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Statewide Representation Throughout Alabama (205) 871-8838
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A third DUI offense within a five-year period is likely to change the way that the court and your community looks at you. You no longer may be the individual who simply made a poor choice or had an isolated lapse in judgment. Instead, you may be facing significant punishments for repeated DUI offenses that may justify the need for a Shelby County third-offense DUI lawyer.

Aside from the direct penalties for a third-offense DUI, you could face collateral consequences that may make your life very difficult. From increased insurance rates to monthly ignition interlock maintenance fees to the costs of substance abuse treatment, the financial repercussions of a third DUI conviction can be weighty. In this situation, an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to assist you.

Penalties for Third-Offense DUI

After a first and second DUI offense, the penalties for the same offense often become more severe. Under Ala. Code § 32-5A-191, a third-offense DUI is still charged as a misdemeanor, but it carries a mandatory minimum 60-day jail sentence that a court cannot suspend or order to probation. The potential total jail sentence ranges from 60 days to 365 days. Additionally, the court can order individuals to serve a term of probation of up to two years, less any days served in jail.

A third DUI conviction typically revokes driving privileges for three years, running consecutively to any license suspension or revocation that is already in place at the time of conviction. These individuals also must install an ignition interlock device on any vehicles that they drive for a minimum of three years. After 180 days of revocation, individuals may qualify for an ignition interlock restricted license, at which time the three-year mandatory ignition interlock installation period would begin.

A third-offense DUI conviction also can result in a fine ranging from $2,100 to $10,100, plus court costs. Individuals must often enroll in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the court. Given the severity of these potential penalties, consider getting advice from a third-offense DUI lawyer in Shelby County.

Double Minimum Punishments in Shelby County

There are a few circumstances that will result in individuals convicted of DUI to face double the minimum punishments that the law provides. For example, individuals who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 percent or greater at the time of their arrest are subject to double the minimum punishment than they would have faced had their BAC been less than 0.15 percent.

Likewise, individuals who are over the age of 21 and have a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle with them at the time of the offense will receive double the minimum punishment. In the case of a third-time DUI offense, these circumstances can greatly increase the potential penalties.

Consult with a Third-Offense Shelby County DUI Attorney

Once you are facing a third DUI within five years in the state of Alabama, you are looking at increased minimum jail sentences and very high fines. You are unlikely to be able to drive at all for months, and any driving privileges that you receive following the mandatory revocation may require the usage of an ignition interlock device for years. In light of these significant penalties, individuals should strongly consider consulting a Shelby County third-offense DUI lawyer prior to appearing in court on any criminal charges.

Even a third DUI charge, however, does not mean that a third conviction is a foregone conclusion. There are defenses that may be available to you, but only an experienced Shelby County criminal defense lawyer may be able to determine whether these defenses apply in your case. Contact a DUI defense lawyer today for an assessment of your case and learn what you can do to potentially minimize your exposure to these serious penalties.