Understanding the Consequences: Third DUI California Laws



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What Happens When You Get a Third DUI Conviction in California? 

Being arrested for drunk driving offenses is not fun. It isn’t an experience that a person ever feels prepared for. The situation is inherently dire if you have already been convicted of a DUI, but knowing what to expect could be an advantage.

Surprisingly, a third DUI conviction is still a misdemeanor under California law. It is the third violation of the same offense, which makes you a habitual traffic offender. That means the consequences are going to be severe. The penalties are steeper than those for previous DUI convictions, so you must consult with an attorney immediately if you’re arrested for one.

A skilled attorney from a reputable law firm like Rebecca Feigelson Law may be able to provide the necessary information and advice to assist you with your case. However, before you get to that point, you should know a few things about third DUI California laws.

What is a Third DUI Offense in California?

A 3rd DUI is a “third or subsequent” DUI. A 3rd DUI conviction is a misdemeanor under California law and will result in a three-year license revocation. Developing a solid attorney-client relationship with a local office can provide insight into California’s DUI laws as you navigate all of your DUI offenses.

What Is the Punishment for a 3rd DUI in California?

California has strict DUI laws that apply when you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. A person can also receive DUI charges for being under the influence of drugs, prescription, or over-the-counter medication. It means they have consumed substances sufficiently to impair their driving ability.

In addition to a three-year license suspension, a third DUI in California receives any combination of the following punishments.

  • Probation for three to five years
  • Fines of $2,500 to $3,000
  • DUI School for 30 months
  • Mandatory jail time of 120 days to 1 year
  • House arrest
  • Ignition interlock device

Seeking a DUI lawyer who offers a free consultation can be the first step in fighting a DUI arrest. Criminal defense lawyers with experience fighting DUI charges may be able to help you avoid some of the harsher penalties, like the mandatory jail sentence.

What Is the Punishment for a 3rd DUI in California After 10 Years?

After ten years, the punishment for 3rd DUI in California will depend on various factors. These factors include the driver’s driving history, the severity of the current DUI offense, and whether or not there were any aggravating circumstances surrounding the incident.

Generally, a 3rd DUI offense will result in a minimum sentence of 6 months up to 1 year in county jail. The more serious crimes may result in 2-3 years or more. In addition to jail time, drivers may be required to install an ignition interlock device as part of their sentence. 


What Is the Punishment for a 3rd DUI in California While on Probation?

Punishment consists of a minimum of three years in jail and a maximum of ten years in state prison.

Is Jail Time Mandatory for a 3rd DUI in California?

In California, the law is that jail time is mandatory for a 3RD DUI. The law states that a person convicted of DUI must serve a minimum of 96 hours in jail for the first conviction, 120 days for the second conviction, and 240 days for the third conviction.


How Can You Avoid Jail Time for a 3rd DUI in California?

The first step to avoiding jail time is to avoid driving drunk. Plus, you can attend DUI programs bay area. That may have been a stipulation imposed by the court for prior DUI convictions.

Here are some other steps that you can take:

  1. Contact an attorney.
  2. Do not plead guilty without consulting an attorney first.
  3. Get a second breathalyzer test.

Getting an initial breathalyzer at the police station or other approved location is a good idea before your arrest. Get another one after you are arrested to show that your blood alcohol content has not changed significantly and is below the legal limit of 0.08%.

In California, the law requires drivers arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) to undergo a breathalyzer test. The penalties for refusing a third DUI breathalyzer test may include a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, jail time, and fines.

How Can You Beat a 3rd DUI in California?

California DUI-third offenders may avoid jail time by performing public work, completing a live-in drug treatment program, a work-furlough program, or being under house arrest.

To beat a DUI-3rd charge, you can try to get the case reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed entirely. Common DUI defenses include:

  • Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop

  • Field sobriety tests were incorrectly administered

  • Breathalyzer was defective

  • Inaccurate breathalyzer results due to acid reflux or dental work

  • Contaminated blood test

An experienced DUI attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction of charges to “wet reckless” or another traffic offense.

When you need to beat a third DUI offense in California, you may feel more comfortable with the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. Learn more About Rebecca Feigelson Law and consider contacting her for a free consultation.

What Are 3rd DUI Procedures in California?

The law in California is tough on drunk drivers. You will be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content is over 0.08%. If you are driving under the influence of drugs, the legal limit is 0.01%. If you refuse to take a chemical test, that can result in an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license.

There are also consequences for refusing to take a chemical test. The first consequence is that your driver’s license will be suspended for one year from the date of the refusal or until you meet certain conditions specified by the court and/or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The second consequence is that your vehicle may be impounded for 30 days or until a licensed tow company releases it.

Can a Skilled Lawyer Help You With a Third DUI?

A skilled lawyer can significantly help you navigate the complexities of a third DUI case, especially one in California. Legal representation is essential due to the stringent penalties associated with DUI offenses. A competent lawyer can offer the following benefits:

  • Expertise: Familiarity with the intricacies of DUI legislation and court proceedings, which can be vital in formulating a solid defense strategy.
  • Negotiating Plea Deals: A skilled DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea deal, reducing your charge to a lesser crime such as reckless driving, which carries lighter penalties.
  • Questioning the Evidence: Experienced lawyers can examine the validity of the evidence against you, such as the results of a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests.
  • Representation in DMV Hearings: Besides the criminal case, a DUI also affects your driving privileges. An experienced DUI attorney can represent you in DMV hearings, helping you retain or regain your license.
  • Guidance Through the Legal Process: A lawyer can guide you through the legal process, explaining the charges, potential consequences, and available options. You can make informed decisions with their help.

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney for Help

Facing a third DUI charge in California is a serious matter, with potential consequences affecting your freedom, criminal record, and driving privileges. An experienced DUI attorney can help you navigate through the legal process and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

If you are facing a third DUI charge, contact Rebecca Feigelson Law for a consultation. You don’t have to face this alone. Be proactive and seek professional help today. With the right resources and guidance, you can overcome this difficult situation and move forward.

Remember, driving under the influence is not only dangerous but also has severe consequences in the state of California. Avoiding jail time for a third DUI is possible, but it requires taking the appropriate steps and seeking the right help. Take action now and protect your future.