Conviction of a third offense within ten years of a DUI or DWI carries with it severe consequences. The stakes have changed. It is a felony conviction, and not a misdemeanor. A third offense is categorized as a Class 6 Felony, which carries with it a term of imprisonment from one to five years or, alternatively, up to twelve months in jail. The Court may impose a fine of up to $2,500, and a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 has to be imposed. Likewise, there is a minimum jail sentence of 90 days that must be imposed if the offense is more than five years but less than ten years after the prior offenses. If the third offense occurred within five years of the previous offenses, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six (6) months that must be imposed and cannot be suspended by the court.
Additionally, one’s driver’s license or privilege to drive (if an out of state driver) shall be suspended for his or her lifetime on a third offense. Drivers may petition for restricted privileges after three years and full privileges after five years have passed since the date of conviction. The petition process can be a long and complicated process to navigate.
A person who has had their license restored must have an ignition interlock installed in all vehicles registered in his or her name in order to obtain a restricted driver’s license. It will be required to remain in place for a minimum of six months, and could remain for the full term of their restricted license after due consideration is given to ASAP’s recommendation.
Clearly, one must explore all potential defenses to a conviction for a third offense of a DUI or DWI. We can often help and find a defense! There are times when the Commonwealth cannot prove a valid prior offense so it is important that you talk with a skilled DUI defense attorney like those at Boone Beale. We will leave no stone unturned in trying to avoid such a conviction. There are literally endless possibilities of defense and we counsel you on all the possible defenses applicable to your case. Remember that the possible defenses in your case are limited only by your imagination.