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DC Third DUI Charges

A third DUI arrest puts you at risk of a further conviction with even harsher penalties than for previous DUI offenses. You need a strong advocate to help you argue for your freedom or try to reduce the consequences of a conviction.

Call a DUI lawyer at our firm to speak with someone who has experience representing clients accused of repeat DUI crimes.

Defending Third DUI Charges

When facing a third DUI charge, it is important to remember that neither your past convictions nor your current arrest mean you will necessarily be found guilty of a crime. You are innocent until proven guilty in every case, and you have a new opportunity to defend against the charges you face or to respond in a strategic way to the accusations against you.

An experienced DUI attorney can help you to craft an effective strategy for protecting your interests. Depending upon the specifics of your case and the kinds of evidence, this could mean trying to avoid having past convictions count against you; trying to get charges dropped; negotiating a plea agreement; or making strong arguments in court at trial.  There are pros and cons to different options and you need an advocate who knows the law and who will help you to decide what options you have to give you the best chance of no penalties or limited consequences after a third arrest.

It is very important to be able to explain to a judge why a person has been charged with a third DUI. A great deal of emphasis is usually placed on the amount of time that elapsed between the charges. Sometimes, if they have occurred very rapidly, it can be arguably beneficial, because it may be the result of a very serious and untreated alcohol or substance abuse problem.

Penalties For a Third DUI Conviction

A third DUI conviction has a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days incarceration and a possible maximum sentence of a year imprisonment. A fine between $2,500 and $10,000 can follow conviction.  With a BAC of .20 or higher, there is a minimum of 20 days imprisonment. A BAC of .25 or up results in 25 days minimum jail time, while a BAC above .30 results in 30 days incarceration.

Following a conviction, an individual will have their license suspended. There is no opportunity to obtain a restricted license following a DUI.

Collateral Consequences

Job and academic prospects can be also be affected by repeat DUI convictions on a person’s driving and criminal record. It may also be difficult to secure automobile insurance coverage when a license is returned after a suspension. Additionally, they usually must obtain special higher premium insurance called SR-22 insurance.

If a person has a commercial driver’s license, it will almost certainly be suspended. Their driving privileges in the District of Columbia will be suspended for a minimum of six months with a DUI conviction. For people who have jobs such as a real estate agent or a job that requires driving in the District of Columbia, that can be especially traumatic to their employment prospects.

These consequences can change the course of your life, but you do not have to accept them as your fate after an arrest. Do not assume that a third DUI arrest is going to lead to conviction until you have talked to a lawyer and explored all of your options.

Aggravating Factors of a DUI

The aggravating factors a judge would look at when sentencing someone on a third DUI would be the nature and circumstances of the charge, the person’s blood alcohol content, whether there was an accident involved, and the length of time in between the first, second, and third DUI offenses.

Having a minor in the vehicle is a potential aggravating factor because, whether or not the child was hurt, it is still a huge factor for a judge. Not only did the driver put themselves and other drivers in danger, they put children in danger. That really increases the likelihood that someone is going to get jail time.

Getting Help From a Defense Attorney Today

An attorney in DC who is familiar with repeat DUI charges knows what legal arguments can be made and understands both the science and the law involved in impaired driving cases. Contact our attorneys as soon as you can following your arrest for impaired driving so we can begin working right away to develop an effective defense strategy in the face of these serious charges. Your initial consultation is free of charge and requires no commitment.