What to Expect if Convicted a Third Time for DUI in California

3d dwi

In California, as in all states, as a repeat offender you can expect significantly increased penalties on a DUI (driving under the influence) charge. If you are convicted a third time for drinking and driving, the penalties can include:

  • A jail term of four months to a year, although alternatives to a jail sentence may be possible under certain circumstances
  • The suspension of your driving privileges for as long as 10 years
  • Mandatory participation in an alcohol program, for a period of not less than 18 months
  • Fines of up to $2,500
  • Potential community service requirements

The best outcome with a third DUI involves dismissal of the charges. It’s not uncommon for police officers to violate your constitutional rights before or during a traffic stop. For example, they may pull you over without probable cause, or they may fail to advise you of your rights. In addition, field sobriety and blood alcohol tests may be improperly administered.

Even though California law seems to require a minimum 120 day jail term if convicted on a third DUI, the presiding judge has some discretion with respect to sentencing. Some of the diversionary programs that repeat DUI offenders have participated in include:

  • A 30 month alcohol rehab program with a corresponding community service requirement
  • House arrest
  • Contact a criminal defense attorney