3rd DUI Offenses in San Francisco Mean Mandatory Jail
Third DUI Information from the San Francisco DUI Attorney
A third DUI arrest may seem like a nightmare since a conviction will almost certainly result in months in jail and loss of your license. The collateral consequences may also include loss of employment and severe financial difficulties for your family if you are the sole or chief supporter. A third DUI conviction within the past 10 years can result in loss of your driver’s license for 3 years and mandatory jail time along with a number of other severe penalties. If you face a third drunk driving conviction, immediately contact one of our defense lawyers from the San Francisco DUI Attorney Group to explore what we can do to reduce your charge or sentence and quite possibly get your charges dismissed or take it to trial where our lawyers have an impressive record of acquittals.
If you’re facing serious charges, call us for a free third DUI consultation at (888) 754-9860
When Stopped on Suspicion of DUI
You have certain rights like any other person accused of or suspected of committing a criminal offense. If you are still on probation for a previous DUI conviction, however, your rights are more limited. The probation period for a second DUI may be up to 5 years. For example, your driving record will be known by the police officer who stopped you. If the officer has any suspicion that you were drinking, you will be asked to either blow into a handheld or portable breath device called a PAS or asked to perform certain field sobriety tests or FST. Since a condition of your probation is that you not drink or drive any measureable amount of alcohol and that you cooperate with police in these situations, you cannot refuse these requests or you risk arrest.
At this point you are not under arrest and have no right to speak to an attorney first though you can certainly request it. If the officer has any basis for believing you were drinking, you will also be asked to take a breathalyzer or blood test if you happen to refuse the PAS or to perform any FST, or even if you do so and fail. Your refusal to submit to BAC testing will also subject you to arrest and can be used against you as evidence of your guilt. If you violated your probation, you are subject to jail time and could spend whatever time was suspended by the court when you were sentenced or some portion of it.
If you are not on probation, however, you are not required to perform any FST test or take the PAS though you still cannot call an attorney to decide whether to take the breathalyzer or to submit to a blood test. You can call one of our San Francisco DUI Attorney Group lawyers after you are placed under arrest. A refusal to submit to BAC testing is also an aggravating circumstance that can result in a longer jail term, a longer license suspension period and other enhanced penalties.
The Administrative Per Se Hearing
Like previous DUI arrests, you are entitled to an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing regarding your license suspension so long as you requested the hearing within 10 calendar days after your arrest. Our lawyers at the San Francisco DUI Attorney Group handle license suspension hearings before the DMV in conjunction with your criminal proceeding, providing us an opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer, review the procedures that were followed and if the blood or breath test was administered correctly. Any other defenses regarding the validity of the breathalyzer or the blood test are raised.
The following issues are addressed at your APS hearing:
- If there was probable cause to stop you
- If your arrest was legal
- If your BAC was 0.08%
- Did you refuse testing
The standard of proof that the state bears in these hearings before an administrative officer from the DMV is the civil one, or proof by a preponderance of the evidence, which is less strict than the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Penalties and Sentencing for a Third DUI Conviction
The penalties for a third DUI conviction in 10 years are found in CVC Section 23546(a):
“If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 and the offense occurred within 10 years of two separate violations of Section 23103, as specified in Section 23103.5, 23152, or 23153, or any combination thereof, that resulted in convictions, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 120 days nor more than one year and by a fine of not less than three hundred ninety dollars ($800) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles as required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352. The court shall require the person to surrender his or her driver’s license to the court in accordance with Section 13550.
(b) A person convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under this section shall be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of three years, subsequent to the conviction. The person shall be advised of this designation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13350.”
To sum up, a typical sentence may be as follows:
- Mandatory minimum time of 120 days in county jail
- Possible alternative to jail with home detention and electronic monitoring
- Possible private jail setting instead of county jail
- Fine of $800 to $1,000 with additional costs and assessments
- DUI program for 18 to 30-months
- Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) status for 3 years
- 3-year suspension of driver’s license or 10 years to life if considered an alcoholic
- Restricted license available after one year
- No restricted license if you are deemed a threat to public safety
- No restricted license if you refused testing
- Installation of an ignition interlock system on car
As indicated, one of our lawyers from the San Francisco DUI Attorney Group can request that you spend your sentence at home under the electronic monitoring program called SCRAM. If available, you could spend your sentence in a private jail setting that is separate from the county jail.
There are a number of circumstances that can enhance your sentence and add at least 10 days to your jail sentence. For some of these, you risk a much longer jail sentence or possibly state prison time.
- Refusal to submit to BAC testing
- Having a passenger who was under age 14
- Excessive speeding
- Having an elevated BAC level
- Causing an accident
- Causing a serious injury or fatality accident
If you did have a young child as a passenger and you caused an accident, had a highly elevated BAC level or were excessively speeding, you could face felony child endangerment charges and face up to 6 years in state prison. If someone was seriously injured or killed, the DA could charge you with assault with a deadly weapon or vehicular manslaughter.
Defenses to a Third DUI Offense in San Francisco
In many DUI trials, the validity of the breath or blood sample result is challenged since this is considered objective evidence of your intoxication and if 0/08%, a rebuttable presumption that you were under the influence of alcohol. In many cases, a highly skilled defense lawyer can attack the procedures used to administer it and challenge its validity based on dozens of factors.
Some of the common one include:
- The breathalyzer was not properly serviced or maintained
- You had a medical condition that produced a false high BAC result
- The technician or officer who administered the test lacked certification
- Guidelines were not followed in administering the test
- The chain of evidence in preserving a blood sample was not followed
- There were reasonable explanations for your driving conduct and performance on FSTs
- Your BAC was much less than 0.08% when you were driving since your test was taken hours later
- There was no probable cause to stop you
- There was no probable cause to arrest you
A third DUI conviction can result in serious consequences for your life and that of your family’s. Contact the San Francisco DUI Attorney Group today at (888) 754-9860 — We’re here to help when you need it most!