Los Angeles Third Time DUI
One of the more frequent questions asked by people who are dealing with a Los Angeles driving under the influence charge and who have prior DUI convictions is what the potential consequences are for a third DUI conviction.
When a person is charged with a DUI offense and they have had two previous DUI convictions within the past 10 years, the penalties become much steeper compared to what is assessed on a first or second DUI offense. Under the law, someone is considered to have committed a third DUI offense when he or she has two previous DUI convictions within the past ten years. These convictions can be out of any county in California as well as DUI violations from states other than California.
Judges and prosecutors take third time DUI offenses very seriously. There is a concern that a person with two prior DUI convictions is unable to control their drinking or drug use and poses a significant risk to the general public. Judges tend to require high bail amounts or conditions of release on a person charged with a third time offense. These conditions may include weekly AA attendance or a requirement that the defendant wear an alcohol monitoring device such as SCRAM or AlcoSensor. Consuming any alcohol would be considered a violation and could result in the defendant being taken into custody.
A person charged with a DUI offense is entitled to the same rights and protections as someone who has been charged with a first or second time DUI. If the officer lacked probable cause to stop or arrest the defendant, a skilled Los Angeles DUI Attorney can challenge the stop and/or arrest with a motion pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC. If successful, the resulting DUI evidence would be suppressed and the case would most likely be dismissed as the prosecutor would be unable to move forward. In addition, there may be issues with the breath or blood test or other defenses that may be raised.
If convicted of a third time DUI offense, the defendant is typically sentenced to five years of probation with a statutory minimum of 120 days in jail. Sentences will vary by county and some judges may allow defendants to serve some or all of their jail sentence on house arrest. The sentencing judge will require that the defendant complete the 30-month alcohol education program, which includes classroom instruction, group counseling sessions, individual counseling and Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. The fines assessed can total between $2500 and $3000 when all penalties and assessments have been included. The defendant may be ordered to pay restitution if he or she was involved in a collision.
In some cases, a judge or prosecutor may agree to reduce the mandatory jail time and allow the defendant to complete the “30 30 program.” This would only require 30 days in jail, but the defendant would have to complete the 30 month program and spend 30 months on a SCRAM alcohol monitoring bracelet.
In many cases, the defendant on a third time DUI offense is still on probation for their second DUI conviction or even their first. In these cases the defendant would have to deal with DUI probation violations and could face additional punishments.
Someone who is arrested for a third driving under the influence offense will also be subject to a driver’s license suspension. The DMV administrative suspension is only one year, however the court suspension that would go into effect if the defendant is convicted is a full three years. During this time the driver may be eligible for a restricted license after 180 days if he or she installs an IID in his or her vehicle. A chemical test refusal would result in a three year license revocation with no restricted license eligibility. In addition, a person who is convicted of a third DUI offense may be designated as Habitual Traffic Offender by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you have been charged with a third time DUI offense, it is imperative that you speak with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer immediately. Los Angeles DUI Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who has obtained impressive results for DUI defendants, even when they have multiple prior convictions.
For more information about Los Angeles third time DUI offenses, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.