While all charges for driving under the influence (DUI) are serious, repeat offenses have particularly severe consequences under the law. If you have been accused of a third-time DUI in Edina, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as you are able. You could be looking at hefty fines and jail time upon conviction, so it is crucial to move forward with a strong defense. A skilled DUI attorney could assess your case, help build a robust defense, and advocate on your behalf in court.
Criminal Penalties for Third DUI Conviction
A third-offense DUI is classified as second-degree DUI under the law, which is a gross misdemeanor. A prosecutor may charge second-degree DUI if the driver has two prior convictions for DUI within the ten years preceding the current arrest. A second-degree DUI charge also is possible if two of the following aggravating factors are present:
- Driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at least 0.16, which is twice the legal limit
- A passenger under age 16 was in the car at the time of arrest
- Driver refused a chemical analysis
Minnesota Statute §169A.275(2) sets forth the penalties for third-time DUIs in Edina. The offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days, of which 30 must be served in jail. Incarceration for up to one year is possible. Conviction also carries a $3,000 fine.
However, in some cases, a court might impose a period of mandatory supervised probation. This program involves a chemical dependency assessment and supervised compliance with the assessor’s recommendations. It requires at least six days of confinement in a correctional facility and might include periods of house arrest. A skilled DUI attorney could work to get a client enrolled in such a program in appropriate cases.
Administrative Penalties Associated with Third-Offense DUIs
In addition to the criminal consequences of DUI, the Department of Public Safety imposes administrative penalties. These penalties can be inconvenient, not to mention expensive.
Driver’s license revocation happens immediately after the arrest, and the duration of the revocation depends on multiple factors, including the offense charged. An individual convicted of third-time DUI could expect their license to be revoked for three years. A limited license to get to work or school would not be available without first participating in an ignition interlock program. In addition, the driver would likely have to surrender the license plates for every vehicle registered under their name. In some cases, they might even have to forfeit their vehicle.
A skilled Edina defense attorney could work to limit the severity of the administrative penalties one might face for a third DUI. Although some inconvenience is inevitable after a conviction, courts are sometimes sympathetic to an offender’s need for a vehicle to get to work, attend substance abuse classes, go to school, or take care of dependents.
Defending Third-Time DUI Charges
It is wise to get in contact with a lawyer as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. The sooner you consult with a lawyer, the sooner they could begin gathering evidence and building a defense.
Even a failed BAC test does not mean that a defendant will automatically face the most severe consequences of a third offense DUI conviction. An attorney might contest the accuracy of the test or the circumstances under which it was administered. Similarly, a failure by law enforcement to respect a person’s civil rights could be used as a defense. In some cases, it could be possible to challenge the earlier convictions that support the third DUI charge.
A review of the current case might reveal that the evidence supporting the charge is not convincing. If some element of a prosecutor’s case is weak, a knowledgeable Edina attorney could choose to take the case to trial. A win at trial would mean the defendant faces no criminal penalties and could relieve some of the most burdensome administrative consequences.
Do Not Wait to Contact an Attorney for a Third-Time DUI in Edina
Multiple DUI convictions could have a devastating impact on your ability to work in certain professions, obtain housing, get credit, or even travel to other countries. Working with a skilled defense attorney could help avoid some of these severe consequences. Reach out to our office today to discuss third-time DUIs in Edina and learn about your options.