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Is it possible to avoid jail time due to serious health concerns regarding a 3rd DUI offense?

Lynnwood, WA |

My dad just received his court date (4/7/09) for his 3rd DUI offense and we are wondering if there is any way to avoid jail time due to his current health issues. A month ago my dad was hospitalized (ICU/rehab totaling 20 days) This was due to an infection in his lungs which spread to his blood stream and then led to a reoccurrence of a seizure condition he has struggled w/ for 7 years. My dad's 1st offense was 12 yrs ago (which he spent the night in jail) and the other was 7 yrs ago (which was deffered -he took AA classes etc). We are wondering what our options are and if jail time is mandatory or if there is a way to fight for house arrest or some other way to handle this. We are afraid if my dad does go to jail he will not get the medical attention he needs. Thank you!

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Attorney answers 1


If your dad is convicted of the new DUI, statutorily there would be a mandatory jail sentence imposed. The length of the sentence would be a function of his BAC level (or refusal to take a test) and his history within the last seven years. The sentencing judge, however, would have the discretion to convert the jail to home detention (house arrest) if there was a showing that jail could cause irreparable damage to his health.

Of possibly more immediate concern is whether the judge, at arraignment, will impose bail on your father as a condition of his continued release. Some courts/judges are especially brutal in this regard when the defendant has multiple prior offenses. Based on how soon his arraignment is approaching, he really should contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible to get assistance in minimizng this possibility.

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