Third DUI Defence

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Having two prior DUI convictions presents certain problems if a third one ensues. The law imposes a mandatory minimum jail sentence and suspends your license for 3 years. You are also designated as a habitual traffic offender so that if you are convicted of any subsequent traffic violations, your sentence will be greatly enhanced. If you are arrested and have two prior DUI convictions, you need expert and reliable legal representation. Immediately contact a Los Angeles third DUI lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group to discuss your legal options and possible defenses.

A third DUI conviction is addressed under CVC Section 23546(a):

“CVC 23546 (a) 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.”

The DUI Stop and Testing

If you are on probation for a previous DUI conviction, the officer who stops you will be apprised of this and will be observing you for signs of drinking. A condition of your probation is typically that you do not drink at all and drive. If you do, regardless of your BAC, you will be arrested for a probation violation.

Under these circumstances, you are required to perform any FST or field sobriety tests and the PAS, a portable alcohol screening device and to take the BAC test. Your refusal to take any of these will subject you to arrest. The only reason for not taking these, as any Los Angeles third DUI lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group may advise you, is that you are not providing additional proof of your intoxication or impairment or that you were drinking at all.

Your refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, if applicable, may be used as evidence of your guilt and will add to your jail time, fine and license suspension period. If you are certain that you will pass the breath test or that your BAC will be below 0.08%, then it is in your best interest to take the test. You do face possible jail, however, if you either show any percentage of alcohol in your sample or if the officer testifies that you were drinking based on observations.

The Per Se or License Suspension Hearing

You are entitled to an APS, or administrative Per Se hearing regarding your license suspension if you were not on probation when you were arrested. Our Los Angeles third DUI lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group lawyers handle these routinely for our clients not only to get your license back but to see what the arresting officer’s testimony would be at trial and to uncover any discrepancies in testimony. Our attorneys can also scrutinize the officer’s protocol, basis of any conclusions and the manner in which the breath test was administered. There are numerous ways to challenge the breathalyzer and we examine all of them.

The issues at a Per Se hearing are:

  • Whether the officer had probable cause to stop you
  • Whether your arrest was legal
  • Whether your BAC was 0.08%
  • Whether you refused testing and if your refusal was reasonable and valid

Since you have but 10 days to request this hearing after your arrest and issuance of a temporary license, immediately contact one of our attorneys.

Sentencing for a Third DUI Conviction

If you plead or are found guilty of a third DUI, you may expect the following:

  • Mandatory minimum of 120 days in county jail-10 days is added if testing was refused
  • Possible home detention with electronic monitoring device in lieu of county jail or SCRAM program in lieu of jail
  • Hospital and Morgue Program (HAM)
  • Private jail setting separate from general population if available
  • Fine of $390 to $1,000 with costs and assessments running over $2000 in many cases
  • Mandatory participation in a DUI program for 18 to 30-months
  • Designated as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) for 3 years
  • 3 year suspension of driving privileges 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 your vehicle along with its cost

An experienced Los Angeles third DUI lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group can work with the DA to work out an alternative to jail if you do plead guilty as part of a plea bargain. This will allow you to continue to work while receiving alcohol treatment, if needed, and perform community service instead of spending time behind bars.

Defenses to DUI

As indicated, there are numerous ways to challenge the breathalyzer and the results:

  • The breathalyzer was not properly serviced or maintained
  • The technician failed to follow established protocol
  • Its error factor puts your BAC reading under 0.08% if that is your result
  • There were reasonable explanations for your driving conduct and performance on FST that were not alcohol-related
  • You have a medical condition that resulted in a false high reading
  • There was no evidence you were under the influence when driving under certain circumstances
  • No probable cause existed to stop you
  • No probable cause to arrest you for DUI

Call one of our Los Angeles third DUI lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group today if you were arrested for a DUI and let us discuss with you how we can help.