Operating a motor vehicle while having a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent is against the law in this country. State of residence determines the consequences of a DUI conviction, with potential penalties including fines, loss of driving privileges, probation, and time in jail. Subsequent DUI convictions have more severe penalties so if this is your third DUI, be prepared for the worst.
Handling a Third DUI
Contact a lawyer immediately after being charged with a third DUI because there is a limited timeframe to fight the charge. Consequences of a third DUI, particularly one within close proximity to prior DUI convictions, can be very serious. Having an experienced DUI lawyer gives repeat offenders the best odds when fighting the charges. Losing a third-time DUI case can result in a felony conviction that remains on the criminal record for a long time.
Most states classify an initial DUI offense as a misdemeanor and many also classify a second-time offense this way. However, several states, including Wyoming and New York, consider a second DUI a felony offense. Other states reserve the felony charge for third-time offenders. While a misdemeanor conviction allows the individual to serve all mandated time in a jail, a felony conviction requires serving time in state prison, which is usually much more unpleasant.
Felony conviction penalties do not end with serving time. Once convicted felons are released from prison, life does not become much easier because many former felons have difficulty finding employment. Public and private organizations may conduct criminal background checks and will not hire a convicted felon. This will make it difficult to earn steady income until the conviction is removed from the criminal record several years after time has been served.
Individuals convicted of felony DUIs typically lose driving privileges for at least a year. Once the driver license is reinstated, the court may require installation of an ignition interlock device that measures blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). The device prevents the car from starting if BAC exceeds a predetermined limit, which can affect the work or school commute.
An attorney who focuses on DUI cases is the best advocate a third-time DUI offender can have. If there is any chance of fighting the DUI charge and winning, this lawyer can do it. To be matched with an experienced DUI attorney who will help build a strong defense, request a free DUI arrest evaluation through DUIRights.com.