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As with many criminal charges, the consequences for a DUI can get increasingly worse with each arrest. Although the consequences and costs can be harsh and steep for a first-time DUI, you could be facing a much more serious situation if you have been arrested for a DUI for the third time in the state of California. If you are in this type of situation, working with experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyers can help.
What is Considered a Third-Time DUI Offense in Los Angeles?
First of all, you might be wondering what is considered a third-time offense. In the state of California, if you have received two DUI convictions in the last 10 years, then your next conviction is considered a third. When compared to the penalties for the first two DUI charges, the consequences can be much more severe.
How are Third-Time DUI Offenses Different from First-Time and Second-Time Offenses?
When you initially get arrested for a third-time DUI, you might find that it is harder for you to get out on bond. Whereas bond amounts are often low for first and second offenses, judges often set much higher bonds for those who get arrested for driving under the influence for a third time. Additionally, the judge might put into place certain conditions of release; for example, you might be required to attend AA meetings with a certain frequency, or you could be expected to wear some sort of alcohol monitor. Consuming alcohol, skipping meetings or otherwise failing to abide by the conditions of your release could lead to your bond being revoked and you being put back in jail until your case is handled.
Of course, you do still have the same rights as someone who is charged with a first-time or second-time DUI. If your Los Angeles DUI attorney can prove that you were pulled over or arrested without probable cause, for example, this can help you get your case dismissed. Every case is different, of course, so it’s best to work with Los Angeles DUI lawyers who are familiar with DUI law so that they can figure out the best defense for your case.
What Will Happen if You’re Convicted of a Third-Time DUI?
If you do end up getting convicted of your third-time DUI, you may be sentenced to five years of probation with a minimum of 120 days in jail. You will also generally be required to attend 30 months of alcohol education.
In some cases, you might not have to serve the entire 120 days in jail. There is what is known in California as a “30 30 30” program; this refers to spending 30 days in jail, doing 30 months of alcohol education and spending 30 months wearing an alcohol monitoring bracelet. During these 30 months, you will not be allowed to consume alcohol.
In addition to potential jail time, probation and court-ordered alcohol education classes and alcohol monitoring, you will also be subject to losing your driving privileges. Even though the DMV will only give a one-year administrative suspension, you will receive a three-year criminal suspension through the courts if you are convicted of your third-time DUI. The DMV might also consider you to be a “habitual traffic offender.”
A driving under the influence charge is never something that should be taken lightly, and it should be taken particularly seriously if you are facing your third conviction within ten years. Luckily, you do not have to deal with this tough legal situation on your own. Instead, if you hire a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, you can have the legal representation and help that you need along the way.