Skip to main content

Is there a statute of limitations for a DUI in Washington State?

Maple Valley, WA |

I received a DUI on 8/1/2010. My lawyer has been trying to fight it since then. In October 2012 I had to plead guilty, with a stay, until my lawyer heard back from the Supreme Court for a ruling that could be in my favor. Since it has been 2&1/2 years from being pulled over, is there a statute of limitations for being convicted? Also, is there a way my lawyer could somehow lower my conviction since I have not been in trouble during that time? This is my first conviction, I have nothing on my record. The one thing that was mostly against me was that I blew a 1.5, but my lawyer was able to argue it to lower than a 1.5.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


In my humble opinion it would only be appropriate for you to contact "your lawyer" so that he or she could address these questions. He/she would be in the best position to know how to answer your questions.


There are a number of time limits that are relevant when you're charged with a crime: statute of limitations, speedy trial and jurisdiction.

The statute of limitations has to do with how much time can elapse between the incident and when charges are filed. For DUI, that is two years. It sounds like charges were filed within the two-year period.

Speedy trial, otherwise known as time for trial rights, start to elapse when you are arraigned on a criminal charge. Speedy trial governs how long the prosecution has to take you to trial. There are many exceptions to the speedy trial rule and It is very rare that speedy trial is actually an issue anymore.

Jurisdiction controls how much time the court can monitor you after sentencing. For a DUI, the court can take up to five years. This time can be tolled (extended) for a number of reasons. If sentencing is stayed pending appellate review, the jurisdiction clock is not running.

So, while this is a long time to have something like this pending, there does not appear to be any issues with the time it has taken (other than the obvious fact that this is probably very inconvenient for you).

You said you have an attorney on this. Why have you not gotten these answers from your attorney? The appeals process can take way too long and there may be very little that your attorney can do to speed this up. He or she should be able to give you some idea what's going on,

Scott W Lawrence
Law Office of Scott Lawrence, PLLC
(425) 488-8481


First, I suggest contacting your current attorney, as he or she will be a much better position to answer your questions than any of us. If your attorney does not respond satisfactorily, consider hiring another one. That being said, the statute of limitations generally concerns the amount of time it takes from the date of the offense/ arrest to the time that charges are then filed. Good luck.


The statute of limitations governs only the maximum amount of time the prosecutor has to file charges after you committed the crime. Once you're charged within the statute of limitations, you have no such defense even if it takes you fifty years to plead or be convicted.

You did not blow a 1.5. If you blew a 1.5, you would be a corpse. You blew a .15.

Your ability to stay out of trouble may help you at sentencing. However, there are certain mandatory minimums for DUI with a blow under .15 (24 hours consecutive in jail convertible to 15 days EHM), that a court has no discretion about.

If you have a lawyer, your best bet is to direct all questions to him or her.


What you are seeking is a critic of your attorneys actions in your case and there is no way for any attorney to do that without the complete file and the authority. You are the person to weigh your attorneys actions. If you are questioning what has happened and what is going to happen then sit down and talk. There is no reason for you to be in the dark about your own case. Good Luck