DC Third Offense DUI Penalty Enhancements

Should you be facing charges, an experienced DC third offense attorney can help you understand the potential third offense DUI penalty enhancements and build a defense. For example, the additional jail sentence, as a result of the person’s breath alcohol content, increases as the breath alcohol content increases. Because of the third offense DUI penalty enhancements, it is essential to work with a local attorney with experience in the field.

Mandatory Minimum

A person facing a DUI in D.C. who has two prior DUI offenses within the last 15 years will be facing a mandatory minimum of 15 days jail time and a possible maximum of one year of jail time. This mandatory minimum penalty is considered to be a sentencing enhancement.

That means that the D.C. prosecutors are required by law to file a notice with the judge and provide the defense with a copy of this notice, informing the court that a person has two prior DUI offenses and providing the reason why this prior offense would qualify a person for enhanced penalties.

Enhanced Penalties

The enhanced penalties are penalties beyond what would be permitted in a first offense DUI. These enhancement notices grant the defense an opportunity to be able to inspect the prosecutor’s claims of a defendant having a prior DUI history, so as to possibly challenge the government’s contention that a person qualifies for those enhanced penalties.

A person would be facing a mandatory minimum 15 days of jail that a judge could not legally go below, but a judge could go up to one year of jail. A person would also be facing fines between $2,500 and $10,000, but a judge would have the ability to suspend any portion of that fine. It is not required under the law to impose any fine.

Additional Jail Sentence

There are additional sentencing enhancements that a person may be eligible for beyond those penalties connected to the person’s prior DUI history. For instance, if a person is facing a third offense DUI and provided a breath sample in his or her case that resulted in a breath alcohol content of 0.20 or higher, the defendant will be facing an additional mandatory minimum of 20 days of jail beyond the 15 days from the third offense DUI.

If a person facing a third offense DUI got pulled over and gave a breath sample with the results at 0.22, for example, that person would be facing a mandatory minimum 35 days of jail and a possible maximum of one year of jail.

That additional jail sentence, as a result of the person’s breath alcohol content, increases as the breath alcohol content increases. If the person has breath alcohol content greater than a 0.25, then that person would be eligible for an additional 25 days of mandatory jail beyond the 15 days for the repeat offense.

Aggravating Factors

There are a number of factors which could lead to greater penalties, beyond the automatic third offense DUI penalty enhancements, including the presence of drugs in one’s system, or minors in one’s vehicle.

Presence of Drugs

If a person provides a blood or urine sample as a result of their third offense DUI and that urine or blood sample turns out positive for certain enumerated drugs, then that person would be eligible for an additional mandatory minimum of 25 days of jail beyond the 15-day mandatory minimum for the third offense DUI.

Those enumerated drugs, including any Schedule one drug, but also cocaine, PCP, heroin, and certain other drugs are considered to be extremely dangerous.

Presence of Minors in the Vehicle

If a minor is in the vehicle when a person is arrested for DUI, that person will be facing additional mandatory minimum penalties beyond the penalties for the DUI.

With a minor in the vehicle, a person would be facing additional five days of mandatory jail time if the minor is restrained, meaning wearing a seat belt or in a car seat. However, if the minor is unrestrained, the person would be facing an additional mandatory 10 days per minor and these would all be penalties beyond the mandatory minimum sentence that a person would be eligible for as a result of the DUI.

How An Attorney Can Help

Because the penalties for a third offense DUI multiply so quickly, it is important to have the help of an experienced attorney. With a lawyer by your side, you can explore every avenue so as to build the strongest defense possible, resulting in a greater likelihood of mitigating damages and reducing the potential penalties.

DC Criminal Lawyer

DC Criminal Lawyer
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Shawn Sukumar Attorney at Law
1826 Jefferson Pl NW
#205

Washington DC 20036