Third DUI Defence

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Multiple DUI convictions usually means certain jail time along with loss of driving privileges for a number of years. If you have two previous DUI convictions in the past 10 years, a third one means loss of your driver’s license for 3 years and mandatory jail time along with a number of other penalties that can significantly affect your life for a sustained period of time. Immediately contact one of our defense lawyers from the San Diego DUI Attorney Group if facing a third DUI conviction.

CVC Section 23546(a) addresses a third DUI conviction:

“If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 and the offense occurred within 10 years of two separate violations of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, 23152, or 23153, or any combination thereof, that resulted in convictions, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 120 days nor more than one year and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($390) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). The person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles as required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352. The court shall require the person to surrender his or her driver's license to the court in accordance with Section 13550.

(b) A person convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under this section shall be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of three years, subsequent to the conviction. The person shall be advised of this designation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13350.”

Your Rights If Detained on Suspicion of DUI

If you are on probation for a previous DUI conviction, you are likely not allowed to drink and drive at all. Another condition of your probation is to cooperate with law enforcement if stopped in your vehicle. Though you do not have to answer any questions about drinking, you will have to perform any coordination or FST tests and to blow into the PAS or portable alcohol screening test. If you refuse, it is a violation of your probation and your refusal to take any of these will probably result in your arrest.

If you are no longer on probation, you are not required to perform any FST test or take PAS. Unfortunately, you cannot call an attorney to decide whether to take the breathalyzer or to submit to a blood test. You can call one of our San Diego DUI Attorney Group lawyers after you are placed under arrest.

Regarding your probation violation, if applicable, you will need a lawyer from the San Diego DUI Attorney Group to represent you on this as well as any DUI charges that may flow from your encounter with the officer. Often, our attorneys can have the probation reinstated.

Like any other motorist, you are obligated to take a breath or blood test under the Implied Consent law. Under California law, your refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test can be used as evidence of your guilt and it is considered an aggravating condition that can lead to additional jail time, a higher fine longer license suspension period and other penalties.

Administrative Per Se Hearing

You are entitled to an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing regarding your license suspension that must be requested within 10 calendar days after your arrest. The San Diego DUI Attorney Group lawyers routinely handle these hearings before the DMV, which provides us an opportunity to uncover the basis for the opinions and conclusions the arresting officer reached. We also aggressively the results of the breathalyzer.

A DMV hearing officer will determine the following issues at your hearing:

  • Probable cause to stop you
  • The legality of your arrest
  • If your BAC 0.08%
  • If you refused testing

Sentencing for a Third DUI Conviction

A conviction for a third time of DUI within 10 years may result in:

  • Mandatory minimum of 120 days in county jail
  • Additional 10 days if testing was refused
  • Home detention with electronic monitoring device (SCRAM) program in lieu of jail
  • Private jail setting instead of county jail
  • Fine of $390 to $1,000 with costs and assessments
  • DUI program for 18 to 30-months
  • Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status for 3 years
  • 3-year suspension of driver’s license and possibly 10 years to life
  • Restricted license available after one year unless you are deemed a threat to public safety
  • No restricted license if you refused testing
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system on car

If jail time is imposed, one of our lawyers from the San Diego DUI Attorneys Group can request that you spend your time at home under the electronic monitoring program or HAM or in a private jail setting that is separate from the general population at the county jail.

Defenses to a DUI

The breathalyzer is often the focus of the defense at a DUI trial though our attorneys also attack other elements involved in your arrest. These include:

  • The breathalyzer was not properly serviced or maintained
  • The technician or officer who administered the test was not certified
  • The technician or officer failed to follow guidelines in administering it
  • Over 50 factors we can introduce to contest your BAC results
  • There were reasonable explanations for your driving conduct and performance on FSTs
  • Lack of evidence that you were under the influence when driving
  • No probable cause to stop you
  • No probable cause to arrest you

Contact a San Diego DUI Attorney Group lawyer today to discuss your legal options.