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Can I be Charged With a Felony for My Third DUI?

Can I be Charged With a Felony for My Third DUI?

Facing a third-time DUI in California can result in serious ramifications, including a three-year license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, and up to a year in jail. In California, a third DUI is a misdemeanor, but there are certain factors that may lead to felony charges. Most likely you will be charged with a misdemeanor so as long your driving didn’t hurt/kill another driver, passenger, citizen, etc. 

The usual ramifications following a third time DUI includes: 

  • 120 days to a year in county jail.
  • $2,500 to $3,000 in fines as well as penalty assessments. 
  • A 30-month DUI education program administered/approved by the court.

While this is what you can expect following a third-time DUI, an attorney can help you navigate this process and you may receive a lighter sentence and even avoid jail time altogether. For example, it’s possible to undergo probation in lieu of jail time and even continue driving. Some unique programs and penalties that will allow you to avoid/reduce jail time and resume driving include:

  • Ignition interlock device (IID) for 2 years: The DMV typically allows defendants to resume driving right away as long as they’re using an IID. An IID is a type of breathalyzer device that measures the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath. If the amount is above a certain threshold then their vehicle won’t start. 
  • Attend certain meetings: By agreeing to attend meetings/programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) you may qualify for probation. 

However, there are also certain factors that can make DUI penalties harsher and may even disqualify you from receiving probation in lieu of jail time. These factors may include: 

  • In most counties, having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of or higher than 0.15%. 
  • Refusing to undergo a chemical test. 
  • Your DUI led to an accident. 
  • Having children that are under the age of 14 present in the vehicle. 
  • Being under the legal drinking age (21) at the time of the incident. 
  • Excessive speeding or breaking other traffic laws in addition to driving under the influence. 

Additionally, since it’s a third DUI, the incident carries harsher penalties than the first or second offense and the judge is less likely to be lenient. That’s why having a criminal defense attorney on your side can make a difference. If you are in the state of California reach out to us at the H Law Group. We will work with you to ensure you get the right legal representation. 

H Law Group Online

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