you did. The second DUI in 7 years carries harsh penalties: you could be facing up to a mandatory 45 days in jail followed by 90 days on electronic home monitoring at your own expense (around $26 a day), a base fine of $1,620.50 plus probation fees of at least $50 a month (for 5 years), plus other costs and assessments, a license revocation for 900 days or 3 years if you refused the test, and an ignition interlock device requirement (about $100 a month) for at least one year, but more likely at least 5 years in your case.
You need a really good lawyer who focuses on DUI cases and has the knowledge and skill to find weaknesses in the prosecution's case. Often, they are not obvious on the face of the police report, so you need a lawyer who will dig deep and leave no stone unturned to find the weaknesses.
I am not sure if you are asking is it possible to move? Yes, it is possible to move, but you will have to return for all your court dates or you face having a warrant issued for failure to appear. Depending on where you plan to move, that state could deny you a license due to this pending case in WA.
This answer is my personal opinion, offered for informational purposes only. It is not a legal opinion, nor is it legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with anyone reading it.
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