You may face more severe DUI punishments if you have 2 prior DUIs and have been arrested for a third offense. The attorneys at the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm have nearly three decades of experience handling DUI cases and can help you avoid jail time or a felony conviction. Our firm specializes in DUI and criminal defense representation. If you are in need of representation, we offer a FREE DUI consultation, where we will assess your case and provide you with your options on how to proceed with your case.

Punishments for a 3rd DUI in California

After a third DUI arrest, you will be subject to a DMV hearing and a criminal court hearing. The DMV hearing will concentrate on the circumstances of your 3rd DUI offense, where it will determine if your driver’s license will be suspended or not. The DMV hearing and criminal hearing are two separate processes and will have no impact on each other. Thus, it is imperative to realize what penalties each hearing can result in.

DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION: If you have a BAC of .08% or higher when you are stopped by the police, you may face an immediate driver’s license suspension under the Administrative Per Se (APS) suspension law. You will be provided with a temporary license that is valid for 30 days, providing you with enough time to allow you to challenge your license suspension with the DMV. After the 30 days, your license suspension will be imposed and you will lose your driving privileges for 1 year.

If you were arrested for a 3rd DUI offense in California, you may receive two different driver’s license suspensions.

  • You may be subject to a 3-year driver’s license suspension if you are convicted of the DUI offense in addition to other penalties associated with a 3rd offense DUI conviction. If you are found to be innocent of the DUI charge against you, your driving privileges will not be suspended for any amount of time.
  • Also, you will go through a DMV hearing to determine if your license will be suspended or not. If the DMV suspends your license, it will be for a period of 1-year. However, if you have already been assigned a 3-year driver’s license suspension by the criminal court, you will not have to serve this additional 1-year suspension.

Defense Representation and 3rd DUI Offense

An experienced and knowledgeable private attorney may help increase your chances at avoiding the loss of your driving privileges. After your 3rd DUI arrest, an attorney from the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm will deliver these services:

  1. Request a DMV hearing within the 10-day time period after your arrest for you. In doing so, the DMV will set aside your license suspension until the hearing has concluded. The attorney can increase your chances at prevailing at the DMV hearing, and it can result in the dismissal of your 1-year license suspension. A public defender will not be available to represent you during this hearing. For this reason, hiring the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm can help you avoid the loss of your driving privileges.
  2. Our attorney will stand by your side and argue on your behalf during the criminal court proceedings. No matter if you prevail or not at the DMV hearing, you will be required to go through the criminal process of a DUI after your 3rd DUI offense. Hiring an attorney from the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm will ensure that you have a strong defense that will minimize the chances of you facing any suspensions and punishments associated with a 3rd DUI offense.

Acquiring a restricted license following a 3rd DUI

If you are convicted of a 3rd DUI offense and receive a 3-year license suspension, the California DMV allows you to apply for a restricted license after 18 months. The restricted driver’s license is only valid for use to and from school, work, and court mandated DUI/ Alcohol education classes or programs. If you have been ordered to complete one of these alcohol education programs, it is required that you complete 12 months of the program prior to applying for a restricted license in California. You may also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car to be issued a restricted license.

After your 3-year license suspension has concluded, the DMV allows you to apply for a restricted license or reinstate your full driving privileges if you file a “Safety Responsibility” form 22 (SR22). You may be required to maintain the SR22 form for 3 years with the DMV following the reinstatement of your driver’s license. The reinstatement of your driver’s license may require paying the DMV $125 and installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for a 1-year period.

In California, a 3rd DUI offense can carry many punishments, suspensions, and consequences. This process can be confusing and overwhelming, as well as extremely difficult to navigate alone. The experienced DUI attorneys at the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm will represent you in a diligent and aggressive manner in order to provide you with the best chances at avoiding the serious punishments associated with a 3rd DUI. Our law firm is proud to serve all clients within Orange County and neighboring communities.