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What Happens with a Third DUI Arrest?


Throughout California and especially in San Diego prosecutors and judges have become increasingly harsh in how they handle third time DUI offenders. A third DUI conviction with two prior DUI’s within 10 years requires a minimum of 120 days of custody with the Sheriff. A VC 23152 charge also involves DMV proceedings which determine whether your driver’s license will be suspended. You are required to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Failure to request a hearing will result in an automatic license suspension.

Third DUI Arrest in CA

Even before the possibility of a conviction the problems for a third time DUI offender can be serious. The constitutional protections of the criminal court system do not extend to your driver's license. Dealing with the DMV after a third DUI arrest can be difficult and serious. Without taking quick action with the DMV driver safety office anyone arrested for a third DUI offense will lose there license for several years.

Setting a hearing with the DMV on the driver's license suspension for DUI does not provide the same rights as a criminal proceeding. Hearing officers can introduce evidence with little objection. The burden of proof on the DMV to suspend a license is low and there is no Jury.

Defending Your DUI Case

Early preparation and investigation when facing a DUI charge are essential for a successful defense. DUI arrests involve many complex factors which require experience and skill in marshaling facts in your favor. The procedures that police officers should follow during DUI investigations are often ignored in violation of constitutional protections. Consulting with a San Diego DUI lawyer who knows how to defend serious DUI offenses is always a good first step.

If you have posted bail following your third DUI arrest you have the risk of having this bail amount increased in the future. Judges in San Diego take a third DUI quite seriously and often increase a defendant's bail by tens of thousands. The judge will consider the potential risk to the public and the specific risk the defendant creates while driving. In addition to a bail increase, the court can revoke driving privileges independent of any action taken by the DMV. The early consequences of a third DUI are serious and greatly impact your daily life. However, the final deal reached in these cases can vary greatly depending on how well the criminal attorney prepares the case. The skill of DUI lawyer depends on their commitment to relentlessly investigate every piece of evidence. Looking beyond the standard solutions and plea agreements to present every available defense to the charges.

Third Offense DUI Penalties in CA

If you have two prior DUI convictions within 10 years of your current arrest the prosecution can include these convictions as a sentence enhancement. The minimum sentence for a third DUI conviction includes significant custody with the Sheriff which can often be satisfied through public work service. You should discuss the option of striking a prior conviction with a DUI attorney. It may be possible to show to the court that a prior guilty plea or conviction was done in error with some constitutional right violated. This motion to strike a prior puts a large burden on the defense to show that the prior DUI deprived the defendant of a constitutional right. The defense can also allege that when the individual took a guilty plea they did so without understanding the actual consequences of their plea.

Third DUI Conviction Consequences

In addition to the jail time and public work service, a third DUI conviction will impose a three-year license suspension. Fines and probation fees also increase significantly over a second DUI. Defendants will register with the SAAU (Substance Abuse Assessment Unit) and attend MADD and multiple conviction program classes. The classes for third time DUI convictions can last up to 30 months. One option to get a restricted license is to petition the DMV after serving one year of the suspension. A restricted license will require installing an IID (ignition interlock device) and will only allow driving to and from work.

Search and Seizure Defense to DUI

It is always good practice for your lawyer to research the possibility of a 1538.5 motion to suppress evidence. The entire incident surrounding your arrest is subject to questioning by your attorney. The burden is on the prosecution to prove that law enforcement not only followed constitutional and state law but also their own police procedures. Established codes of conduct exist for all situations involving interaction with law enforcement. The way law enforcement conducts a DUI arrest must follow strict rules. The suppression motion brings certain failings or inconsistencies in the prosecution's evidence and requires the arresting officer(s) to testify under oath about the entire arrest.