How can I avoid jail for my third DUI?
When you’re charged with a third time DUI, it’s possible that you will be facing some jail time. Depending upon the court and the factors surrounding your case, jail time may range from 120 days to a year in county jail.
However, by having a criminal defense attorney on your side it’s possible to not only reduce jail time but to instead opt for probation, house-arrest, a work furlough program, an alcohol/drug treatment program, or even a complete case dismissal.
Some common DUI defenses your attorney might argue include the following:
- The officer was without reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop.
- There was no probable cause when conducting the arrest.
- The breathalyzer was defective or the officer(s) didn’t administer the standardized field sobriety tests properly.
- The defendant had recent dental treatment, causing alcohol to remain in dental pits or cavities leading to an inaccurate reading.
- A certain medical episode that the officer misinterpreted as intoxication.
- Medical conditions such as acid reflux or GERD, causing the breathalyzer to give out a misreading.
- If blood samples were taken, they could have been contaminated.
- The people in charge of conducting the breathalyzer test had expired certifications.
These are all defenses that an experienced criminal defense attorney can employ. Combined with negotiating other forms of punishments/penalities–such as house-arrest, probation, attending AA or NA meetings, paying certain fees, having an interlock device in the vehicle–it’s possible to avoid jail time altogether.
In addition to DUI defenses that can result in a case dismissal, it’s also possible for an experienced criminal defense attorney to get a third time DUI reduced to a lesser charge. Some lesser chargers include:
- Wet Reckless: As part of a plea agreement, the defendant pleads guilty or no contest resulting in the more serious DUI charge being dropped to a wet reckless charge. Not only may this eliminate jail time altogether, but can also reduce other penalties such as smaller fines and probation.
- Dry Reckless: In this case, the defendant agrees to be charged with reckless driving versus a DUI. In addition to avoiding a mandatory driver’s license suspension, this charge can result in less/no jail time, a shorter probation period, and smaller fines.
- Exhibition of Speed or “Speed Ex”: This charge occurs when a driver is speeding to levels that are considered very dangerous. Although not always directly linked to DUIs, prosecutors in California often see it as a common DUI charge reduction. The charge carries far less jail time (with 90 days being the max) and much smaller fees than DUI charges.
If you’re facing a charge for a third DUI then your best bet is to consult a California criminal defense attorney. They will work with you to get the right representation you need to reduce charges and possibly dismiss the case altogether.