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What are the penalties for a 3rd DUI arrest in 10 years?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense, DUI

Facing an arrest for your third DUI in 10 years can be very discouraging. You must be worried about the possibility of serving a longer time in jail, not being able to provide for your family’s needs and being away from your loved ones.

Navigating a third DUI

A third DUI within a decade in California yields penalties that are more severe than the punishments for the first and second offenses. Here are the penalties for third DUI offenders within a 10-year period:

  • A longer prison sentence, which could range from 120 days to one year
  • License suspension for three years
  • Fines worth a maximum of $3000
  • Probation for a maximum of five years
  • Requirement to attend DUI school for 30 months
  • Mandatory installation of the ignition interlock device

California law considers a third DUI offense in a decade a misdemeanor. However, if there is a fourth conviction within the same 10-year period, it is a felony. A DUI offense also becomes a felony when it injures or kills a person, there’s a minor in the vehicle or the offender has a previous DUI felony.

Social impacts of multiple DUI offenses

The said penalties cause harsh social impacts to those convicted of multiple DUI offenses. Some experience relationship difficulties with family and loved ones while others are unable to work because of their loss of license.

In addition, a worsening criminal record affects the chances of job hunters. It also becomes among the deciding factors in cases involving divorce, child custody and the granting of a green card or citizenship to immigrants.

An arrest isn’t a conviction

Seeking legal counsel will help you fortify a strong defense against the criminal accusation because an arrest doesn’t lead to an automatic conviction. An experienced attorney will make you realize that you have the right to challenge the evidence.

You can question the sobriety test methods and results. You may also bring up irregularities related to the arrest as you aim to protect your record from getting another conviction.