There are many elements that an attorney will consider when looking to build a defense for third offense DUI charges in West Palm Beach. These elements are crucial toward building an effective case that can help minimize any potential consequences an individual may be facing.
To best understand the nuances associated with defending a third offense DUI charge in West Palm Beach, it is imperative to consult with a West Palm Beach third offense DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Elements of the Defense
There are many elements that an attorney will consider when defending a third offense DUI charge in West Palm Beach. This includes:
- Was the person driving or in actual physical control?
- Was the person under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance?
- Was the person impaired by the alcohol or a controlled substance?
- Did the person have an unlawful blood alcohol level?
- Can the prior record be proven?
- Can they prove that the person has two prior convictions to make it charged as a third offense?
Many times, an attorney is looking to challenge any records of the government, especially if they are from out of state. If the government is going to say that the client has two prior convictions in the state of New York, they cannot just bring in a New York State driver’s license record, they must actually bring in the court records with booking photos and fingerprints to prove that the out-of-state conviction is indeed for the same person that is in front of them on a current new charge.
Building a Defense
The defense would be typically the same for a first offense DUI because the elements of the crime are the same. It is the punishment that is different, because of the number of offenses that the person has will dictate the consequences.
An attorney will look to challenge any prior convictions and try and show the government that they cannot prove that those prior convictions are for their client. These are important elements to consider when defending a third offense DUI charge in West Palm Beach.
Severity of the Penalties
Defending a third offense DUI is different from defending a first offense DUI because the stakes and penalties are much higher. On a third offense DUI, depending upon the timeframe, the client is looking at some enhanced penalties over what they would have gotten on their first offense DUI.
Enhanced penalties could include jail. If a person has a third offense within 10 years of a prior conviction, it is a minimum mandatory that the client has thirty days in jail, with no less than 48 hours being consecutively served.
It is a mandatory minimum that the client loses their license for 10 years on a misdemeanor charge. The defense for a third offense DUI in West Palm Beach is just as vigorous as the first, but the stakes are higher because the punishment is much worse. An attorney is looking to lessen the blow on the penalty side and keep the consequences as light as possible.
Strategically speaking, a lawyer may talk to a client that does not have a good defense, however, it is their best job to gather the evidence and build the most effective defense they can for the client.