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DMV License Suspension: Third Offense in San Diego

Two prior convictions of driving under the influence (DUI) may result in significantly stronger penalties for a third offense. The lawyers at San Diego DUI Attorney have the experience and knowledge to help you avoid a jail time or a felony conviction. We specialize in DUI and criminal defense and offer a FREE initial consultation to discuss your options after a third DUI arrest.

Third DUI: Penalties under California law

Following a third arrest for driving under the influence in California (DUI), you will face a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing as well as a criminal court hearing. The California DMV hearing will focus on the details of your third DUI offense and will determine whether or not your driving privileges will be suspended. Your California DMV hearing and your court trial will operate independent of one another; and it is important to understand the specific penalties which may be applied after each of these processes is complete.

License suspension: If, at the time of your traffic stop, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registers as .08% or higher, your license may be suspended on the spot under the Administrative Per Se (APS) suspension law. You will be issued a 30-day temporary license in order to provide sufficient time to challenge the suspension through the DMV. The 1-year license suspension would begin after the 30-day period expires.

If you are arrested for your third DUI offense in California, you could receive two separate suspensions of your driver’s license.

  • A court conviction of driving under the influence will result in a 3-year suspension of your driver’s license, as well as any additional penalties associated with a conviction for this crime (see “Third DUI”). If you are found innocent of the charges, your license will not be suspended.
  • The California DMV will also hold a hearing on your license suspension. This may result in a 1-year suspension of driving privileges. However, this suspension will not be applied if you have already had driving privileges suspended for 3 years following your court case.

Third DUI and defense representation

An experienced, private criminal defense attorney can help you avoid both the one-year and the three-year license suspensions. After your arrest for a third DUI, an attorney at San Diego DUI Attorney will provide the following services.

  1. Request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. This will delay your license suspension until the hearing is complete. A successful defense at your hearing will avoid the 1-year license suspension. Since a public defender will not represent you at this hearing, a private attorney from San Diego DUI Attorney highly increases your odds of avoiding this license suspension.
  1. Support and represent you through the criminal court proceedings. Regardless of the outcome in the DMV hearing, a criminal court process will commence following your third arrest for DUI. Having an experienced defense attorney is your best strategy to minimize license suspensions and criminal penalties in your case.

Obtaining a restricted license after a third DUI

If you are convicted of a third California DUI offense and receive a 3-year license suspension, the California DMV will allow you to apply for a restricted license after eighteen months. This restricted driver’s license will allow you to drive to and from work, school and a court-ordered California DUI school. If the court has mandated that you attend an alcohol education program, you must complete at least 12 months of the program before you may apply for a restricted license. Installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle will also be required in order to receive a restricted license.

Following the completion of your 3-year license suspension, the California DMV will allow you to file for a restricted driver’s license or to fully reinstate your license by filing a “Safety Responsibility” form 22 (SR22). You may need to maintain the SR22 form with the California DMV for 3 years after your license privileges are reinstated. Reinstating your driver’s license with the DMV will cost $125 and you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for one year.

A third offense DUI in California carries many penalties, suspensions and possible consequences. Navigating the complex and often confusing process can be extremely difficult. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at San Diego DUI Attorney can represent you and will help you avoid the potential penalties following a third DUI arrest. Our dedicated law firm specializes in DUI and Criminal Defense Law, serving clients in San Diego, Vista, El Cajon, Oceanside, Chula Vista and other San Diego County communities.

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