Firm Logo


How to Avoid Jail Time for 3rd DUI in the State of California

View Our Five-Star Reviews

How to Avoid Jail Time for 3rd DUI in CA

Under the California Vehicle Code, it’s illegal to drive if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. Driving under the influence of drugs is also illegal. Even a first DUI conviction can result in jail time for up to six months in a county jail cell, a license suspension, and other fines, including higher insurance rates. Of course, several consecutive drunk driving offenses will result in even more serious DUI penalties.

A second DUI, as well as a 3rd DUI in California, carries significantly harsher penalties than the first DUI offense. However, there may be a way to avoid a jail sentence for a third DUI offense. But, in order to achieve that, you will require the help of an experienced DUI lawyer who can review your case and help you.

If you are facing a third DUI conviction in Van Nuys, California, make sure you retain a Van Nuys DUI attorney who has successfully handled different DUI cases from misdemeanor DUI offenses to felony DUI cases of those with previous DUI convictions. The team of skilled California DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney can analyze your case and help you achieve the most favorable outcome.

What Happens When You Get 3 DWIs?

A California DUI penalty depends on whether an offender has prior convictions on their record and whether anyone is injured as a result of their drunk driving. Assuming there was no accident and no one is injured, most DUI arrests would be prosecuted as misdemeanors.

A third-time DUI conviction within a ten-year period carries the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $1,000; however, there are also court assessment fees that will increase this amount to well over $2,500.
  • Mandatory jail sentence of 120 days to one year
  • Probation for three to five years
  • LIcense suspension for up to three years
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for two years
  • Attending a court-approved DUI school for 30 months

It’s important to note that if the driver is convicted for a third DUI, he or she will face a suspension of their driver’s license for three years. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may permit the offender to continue driving if they get an Ignition Interlock Device installed for the mandatory period of two years.

Of course, there are additional penalties, such as being labeled as a habitual traffic offender for three years. That means any subsequent traffic infraction an individual makes will carry significantly harsher penalties.

Bear in mind that there are many other costs to getting a third DUI in California other than the heavy fines that have to be paid. For example, DUI offenders also face court costs, interlock device installation costs, counseling fees, and other expenses.

How Much Jail Time for 3rd DUI Can You Expect?

Typically, offenders who committed 3rd DUI in California will face a mandatory jail sentence of at least 120 days to one year. The sentence is usually served in a jail in the county where the offense was committed.

But, there may be a way to avoid mandatory jail time and serve a kind of alternative sentence. Under California Penal Code (§2900.5), several programs can substitute jail time.

According to the law, in any case that ended up with a conviction, either by a verdict or a plea bargain, time spent in jail, rehabilitation facility, work furlough facility, home confinement, halfway house, juvenile detention facility, or similar institution, can be credited upon their jail time.

If the court has imposed both jail time and a fine, days spent in these institutions will first be counted as jail time. If there are any remaining days left, and the fine is not satisfied by time spent in these institutions or by community service, the fine will be reduced by the percentage of the fine that was satisfied.

The judge has discretion in deciding how a mandatory jail sentence will be served and which penalty will be imposed.

Third DUI Conviction and Avoiding Jail Time

You may be allowed to serve your sentence under house arrest. That means the judge would allow you to spend time confined in your own home. You will also have to pay for the tracker which you will wear.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be allowed to go out of the house in order to attend an alcohol treatment program or go to work. But bear in mind that the police may have the right to search your house on random occasions in terms of your house arrest.

In addition to house arrest, rehabilitation programs are also one of the ways to avoid jail time when convicted for a 3rd DUI in California. The judge may allow repeat offenders to avoid a mandatory jail sentence and go to the rehabilitation or detox program. However, serving jail time in a rehab facility is often available only to those offenders who realize they have to take responsibility for their actions and show remorse. That, combined with the legal help of a skilled attorney, may make the judge more inclined to allow this type of penalty to be executed.

What Is the Penalty for a 3rd DUI?

As you can see, a DUI conviction for the third time within ten years carries harsh penalties. Although judges may allow an alternative sentence to avoid spending time in a jail cell, that may not always be the case.

Another course of action that can help in avoiding jail time is beating DUI charges. That can be possible with the right DUI lawyer. You can fight and win your case even if you have previous DUI convictions. For example, your attorney will evaluate your case and see if the officer that pulled you over had probable cause for your DUI arrest or whether your blood alcohol concentration was determined correctly.

If the case was handled inadequately, the charges for your crime might be dismissed.

Third DUI Consequences

Keep in mind that DUI offenders can face more serious penalties if they are accused of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or if they were involved in an accident where someone is injured while driving under the influence.

Also, a fourth DUI is a wobbler offense in California, meaning the prosecutors can press either misdemeanor or felony charges. Whether the prior DUI offenses were made in California or another state makes no difference.

Facing a 3rd DUI in California can be a stressful experience. A DUI conviction will remain on your record for ten years, starting from the day of your DUI arrest. Also, if you get arrested for DUI again within a ten-year period, the judge will take into consideration the previous conviction when determining your sentence.

If you want to avoid the consequences that a DUI conviction carries, it’s essential you have an experienced law firm and an attorney that has a strong track record in achieving positive results for their clients. The right lawyer can also help when it comes to avoiding jail time and building a proper defense. Don’t waste your time — schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney to explore your options.

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.