Third DUI in San Diego
If you have found your way to this page, it’s likely because you are facing your third DUI conviction. As such, you are likely somewhat familiar with the DUI Process. However, as you know with each conviction, the penalties can become more and more severe. This article is intended to: (1) provide you with a recap of the general DUI process; (2) discuss the license suspension you will be facing; (3) discuss the criminal penalties you will be facing; and (4) discuss the benefit of having legal representation throughout the DUI process.
As a side note, we want you to know that we understand that facing any DUI charge can be overwhelming; facing your third might even be somewhat embarrassing. We hope you will take some comfort in realizing that you are not alone. We have dealt with many clients who were facing their third or even fourth DUI conviction. At the San Diego DUI Attorney, no matter your situation, we will treat your case with the attention it deserves and you with the respect you deserve.
Further, keep in mind that is impossible to inform you of exactly how your case will play out, and what penalties you will receive if you are convicted of a third DUI. As you likely know, the penalties for a DUI will vary on a case by case basis and depend on a number of mitigating and aggravating factors. However we can, based on years of experience, inform you of what typically occurs after a third DUI arrest.
Overview of the DUI Process
While you likely remember much of the DUI process, it’s important to recap some of the basics.
When you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and you will be given a pink form that serves as your 30-day temporary license. The officer will also report your BAC to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). From the time of your arrest, you will have 10 days (including weekends) to contact the DMV and request an Administrative Hearing. If you do not request a hearing, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended once your temporary license expires. If you do request a Hearing you, and/or your attorney will be able to challenge the suspension of your license. Further, your license will not be suspended until the Hearing comes to an end (this will typically be after the 30-day temporary license would expire).
As hinted at above, you are permitted to have an attorney represent you at the DMV Hearing. We highly recommend hiring an experienced attorney to represent you at the Hearing. Doing so will increase your chances of having your license suspension set aside and will provide your attorney with an opportunity to question the arresting officer and begin to build your criminal defense.
After the DMV Hearing, the criminal proceedings will commence. To prove the charges against you, the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. If the prosecution fails to do so, you will be acquitted. If the prosecution does prove its case, the jury will return a guilty verdict, and the case will proceed to sentencing. As you may recall, the judge will have much discretion in issuing your sentence. At sentencing your attorney will be able to present any mitigating factors that might result in a reduced sentence. Once a sentence is issued, the case will come to a close.
The DMV Hearing
If you do request a DMV Hearing, which is highly recommended, we advise you to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will know what arguments to make on your behalf at the Hearing. The questions that will be addressed at the Hearing are as follows:
- Was there reasonable suspicion for the arresting officer to conduct a traffic stop?
- Was there probable cause for the arresting officer to make an arrest for driving under the influence?
- Was your blood alcohol content (BAC) .08% or higher?
- How many times within the last 10 years have you been convicted of a DUI or a related offense?
Once these questions have been addressed, and your attorney has been able to present arguments on your behalf, the Administrative Judge will issue their decision. The decision will either be to set aside your license suspension until the criminal case against you is resolved, or to initiate the automatic three (3) year suspension of your driver’s license. Keep in mind that the DMV Hearing is not completely determinative as far as what happens with your license. If the Administrative Judge does not suspend your license, it will still be suspended if you are later convicted at trial. Similarly, if your license is suspended by the Administrative Judge, but you are later acquitted, you can challenge the suspension.
As in any criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proving each element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. In proving a Third Offense DUI, the prosecution must prove the following:
- You were operating a motor vehicle;
- While operating the vehicle, you also:
- Were under the influence of alcohol;
- Had a BAC of .08% or higher;
- Were under the influence of a drug other than alcohol;
- Were addicted to a drug other than alcohol.
- Within the last ten (10) years, you had two (2) convictions for driving under the influence, or a related offense.
If these elements are proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will return a guilty verdict, and you will be convicted of a Third Offense DUI. As noted above, the case will then proceed to sentencing. At sentencing your attorney will still be able to argue that you should receive a reduced punishment.
Possible Penalties for a Third Offense DUI
The list below is not intended to serve as a complete list of the potential penalties for a Third Offense DUI. The judge will have wide discretion in determining your sentence. However, some of the more common penalties include:
- A monetary fine between $2,500 and $3,000;
- A period of incarceration between 120 days and one (1) year;
- Required completion of a DUI education class;
- A probationary period between three (3) and five (5) years;
- Commission of any crime, or driving with any amount of alcohol will violate the terms of your probation.
