A third DUI offense in San Jose, California, is a serious matter with major consequences, but you don’t have to go through it alone, as our DUI defense lawyers can give you the support you need.
If facing a third DUI charge, you need experienced legal representation to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. At Summit Defense, our compassionate and skilled San Jose DUI lawyers are here to help.
We aim to provide you with the information you need to decide what is in your best interests. We will review possible defenses, aggravating and mitigating factors, and the consequences with you. Every step of the way, our criminal defense attorney in San Jose will provide you with the care, compassion, and emotional support you need while fighting for your legal rights.
Learn more below, and reach out to us to schedule a consultation.
Experienced Representation From a Skilled San Jose Third Offense DUI Lawyer
Facing a third DUI offense can be daunting, but having a skilled and experienced San Jose DUI lawyer on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
At Summit Defense, we understand the complexities of DUI law and the challenges associated with multiple DUI convictions. Our dedicated San Jose DUI attorneys will tirelessly build a strong defense and fight for your rights. Rely on our criminal defense law firm to help you.
What You Need To Know About a Third-Offense DUI
A third DUI offense in California is defined as a third DUI conviction within ten years of the previous two convictions. The penalties for a third DUI are more severe than those for a first or second offense, and the stakes are even higher. Understanding the potential penalties and possible defenses available to you following San Jose DUI arrests is crucial, and our team is here to assist you.
Challenging the First Two Prior DUI Convictions
In some cases, it may be possible to challenge the validity of the first two DUI convictions, which can affect the penalties associated with a third offense. An experienced DUI attorney can review the circumstances of your previous convictions and identify any procedural errors or legal issues that could be grounds for challenging those convictions.
For example, there may be some date when the clock begins ticking after a previous DUI case or conviction. Or, one of the previous convictions should have been expunged, which changes the eligible penalties in your current case. When you partner with our criminal defense firm, we will exhaust all options and resources to defend your rights.
Comparing First Time, Second Time, and Third Time DUI
The penalties for DUI offenses in California increase with each subsequent conviction. While first and second DUI offenses are typically charged as misdemeanors, a third DUI offense within ten years is considered a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of your case.
In addition, the potential fines, mandatory jail time, and possible license suspensions increase. You might be required to attend a longer San Jose DUI school, and you will likely be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID).
You may sometimes be eligible for a restricted license after a certain time. A restricted license can make it easier for you to go to work or school, but you may have to wait longer for a restricted license after getting convicted of a third DUI within ten years.
Consequences of a Third Offense DUI
The penalties for a third DUI conviction in California can be severe, including:
- Jail time: A minimum of 120 days and up to one year in jail for a misdemeanor, but they can be higher if your third DUI is charged as a felony.
- Fines: A maximum of $1,800, although additional penalties may apply.
- License suspension: A three-year driver’s license suspension.
- DUI education program: You may be required to complete a longer DUI education program.
- Ignition interlock device: Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for up to two years.
These are just a few examples of the potential penalties involved. You may also be required to remain on probation for multiple years, but with our knowledgeable, supportive team behind you, we can protect your rights against your criminal charges.
Aggravating Factors Can Increase the Standard Penalties of Third Offense DUI
Certain aggravating factors can increase the penalties for a third DUI offense, such as:
- An exorbitantly high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or higher.
- Refusing to comply with a chemical test.
- DUI that results in a serious accident or major injury.
- Having a child under 14 years old in the vehicle.
- Driving at an unusually high rate of speed.
We can review your case with you to see if any of these aggravating factors may play a role. Just as we will review the other evidence in your case, we can get some of these aggravating factors reduced as well. We will combine our legal knowledge with the support you need to help you get through this difficult time.
The Alternative Third Offense DUI Sentencing Options in San Jose, CA
In some cases, alternative sentencing options may be available for a third DUI offense. This means you can serve your sentence somewhere other than the local jail, providing a more comfortable and relaxed situation. A few sample options could include:
- House arrest or electronic monitoring;
- Performing community service;
- Attending residential alcohol or drug treatment programs; and
- Engaging in work furlough programs.
