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Third Offense Within 10 Years

Third Offense

In California, a DUI is a third offense if the offense occurs within 10 years of two prior DUIs or reduced alcohol related driving offenses, such as Wet Reckless. A third offense DUI is usually a misdemeanor. California Vehicle Code Section 23546 states:

  1. 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 ($390) 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.

  2. 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.

What does this actually mean?

If you receive a third DUI within 10 years of two prior DUIs or reduced alcohol related driving offenses, then you may be charged with a third DUI. When you are charged with a third DUI, the court will enhance the penalties, such as mandatory jail time. You are not actually charged with a separate count for a third DUI. Rather, you will be charged with DUI, i.e. Vehicle Code 23152(a) & (b), and the prosecutor will allege you have two prior DUIs or reduced alcohol related driving offenses that occurred within ten years of your third DUI.

What the prosecutor must prove to convict an individual of a third offense DUI is identical to a first and second DUI, with one exception: the prosecutor must also prove you were convicted of two prior DUIs or alcohol related driving offenses within ten years. If your priors are in California, then the prosecutor can obtain the abstract of judgment, which may prove the priors. But, an experienced DUI Firm may be able to challenge the validity of the priors if your case is handled properly.

Challenging a Prior

Although the priors may be valid, there are ways to challenge the priors. For example, the courts consider the ten year period to run from the date you were convicted of the priors to the day you were arrested for the third DUI. If the prior DUI or reduced alcohol related driving offenses are within the ten year window, then the court can enhance the penalties. If your priors are close to the 10-year mark, then you need to speak to an exclusive DUI Firm. A Firm that specializes in DUI defense may be able to challenge the priors as being outside of the 10 year window.

What if my prior DUIs occurred outside of California? You can still be charged with a third DUI if your prior DUI convictions occurred outside of California, even if the convictions were for reduced alcohol related driving offenses outside of California. Nonetheless, a Firm specializing in DUI Defense can challenge the out-of-state prior because many states only require

Third Offense

In California, a DUI is a third offense if the offense occurs within 10 years of two prior DUIs or reduced alcohol related driving offenses, such as Wet Reckless. A third offense DUI is usually a misdemeanor. California Vehicle Code Section 23546 states:

  1. 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 ($390) 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.

  2. 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.

What does this actually mean?

If you receive a third DUI within 10 years of two prior DUIs or reduced alcohol related driving offenses, then you may be charged with a third DUI. When you are charged with a third DUI, the court will enhance the penalties, such as mandatory jail time. You are not actually charged with a separate count for a third DUI. Rather, you will be charged with DUI, i.e. Vehicle Code 23152(a) & (b), and the prosecutor will allege you have two prior DUIs or reduced alcohol related driving offenses that occurred within ten years of your third DUI.

What the prosecutor must prove to convict an individual of a third offense DUI is identical to a first and second DUI, with one exception: the prosecutor must also prove you were convicted of two prior DUIs or alcohol related driving offenses within ten years. If your priors are in California, then the prosecutor can obtain the abstract of judgment, which may prove the priors. But, an experienced DUI Firm may be able to challenge the validity of the priors if your case is handled properly.

Challenging a Prior

Although the priors may be valid, there are ways to challenge the priors. For example, the courts consider the ten year period to run from the date you were convicted of the priors to the day you were arrested for the third DUI. If the prior DUI or reduced alcohol related driving offenses are within the ten year window, then the court can enhance the penalties. If your priors are close to the 10-year mark, then you need to speak to an exclusive DUI Firm. A Firm that specializes in DUI defense may be able to challenge the priors as being outside of the 10 year window.

What if my prior DUIs occurred outside of California? You can still be charged with a third DUI if your prior DUI convictions occurred outside of California, even if the convictions were for reduced alcohol related driving offenses outside of California. Nonetheless, a Firm specializing in DUI Defense can challenge the out-of-state prior because many states only require