- You may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle;
- You may have to contribute to the state’s Victim Restitution Fund;
While these are some of the standard penalties for a Third Offense DUI, as with any DUI conviction, a number of factors could enhance the penalty. Some of these include:
- Causing injury or death;
- Driving recklessly or at excessive speeds;
- Causing property damage;
- Refusing to submit to a breath or blood test;
- Having a BAC of .15% or higher;
- Driving with a passenger under the age of 14.
Each of these factors will carry different weight, and the resulting penalty will vary based on the severity. In light of how serious these penalties can be, it’s extremely important to have an attorney representing you at each stage of your case. The lawyers at the San Diego DUI Attorney have decades of experience defending DUI cases throughout San Diego County. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call us today for your FREE consultation.
How the lawyers at the San Diego DUI Attorney will defend your case.
As you may know, DUI’s can be brought as either a misdemeanor or felony. How it will be charged will depend on the specifics of your case and the presence of any aggravating factors. If this is your third DUI incident keep in mind that if your are ever convicted of a fourth DUI, within a ten year period, you will automatically be charged with a felony DUI. No matter what number offense you are facing, it is extremely important to do everything in your power to avoid a felony conviction. Our attorneys have experience dealing with the District Attorneys in San Diego County, and have had much success in helping our clients avoid felony charges.
Although a third DUI charge will bring about increased penalties, a skilled and experienced private attorney can build a strong defense on your behalf. The following demonstrate some of the possible defenses your private attorney may decide to utilize:
Failure to Read Miranda Rights
If you were interrogated by the police after your DUI arrest, you should have been read your Miranda Rights. If you were not, any of your responses should not be admissible against you.
Lack of Reasonable Suspicion / Probable Cause
In order to administer you a DUI test, the police must have had reasonable suspicion that you were under the influence of alcohol. If they cannot point to facts indicating you seemed to be intoxicated, we may be able to suppress your breath or blood test.
Further, the police must have had reasonable suspicion to initially stop your vehicle. If you were obeying all traffic laws when you were stopped, we may be able to suppress all evidence obtained after the stop.
Rising Blood Alcohol
If you consumed alcohol immediately before you were arrested, you BAC may have actually been higher at the time it was tested, then at the time you were driving. As such, the test would not accurately reflect you BAC while you were driving.
False Positive Readings
Many factors can lead to an inaccurate breath or blood test result. Often times, a person’s diet or a health condition can cause a false-positive breath test reading. Our attorneys know what to look for in determining whether to challenge the results of your DUI test.
Illegal DUI Checkpoint
California Law mandated that DUI Checkpoints be set up according to certain procedures. If you were arrested at a DUI Checkpoint, it’s important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with these procedures. Even if you were found to be intoxicated, if the Checkpoint was illegal, you will have a valid defense.
The penalties and punishments for a third time DUI in California will vary depending on the circumstances of your case, and the available defenses.
Even if you are convicted of a third time DUI in California, you still may be able to have it erased from your permanent. The legal term for doing so is called an “expungement”. This is only an option after you have successfully completed probation. If you have successfully completed probation, our attorneys can file a petition with the court for a DUI expungement. A judge will review your petition and may decide to grant the expungement. If you are granted a DUI expungement, you can withdraw your plea of no contest or guilty and enter a new plea of not guilty. Once the not guilty pea is entered, your case can be dismissed.
Contact the San Diego DUI Attorney today for your FREE DUI Consultation
When faced with a DUI for the third time, it’s crucial to avoid a felony conviction. An experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney, with expert knowledge of DUI cases, will help you navigate the legal system and ensure the best possible outcome.
An experienced DUI attorney can collect evidence and create a defense for your case. This could involve getting discovery for your case and/or subpoenaing witnesses that will support you. A skilled attorney can gather evidence to weaken the states case against you.
Our attorneys can also help you negotiate a deal with the DA (district attorney). Some of the negotiations could involve reducing your case to a wet or dry reckless which hold much lighter consequences. We have helped thousand of people bargain their cases to lesser charges.
San Diego DUI Attorney specializes in DUI and criminal defense law, serving clients in San Diego, Vista, El Cajon, Oceanside, Chula Vista, Orange County and other San Diego County communities.
Contact our office today at 619-535-7150 for a FREE DUI consultation