There are two common misconceptions people tend to believe when they are charged with their third DUI within ten years. The first is that they will be found guilty since they already have two DUIs on their record. The second is that they know what to expect since they’ve already gone through the process. Both of these beliefs are incorrect, which is why you should call a skilled Vista DUI attorney as soon as you are accused of drunk driving, whether it is your first or third time.
Just because you have previous DUIs on your record doesn’t mean you are automatically guilty of a drunk driving charge. You are still allowed the same due process of law as any other person accused of a crime. Your Vista DUI lawyer can challenge the evidence against you to show that your rights were violated or that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove your guilt. Even if this is your third charge, you should never just accept your guilt without first speaking to an attorney.
Even if you plan to plead guilty, it is critical you work with a Vista DUI attorney who can help you minimize your sentence -particularly because the punishment for a third DUI is so serious. A third DUI can carry a sentence of up to a one year jail and you will be subject to a minimum mandatory 120 day jail term. If you are on probation, you also face jail time for violating probation. There are alternatives to jail such as house arrest that your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor and the court. Additionally, a third-time DUI conviction can result in a two year license suspension, massive fines, mandatory attendance in an alcohol education class and more. Additionally, you will be required to obtain SR-22 insurance and install an ignition interlock device for up to three years once your driving privileges are restored, meaning you’ll still end up paying a whole lot of money even after you’ve served out most of your sentence. If you are denied probation, you will also face an additional one year license suspension and be ineligible for any type of restricted license for the duration of your suspension.
Remember, having prior DUIs on your record is not a crime. You can fight your DUI. If you have been charged with drunk driving, please call Vista defense lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050.
Creative Commons Image by West Midlands Police