third dui jail time california

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal charge that applies when a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs (including prescription medication) and alcohol.

A third DUI offense in California occurs when a person operating a motor vehicle has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08% and they have already been convicted of two separate DUIs in the past ten years. 

The First and Second DUIs

The penalties applicable to a first-time misdemeanor DUI will vary according to your specific circumstances. In general, you can expect:

  • – Summary probation for five years;
  • – A fine starting at $1,000;
  • – Potential jail time of up to six months;
  • – Participation in a first offender drug and alcohol program ranging from 3-9 months; and
  • – Possible requirement to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your automobile for a period of approximately five months 

A second DUI occurs when you have a second DUI conviction within ten years of the prior DUI. After the first DUI, the penalties begin the increase. These may include:

  • – Up to ten years of probation;
  • – A fine of approximately $2,000;
  • – 96 hours to one year in county jail;
  • – Second-time DUI school for approximately 18 months (once per week for a year and a half); and
  • – A one-year license suspension from the date of the arrest. 

Note that you may apply for a restricted license if you install an IID in your automobile. A restricted license lets you drive to and from work and run necessary errands.

Your 3rd DUI in California

A third DUI offense in California occurs when you have a third DUI conviction within ten years of two prior DUIs. Penalties substantially increase. These may include:

  • – Up to five years of supervised probation;
  • – A fine upwards of $3,000.
  • – 120 days to one year in jail;
  • – Third-time DUI school for approximately 30 months; and
  • – A three-year license suspension—however, you may apply for a restricted license after 18 months if you install an IID in your automobile.

In addition, your automobile insurance can go up thousands of dollars after your license is reinstated. If your DUI is charged as a felony, your automobile is subject to forfeiture. 

Note that the penalties for a felony DUI are more severe. A felony DUI occurs when the intoxicated driver (1) injures or kills a third party, (2) has a prior felony DUI, or (3) receives their fourth DUI.

Alternatives to Jail After a Third DUI

How to avoid jail after 3rd DUI in California may involve convincing a judge to approve one of several alternative punishments.

While a 2nd or 3rd DUI offense in California carries a mandatory jail sentence, judges in California have the discretion to substitute house arrest, work release, or rehab for jail time. 

However, convincing a judge to substitute alternative sentences in place of jail time is not always easy. Don’t go it alone.

An experienced lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf and present a compelling case before the judge.    

Can I Fight My DUI Charges?

If you are facing charges for a 3rd DUI offense in California, you may be able to reduce them to a lesser offense or potentially have them dismissed outright. Common DUI defenses include:

  • – Officer lacked reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop;
  • – Officer lacked probable cause to arrest you for DUI;
  • – Officer improperly administered the field sobriety test;
  • – You suffered a medical episode misidentified as intoxication;
  • – You had a contaminated blood sample; and
  • – The breathalyzer device was defective.

Experienced in Fighting DUI Charges   

How to avoid jail after a third DUI in California will vary based on your case. You risk your future going it alone in court. Attorney Mark Greany has over 20 years of experience successfully resolving cases involving DUI offenses.

He will work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, no matter where you stand. Contact the Law Office of Mark Greany for a free consultation today.

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Mark Greany

Mark Greany has been practicing law since 1995 and is the founding partner of the Law Office of Mark Greany. You can learn more about Mark and his accomplishments by clicking here.

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