Subscribe to LexTalk to stay on top of today’s legal issue and trends.
Catapult Your Career |
Industry Insights & Trends |
Product Training & Tips
In California, the statutory penalties imposed on DUI convictions substantially increase based on the number of prior DUI convictions the defendant has on his or her criminal record. The penalties for a third time DUI conviction can be very steep and anyone who has been charged with a DUI and who has two prior convictions within the previous ten years should speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney right away.
A DUI is considered a third time DUI when the defendant has two convictions for driving under the influence pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 or wet reckless in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5 within the previous ten years. If the defendant has DUI convictions from beyond the 10 year “lookback” period, these would not count as prior convictions for the purposes of certain mandatory penalties. However, the court may be aware of old convictions and may ultimately impose additional penalties because of the defendant’s criminal history.
Judges and prosecutors do not treat third time DUI offenders lightly as there is a strong indication that these defendants are either unwilling or unable to refrain from drinking and driving. Judges may impose a high bail on defendants who have been charged with a third DUI or could require onerous conditions of release if the defendant is out of custody. If the defendant was already on probation for a prior DUI when charged with the third DUI, the judge can revoke probation and order that the defendant be held without bail while the matter is pending.
A person who is convicted of a third time DUI offense faces a statutory minimum of 120 days in jail. In addition, the defendant may be required to complete the 30-month alcohol education program and could be sentenced to probation for a period of five years. The defendant may also be required to complete community service or community labor hours, pay extensive court fines and abide by any other condition of probation that a judge chooses to impose.
In some circumstances, the judge and prosecutor may agree to allow the defendant to complete the “30 30 program.” This program reduces the amount of time in jail to 30 days, however the defendant would be expected to complete the 30 month alcohol education class upon release and also wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet for a period of 30 months while on probation.
If convicted in court for a third time DUI, the defendant would have his or her driving privileges suspended for a full three years. However, the driver may be eligible for a restricted license after 180 days if he or she did not refuse testing or was not on DUI probation at the time of the third offense. Someone who has been convicted of a third time DUI offense can earn the designation of a habitual traffic offender from the Department of Motor Vehicles. This designation adds mandatory jail time and costly fines for defendants convicted of violating certain driving offenses.