Charges of driving under the influence (DUI) in California become more severe each time you are arrested. A third DUI offense within a 10-year period can have incredibly serious repercussions, including fines, jail time, and restrictions on your driver’s license.
Use this article to focus on understanding your third DUI offense in California. Use the resources provided by the Simmrin Law Group to consider your legal options in this situation. Call us immediately at (310) 896-2723 to focus on constructing your defense.
DUIs in California Are Priorable Offenses
All DUI charges in California are considered priorable offenses. This means that they will remain on your record for 10 years after a conviction. Each time you are arrested for another DUI in this 10-year period, you can face harsher penalties.
Note that some charges offered in DUI plea bargains are also priorable. For example, if you accept a wet reckless charge after a DUI arrest, it will count as a DUI conviction. Keep this in mind, as you could end up facing a third DUI offense after accepting two previous wet reckless plea bargains.
Third DUI Offenses and Habitual Traffic Offender Charges
Some drivers in California can be labeled “Habitual Traffic Offenders” (HTOs). This is a legal designation that comes with criminal charges. You may be designated an HTO after a third DUI conviction in the state of California under Vehicle Code Section 14601.3.
A conviction under VC 14601.3 can lead to fines of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to 30 days. Additionally, drivers who are considered HTOs will face sentencing enhancements if they are convicted of other traffic violations. Each time you are convicted of another crime while driving, the California court can add:
- Up to 180 days to your jail sentence
- Up to $2,000 to your fines
Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you are arrested for a third DUI to reduce the odds that you’ll be labeled an HTO. Call (310) 896-2723 to get started now.
Results of a Third DUI Conviction in California
You can face criminal charges for a third DUI in the state of California. The state uses a number of different charges to prosecute DUI charges. A third conviction for a “basic” DUI can result in:
- Up to $3,000 in fines
- Up to one year of jail time
- Up to 18 months in an alcohol treatment program
Additionally, the third DUI charge will be added to your record. This is important, as California can prosecute a fourth DUI offense as a felony, instead of a misdemeanor, increasing the severity of the penalties you could face for any subsequent DUIs.
License Restrictions for a Third DUI in California
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can restrict your license after a third DUI conviction in California. You will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on all of your vehicles before you can drive after your conviction.
IIDs test your blood alcohol content (BAC) before allowing you to start your vehicle. You must perform a breathalyzer test with the IID before starting your car and at regular intervals while you are driving. If you are convicted of a third DUI in California, you’ll need to use an IID for:
- Two years for a third basic DUI conviction
- Three years for a third DUI causing injury conviction
Attempting to drive without an IID following a DUI conviction can result in criminal charges. You could be charged with driving on a suspended license in this situation.
Defenses for a Third DUI Offense in California
It’s important that you take a third DUI offense in California seriously. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle your DUI charges as well as accusations that you are a habitual traffic offender. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can focus on demonstrating that:
- You were arrested without reasonable cause
- Your BAC tests were not conducted appropriately
- Your rights were violated at the time of your arrest
Allow us to go over your specific legal situation right now. We’re standing by to help you build a defense for a third DUI offense in California.
Contact a Lawyer About a Third DUI Offense in California
Understanding your third DUI offense in California can help you decide how to move forward with your legal defense. Contact the Simmrin Law Group now to discuss the specific facts of your case. Call (310) 896-2723 or complete our online contact form to easily reach us.
Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can provide you with a FREE consultation, so contact us now.