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Second and Third-Time Driving Under The Influence Offenses

If you have sustained a prior conviction or multiple prior convictions for driving under the influence within the last ten years (including “wet reckless” convictions within the state of California, or other driving under the influence convictions suffered outside of the state of California), you will be treated as a multiple offender and subject to enhanced penalties and fines throughout the criminal process, as well as administratively at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The administrative hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles is a completely separate and distinct proceeding from the criminal court case that is filed by the prosecuting agency.

Second and third-time driving under the influence offenses are taken very seriously and punished much more harshly than first-time driving under the influence cases. In a second or third-time DUI situation, you will face a maximum custody sentence of up to one year in county jail, base fines, fees and penalties totaling well over $2,000 in most instances, as well as a much longer, required alcohol offender education program. As a second or third-time DUI offender, you may also be required to participate and complete the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) victim impact program. Additionally, you may also be required to pay for and install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle, or any vehicle that you have access to, for a specified time period. The Ignition Interlock Device checks the driver's breath for any alcohol content and will prevent the vehicle from starting if any amount of alcohol is detected. Heightened penalties may also be available in multiple offender situations involving refusal to submit to a chemical test, where the blood alcohol concentration is .15% or greater, where there is excessive speeding or a traffic collision occurs, where minor passengers are present in the vehicle, or if the driver is under the age of twenty-one.

If you are involved in a second-time DUI incident, the arresting officer will issue a thirty-day temporary suspension of your driving privilege. In these cases, it is especially critical that you specifically request an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the date of your arrest. Requesting an administrative hearing in a timely manner will stay the temporary suspension of your driver’s license until the hearing is concluded and a ruling is issued by the hearing officer. If you fail to request a hearing within the ten-day time period, the Department of Motor Vehicles will then automatically suspend your driving privileges. Although it may be an uphill battle in many cases, if you do request an administrative hearing in a timely manner and prevail, then no administrative license suspension will be imposed. However, if you later plead guilty in court or are otherwise convicted of a second-time DUI charge, there will be a court-triggered two-year suspension on your privilege to drive. This means that once you are convicted, the court notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles about the fact of the second-time DUI conviction, and the Department of Motor Vehicles then suspends your driver’s license for the requisite two-year period as a result.

Third-time DUI cases are treated even more harshly by the courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles. In a third-time DUI situation, you will face a mandatory minimum of 120 days in custody and up to a maximum of one year in the county jail. You may also be subject to a longer informal probationary period of up to five years. The fines and fees associated with a third-time DUI conviction generally amount to around $3,000 and there is also a mandatory thirty-month alcohol offender education program that you will be required to attend and complete. You may also be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings to address the underlying issues of substance abuse, and the court may even consider ordering that you attend and complete a substance abuse rehabilitation program of some kind. You will also be required to install the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle or any vehicle you have access to for two years. There is no way around this requirement in a third-time DUI situation, so the sooner you can get the IID installed, the better.

If you were arrested for a third-time DUI, it is once again imperative that you specifically request an administrative hearing with the Department of motor Vehicles within ten days of the date or your arrest. If you fail to request this hearing in a timely manner, the Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your driving privileges for one year. If you plead guilty in court or are otherwise convicted of a third-time DUI charge, there will also be a court-trigged suspension on your privilege to drive. Remember, the Department of Motor Vehicles is the only agency that controls the actual suspension of your driver’s license – not the courts. However, once the court notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles about the fact of the third-time DUI conviction, that notification then prompts the Department of Motor Vehicles to go forward with the requisite three-year suspension in a third-time DUI situation.

If you have been arrested for a second or third-time DUI offense, we understand that the you are probably feeling overwhelmed by stress, confusion and emotion. When you hire the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC in a second or third-time DUI situation, you can rest assured that that our definition of full-service legal representation includes defending you in the criminal courtroom, as well as at the administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. We will guide you through the legal and administrative processes, fully explain your options and render advice so that you can make a well-informed decision about how best to proceed with your criminal case, and get on with the business of living a healthier life for yourself and your family.

If you have already been charged or anticipate being charged with a second or third-time DUI in the Murrieta area, contact your Murrieta DUI lawyer at the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC for your free, confidential case consultation now. Your future and your freedom deserve to be taken seriously by an experienced attorney who is committed to quality representation and compassionate advocacy, every step of the way.