The “Statute of Limitations” is a safeguard that prevents the State or any prosecuting authority from charging a criminal case outside of a certain period of time. The Statute of Limitations precludes the State from bringing charges against an individual outside a time period that the legislature has deemed to be appropriate.
Statute of Limitations in WA for a DUI is two years
RCW 9A.04.080 (1) Prosecutions for criminal offenses shall not be commenced after the periods prescribed in this section.
(j) No gross misdemeanor may be prosecuted more than two years after its commission.
A DUI is a gross misdemeanor, therefore the Statute of Limitations is two years. The case can not be filed more than two years after it is alleged to have occurred.
Can my DUI be dismissed if outside the Statute of Limitations?
Absolutely! We always check on the Statute of Limitations when we review a DUI case. This is especially important when a blood sample was taken and the Washington State Crime Lab is involved. We have seen the Lab take up to 14 months to return a result to the law enforcement agency. So many cases actually are charged right up to the Statute of limitations, and some over. If the case if charged beyond two years, case dismissed!
If you have a statute of limitations question about a DUI, or any Washington criminal case, please give our office a call. We have have offices in Bremerton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor for your convenience.