An experienced San Jose DUI attorney can help you explore these alternative sentencing options and advocate for the best possible outcome in your case.
Your Legal Defenses to 3rd Offense DUI
An experienced San Jose DUI attorney can develop a strong defense strategy for your third DUI charge. Some possible defenses include the following:
The Physical Symptoms of Drunk Driving Do Not Necessarily Imply That You Were Intoxicated
Your attorney may argue that physical symptoms, such as slurred speech or unsteady gait, could be attributed to factors other than alcohol or drug impairment. This defense can help doubt the prosecution’s claim that you were intoxicated while driving. We may be able to argue that a chronic medical condition or simple fatigue contributed to your appearance during the traffic stop.
The BAC Test Was Not Accurate
Errors in administering or interpreting breath, blood, or urine tests can result in false positives or improper BAC readings. Your lawyer may challenge the accuracy of the test results, arguing that they are unreliable or not legally admissible.
For example, there may be an issue with how the test was administered, how the sample was stored, or how the machines were maintained. We can dismiss your case if any of these issues are legitimate concerns.
The Arresting Officer Failed To Follow All the California Regulations on BAC Testing
You have rights when you are pulled over, and the police officers must respect them. If the police officers did not respect your rights, or if they did not have probable cause to pull you over, we can argue that the traffic stop itself never should have taken place. We may be able to get your case dismissed.
You Were Not Intoxicated Because You Were Mentally Alert
Your lawyer may argue that your mental alertness during the arrest contradicts the prosecution’s claim that you were intoxicated. This defense requires demonstrating that you could perform cognitive tasks that would be difficult for an impaired person to complete.
We will examine all the evidence available to see if this is a strong defense we can put forth on your behalf.
How an Attorney Can Help Fight a Third Offense DUI
Hiring an experienced San Jose DUI attorney is crucial when facing a third DUI offense. A skilled lawyer can:
- Look at the evidence against you and identify any weaknesses or inaccuracies.
- Put forth a strong defense strategy customized to your specific case.
- Represent you in court, argue your case, and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf.
- Help you navigate the CA legal process and protect your rights.
At Summit Defense, we are also here to provide you with the care and support you need, so reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.
Schedule an Initial Consultation With Our San Jose Third Offense DUI Lawyers at Summit Defense Today
At Summit Defense, our San Jose DUI lawyers understand the significant challenges of a third DUI charge. However, you do not have to face this charge alone, and we will provide you with the legal and emotional support you need during this time. We are dedicated to providing compassionate, aggressive representation to help you navigate the legal process and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
We will always start by investigating your case to see if there are any weaknesses or evidence we can get thrown out following a misdemeanor or felony DUI arrest. We will also assist you outside the courtroom, walking you through possible administrative hearings while ensuring you get your license back as soon as possible.
Every step of the way, we are there to support you in any way we can. If you are facing a third DUI charge, we are here to represent you. Call Summit Defense today to schedule a case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most common questions people ask about facing a third DUI charge in San Jose include the following:
Do I Lose My License if I am Convicted Of a Third Offense DUI?
If you are convicted of a third DUI offense in California, your driver’s license will likely be suspended. However, you may be eligible for a restricted license after serving a mandatory suspension period. You must also meet other requirements, such as installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
If I am Convicted of a Third Offense DUI, Will I Have a Permanent Criminal Record?
A third DUI offense conviction in California will result in a permanent criminal record. In some cases, expunging the conviction after completing probation and meeting all requirements may be possible. A trained DUI attorney can help you explore your options for expungement.
If I Am Arrested for a Third DUI Within the Probation Period of a Prior DUI, What Will Happen?
You may face added penalties if you are arrested for a third DUI offense while still on probation for previous DUI charges. These could include a longer license suspension, hefty fines, and a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
Our experienced San Jose DUI attorney at Summit Defense is critical to help you navigate your case’s complexities and fight for the best possible outcome. Remember that you may also face penalties for violating the terms of your probation, which could increase a possible jail sentence. This is another reason you must contact our criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation immediately.