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Jefferson County places harsher penalties on a third-offense than first or second-time charges. If you have two prior DUI convictions and are facing charges for a third offense, it may be important that you defend yourself aggressively.

Accused individuals may find it difficult to defend themselves against a third DUI offense without legal guidance. A Jefferson County third-offense DUI lawyer could offer support and assistance to help mitigate the penalties associated with a third charge. A well-versed attorney could stand by your side and help you challenge the prosecution’s case.

Laws Governing Driving Under the Influence

The laws governing Jefferson County DUIs are detailed in Title 32 of the Code of Alabama, which covers motor vehicles and traffic. Operating any type of motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any controlled substance is a violation of the law and each subsequent offense may carry additional penalties. Being “under the influence” typically refers to the impairment of a driver’s mental and physical abilities.

If law enforcement officers expect someone is driving while intoxicated, they may use a breathalyzer to assess that person’s level of intoxication. It is against Jefferson County law for any person to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. For those under 21 years, a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher may constitute a DUI charge.

Those who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test may still be arrested and charged with a DUI if law enforcement officers reasonably believe the individual is driving under the influence of a substance such as alcohol or drugs. If a person has been charged in this manner, a third-offense DUI lawyer in Jefferson County may cite this lack of evidence as a potential defense against accusations in Jefferson County. An attorney could answer specific questions about intoxicated driving and may provide insight into the use of a breathalyzer test as evidence.

Penalties for a Third-Offense Conviction

Third-offense DUI convictions typically carry stricter penalties than all first or second-time convictions, and several potential penalties exist in Jefferson County. Those found guilty of a third DUI offense could face sanctions for:

  • Imprisonment between 60 days and one full year in jail
  • Fines of minimum $2,100, but not more than $10,100
  • Mandatory substance abuse or DUI program
  • Loss of a driver’s license for three years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicles to be driven

An ignition interlock device serves as a breathalyzer and prevents intoxicated individuals from starting a vehicle. This device could remain on a convicted individual’s car for up to three years, during which a driver’s license would be restricted as well. An attorney could answer specific questions regarding the requirements for installation and use of an ignition interlock device.

Anyone convicted of a third-offense DUI may also face a criminal record that could impact their future. A Jefferson County third-offense DUI lawyer could work to mitigate charges or defend against these accusations.

Talking to a Jefferson County Third-Offense DUI Attorney

A third-offense DUI conviction typically results in more severe sanctions than other charges. This may include lengthier prison sentences, increased fines, and a longer revocation period of the driver’s license. While trying to fight third-offense DUI charges could prove to be challenging, a legal advocate may be able to stand by your side and work to minimize the possible penalties of an accusation.

Allow a Jefferson County third-offense DUI lawyer with knowledge of Alabama law and the criminal court system to develop an appropriate defense approach. An attorney could help present you and your case in the most favorable light. Reach out to an attorney and begin receiving legal assistance today.