I know this is old, but maybe you get emails about replies...
A WHJ with an intact guilty plea - one which you never came back and asked to withdraw your guilty plea and obtain a dismissal - is still a conviction. A WHJ where you sought and received the dismissal is still a conviction for purposed of stacking a DUI to a larger offense, although I think that is HORRIBLE case law.
If you complied with all your terms and ISTARS still shows the WHJ, that means you never contacted the court to ask for dismissal. You might want to do that. Your second DUI might cause you a problem obtaining dismissal relief if the prosecutor wants to play hardball.
While charges can have similar penalties, no cases require that charges have the same sentences. Each defendant is treated individually. The explanation for the differences could be as simple as a nicer prosecutor, a nicer judge, different counties, etc. Lazy prosecutors are probably one of the best defenses a defendant can have.
I hired an attorney both times, she used a Public Defender and got off easier both times!
Maybe I represented her. The best decision she ever made in her life! Tell her to stop getting DUIs...
Some of the most dangerous criminal attorneys are the ones in private practice. Someone who got licensed just yesterday can be in private practice. And all alone. Without anyone helping them. A new licensee can also be at a PD office, but will have all the other attorneys as a resource that is a hallway away.