Your 3rd DUI Offense in California: Quick Guide

August 20, 2021 by Seppi Esfandi in California  DUI  
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Multiple DUIs: Third DUI

Have you had multiple DUI convictions before?

If so, then take caution. DUIs in CA are counted as priorable offenses. That is, repeat punishments come with greater sentences.

DUI Within Ten Years

With DUIs, offenses are considered “repeat” if they happen within a 10-year period.

DUIs are considered to repeat up to the fourth offense.

To the 3rd repeat, they’re sentenced as misdemeanors. But after exceeding the 4th DUI charge, you risk being convicted of a felony.

Since we’re discussing 3rd-time DUIs, a felony shouldn’t be on the table. However, its consequences are more serious than first and second-time convictions.

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What Are the Penalties for 3rd Time DUIs?

First, you receive 3 to 5 years of probation (informal). You also get sentenced to country jail, for a period between 120 and 354 days.

Penalties may also include a fine of up to $2000.

Next, certain restrictions may be placed on the defendant. They include:

  • Completing a DUI re-education program (lasts 30 days, must be court approved)
  • Accepting an ignition interlock device for your car (will last 2 years)

The re-education programs may include Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

There’s also the possibility of restitution (in the event that the DUI resulted in an accident that damaged another party).

How Do you Avoid a 3rd Time DUI?

For the government to convict you, the prosecutor needs to prove the following:

  • That your registered BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) at the time of testing was 0.8%+
  • That you were under drug or alcohol influence

Next, you have a chance of getting a reduced sentence by picking a jury trial. That is a right afforded to defendants facing misdemeanor charges.

And with a good lawyer, it’s possible to win a jury trial and have your case dropped altogether.

In fact, a good strategy to aim is getting a reduced offense, such as a wet or dry reckless, or an exhibition of speed.

However, they’ll have to argue the following points against the prosecutor:

  • Whether your driving patterns reflected intoxication
  • How you performed on different sobriety tests (and the effectiveness of those tests). Those include walk and turn, one-leg stands, and gaze nystagmus tests.
  • Whether you showed visible intoxication symptoms. Those include slurred speech, alcohol odor, and bloodshot eyes.

Sentencing Aside: What About Your License?

Since 3rd time DUIs are misdemeanor offenses, you can choose to get a hearing before the Department of Motor Vehicles.

They’ll assess whether you should keep your license or not.

However, a 3rd time DUI offense does come with a much higher (and longer) suspension threat than lesser repeats.

Also, after a 3rd DUI, you may be designated as an HTO (Habitual Traffic Offender) by the DMV.

What About Revocation?

With a third repeat, you risk a driver’s license revocation. The revocation normally lasts 18 months.

With a good lawyer, you might get access to a restricted license after the 18 month period. Though you’ll need an ignition interlock device in your car.

Also, you do risk a 3 year license suspension (court-triggered) if the following occurs:

  • You are convicted in court of DUI
  • You lose your Department of Motor Vehicles Hearing (or) you do not submit a hearing request after 10 days of arrest

What About Criminal Records?

You can get a third DUI expunged from your criminal records. This’ll erase the charge from your record permanently.

However, you can do so on the following conditions:

  • You received a probation sentence
  • You completed the probation successfully

Getting your criminal record expunged requires you submit a petition, while dodging an aggravated charge in the first place.

It’s a necessity step, since it ensures that a criminal record doesn’t smear your social or professional future.

At our law firm, we’ll help you avoid and expunge third time DUIs with the least damage possible.

Multiple DUI Chart

Multiple DUI Infographic Chart
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You Should Hire An Attorney

If you get arrested for multiple DUI offenses, then get in touch with a DUI lawyer Los Angeles and fast. Your lawyer will tell you how to navigate the situation. Also, they will try to get you the best possible outcome in court. Deal with your second time DUI offenses, and contact us now!

With more than 20 years of experience, the Esfandi Law Group’s Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will fight hard for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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