It is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle in the state of California with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or higher. You do not have to have a BAC that high, however, to be charged with DUI, assuming the state has other evidence that you are intoxicated and unable to safely operate your motorized vehicle. Recently on our DUI forum a driver asked, “If I was arrested last night for my third DUI in California what penalties and fines can I expect and will I be sent to jail?”
Administrative Penalties and third DUI in California
If you have been arrested for your third DUI in California and you refuse to submit to a chemical test or you submit to a test and your BAC is 0.08% of higher you can have your California driver’s license suspended for up to 3 years.
Talk to the California Department of Motor Vehicles for more information about your administrative license suspension and whether or not you can apply for a restricted license after a year. A restricted license will allow you to travel to work or school and certain restricted appointments.
Criminal Penalties and your third DUI in California
If you are arrested for your third DUI in California you will be charged with a misdemeanor unless you have caused an accident which has caused bodily injury to another person or you have a prior felony DUI charge on your driving record. Keep in mind, however, if you are arrested and convicted of a fourth DUI within 10 years it will be considered a felony, and you will face very serious criminal charges.
So what penalties can you expect for your third DUI in California? If you have been charged with your third DUI in California you will have to pay DUI fines ranging from $390 to $1,000 (plus fees and enhancements).
Depending on the county where you are arrested, you may also have to spend up to one-hundred and twenty days in jail, although the judge may have the legal authority to increase the jail sentence up to one year. In some cases you may also be allowed to request community service or negotiate an alternative jail term, but this arrangement is generally negotiated through your lawyer and the prosecutor.
Will my California license be suspended after my third DUI in California?
If you are convicted for a third DUI in California you will have your driver’s license criminally suspended for three years. Remember, however, your license may already be suspended through the administrative license suspension process if you fail your chemical test or refuse chemical testing following a valid DUI arrest even if you are not convicted of DUI.
Other penalties for third DUI arrest in California?
Other penalties you can expect after your third DUI arrest in California is five years of probation, mandatory attendance of a DUI school for 18 months, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system on your car. Talk to a DUI lawyer before you plead guilty to a DUI in California.
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