Third offense DUI charges are prosecuted more vigorously than first or second offense charges. For a third offense, the government is going to prosecute the individual severely to help ensure that they learn their lesson and does not commit another DUI in the future.
If you have been charged with a DUI and are facing serious consequences, it is important to consult with a DUI attorney immediately. A knowledgeable West Palm Beach third offense DUI lawyer can build a defense to help lessen or dismiss any potential penalties associated with the charge. En Español.
Severity of Third DUI Charges
A third drunk driving offense within 10 years of a prior DUI charge is eligible to be considered as a felony and can be prosecuted in Circuit Court as opposed to the County Court. For this, the punishment can change from a maximum of one year in jail, to five years in prison if it is a third offense within a 10 year period. Mainly, third time DUI charges are heard in the main courthouse in West Palm Beach, downtown.
The penalties for a third drunk driving offense would depend upon the timeframe in which this instance occurred relative to the first two. A lawyer in West Palm Beach could help someone prepare for the legal process if they have been accused of a DUI for the third time.
For example, if a person has two DUIs in the 1980s and then picked up a third DUI in 2017, that would not be classified as a third offense within 10 years of a prior. However, if they had a DUI in 1970, 1978, 2010, and then received another in 2017, even though the first charge was in 1978, their third offense is within 10 years of the one that happened in 2010. Therefore, the charge is eligible to be made into a felony. Fourth offenses, regardless as time frame, are considered to be felony offenses and are normally prosecuted as such.
Treatment of Third Drunk Driving Offenses by the Court
A third offense is treated more seriously because most people learn their lesson in a DUI the first time around. These people never want to go to jail again, do not want to be in that position, do not want to have to pay an attorney, do not want to go to court, and do not want their picture on the internet along with many other reasons.
When the person is back for a third visit for the same thing, most of the prosecutors and judges get concerned that they have a person who can cause some damage in the community. Therefore, the person is prosecuted much more vigorously than if it is their first time. To combat these third-time DUI charges, a person should be sure to hire an attorney in West Palm Beach.
Potential Penalties for Multiple DUIs
Punishment for a third offense DUI would depend upon the timeframe of the person’s prior convictions. The most severe penalty would be five years in prison, up to a $5,000 fine, and a lifetime driver’s license revocation. The least that the penalty can be is the penalties for a first offense, which include probation, fines, court costs, community service, and a driver’s license suspension.
It is the same factors that a person will see on a first offense, the difference being that because it is not a first offense, the person would not be eligible for a hardship license on a third non-conviction for DUI. To best understand the penalties for a third DUI offense, an individual should contact a West Palm Beach lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a West Palm Beach Third Offense Attorney
If you have been charged with driving under the influence multiple times you should seek legal counsel immediately. A West Palm Beach third offense DUI lawyer could help you prepare a defense and work to minimize the potential penalties. For more information about how Leifert & Leifert could help you, call today.