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Los Angeles Third Time DUI

Los Angeles Third Time DUI: What to Expect and How to Fight the Charges

Getting charged with a third DUI offense in Los Angeles can lead to serious consequences, including hefty fines, jail time, license suspension, and having a criminal record. But with the right legal defense, it may be possible to reduce the penalties or even get the charges dismissed. This article provides an overview of California’s laws on third time DUIs and strategies for fighting the charges.

California’s Laws on Third Time DUIs

Under California law, a third DUI conviction within 10 years is charged as a misdemeanor offense. The penalties include:

  • 3 to 5 years of informal probation
  • 120 days to 1 year in county jail
  • $2,500 to $3,000 in fines and penalties
  • Completion of a 30 month DUI program
  • 3 year license suspension

While these penalties seem harsh, a skilled DUI defense attorney can often get charges reduced or dismissed through plea bargaining or by challenging the evidence. There are also programs available, like work release and residential treatment, that allow you to avoid jail time.

Is a Third Time DUI a Felony in California?

A third time misdemeanor DUI within 10 years does not automatically become a felony in California. However, it can be charged as a felony if:

  • You have a prior felony DUI conviction on your record
  • The current DUI offense caused injury to another person

A felony DUI conviction carries a state prison sentence of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years. But an experienced DUI lawyer can often get felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor through negotiations with the prosecutor.

Can I Avoid Jail Time for a Third DUI in California?

Even though California law requires jail time for a third DUI offense within 10 years, there are ways to avoid serving time behind bars. Possible alternatives to jail include:

  • Residential alcohol treatment program
  • House arrest with electronic monitoring
  • Work furlough program
  • Community labor (CALTRANS)

An attorney can argue for one of these alternatives at your sentencing hearing. The judge has discretion to approve these options if they believe you are committed to rehabilitation and no longer pose a threat to public safety.

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Getting Your License Back After a Third DUI

After a third DUI conviction, the California DMV will revoke your license for 3 years. But you may be able to get restricted driving privileges earlier by installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.

An IID is a breathalyzer connected to your vehicle’s ignition system. You have to provide a clean breath sample before starting the engine. Random re-tests are required while driving. The IID tracks all breath samples and will log any failed tests.

To get an IID installed and get your license reinstated after a 3rd DUI, you must:

  • Complete 12 months of your license suspension
  • File an SR-22 insurance form
  • Pay a $55 reissue fee to the DMV
  • Provide proof of IID installation

You must keep the IID for the remaining 2 years of your revocation period. An experienced DUI lawyer can walk you through this process.

Can My Record Be Expunged After a Third DUI?

Unfortunately, California does not allow DUI convictions to be expunged from your criminal record. However, it may be possible to reduce a 3rd misdemeanor DUI to a wet reckless conviction. A wet reckless is still a serious offense, but it is less damaging to your criminal record than a third DUI.

To be eligible for a wet reckless plea bargain, your attorney will need to negotiate with the prosecutor and convince them it is in the interests of justice. They may agree if there are issues with the evidence or you have a compelling life story that shows you have learned from your mistakes.

Why You Need an Attorney for a Third DUI

Trying to navigate a third DUI charge without an experienced criminal defense attorney is extremely unwise. An attorney has the skills to thoroughly examine the evidence, identify any police mistakes or legal defenses, and negotiate effectively with the prosecutor for reduced charges or alternative sentencing.

They will also make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. This can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Don’t leave your fate to chance – consult a knowledgeable DUI lawyer before your arraignment.

At the Law Offices of Kyle Green, our attorneys offer strong and strategic legal representation for clients facing a third DUI charge in Los Angeles County. [1] We will carefully examine your case, explain your options, and fight relentlessly to help you achieve the best possible result. Call us today for a free consultation.

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