Third-offense DUI charges are felonies that carry significant penalties and long-term repercussions. Third-offense DUI charges are prosecuted more vigorously than first and second offense charges in every way possible because they are perceived as the second time that a defendant has failed to learn their lesson about the seriousness of driving under the influence.
If you are facing a third-time DUI charge, you should seek the services of a seasoned DUI attorney right away. Call a Mecklenburg County third-offense DUI lawyer today and get started on your case.
Third-offense DUI defendants are perceived as threats to public safety. This is why the courts treat these cases very seriously.
A third-offense DUI is punishable between one to five years in prison, with a mandatory minimum jail term of 90 days. The maximum fine of a third-offense DUI is up to $2,500, with a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000. There is also a mandatory indefinite revocation of driving privileges upon conviction.
The difference in penalties for third-offense DUIs depends upon whether the third DUI happened within ten years of two prior DUIs, versus within five years of two prior DUIs. This distinction only affects the mandatory minimum jail time that must be imposed by the court’s sentence, which is 90 days for within ten-year third offenses and six months for within five-year third offenses. A defendant who is facing these penalties should contact a third-offense DUI lawyer in Mecklenburg County as soon as possible.
The only formal penalty enhancements for third-offense DUI charges is whether they occurred within five versus ten years of two prior DUI charges. However, informal aggravating factors which apply to third-offense cases include the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level, the amount of personal or property damage caused to particular victims, the danger flagrancy of the driving behavior observed, the driver’s compliance with lawful commands by police, whether the person was driving under a valid license at the time, and the actual severity of the prior sentences received for the preceding two DUI convictions.
After a third0offense DUI conviction, a person’s driver’s license or privilege to drive in Virginia is indefinitely revoked without exception. However, three years after the date of conviction, a person is eligible to petition the Circuit Court for a restricted license under certain conditions. And five years after the conviction date, a person is eligible to petition the Circuit Court for full license restoration under certain conditions.
When a person merely receives a third-offense DUI charge, their license will be administratively revoked without exception until the conclusion of their corresponding trial, or their successful petition to rescind the pretrial suspension by the trial court.
If a person is acquitted of a DUI, their license is no longer suspended or revoked and they can retrieve their former license either from the DMV or the appropriate court personnel who may be temporarily holding on to the person’s license depending on the length of the pretrial suspension in the case.
The defenses to third-offense DUI charges are the same as for first and second-offense DUI charges. The only difference is that there are additional elements of proof related to the nature and timing of the prior DUI convictions of the accused within either the five or ten-year period alleged. When building a defense, a third-offense DUI attorney in Mecklenburg County will want to know the details regarding the stop, the tests conducted, and any other evidence relevant to the case.
If you have been charged with your third DUI offense, you should reach out to an accomplished attorney immediately. A Mecklenburg County third-offense DUI lawyer could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable outcome to your case. Call today and set up your consultation