December 26, 2008, Newsletter Issue #147: DUI Convictions and the Washout Period

Tip of the Week

Many states have something called a "washout period" for people convicted at a DUI trial. The period varies from state to state, but the washout period is basically the length of time when another drunk driving offense is considered a second or third offense. After this time is up, the original conviction "drops off" and any new DUI incidents are treated as a first offense.

Some states keep that first offense on the books a long time. The California washout period is 10 years, calculated from the date of the first offense to the date of the second. If you find yourself in need of a California DUI lawyer, one of the first things a competent lawyer will do is check to see if you are affected by the washout period. Be sure to mention that you want these dates checked, no matter what state you live in.

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