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Third Offense DUI Charges in Darien

Third offense DUI charges in Darien are prosecuted extremely vigorously. This is because the individual has most likely already been through multiple treatment programs and has been convicted of a DUI before, so the court will prosecute the third offense seriously.

At this point, the prosecutors and judges do not want this person to be on the road anymore and will seek jail time. Because the stakes are much higher for a third offense DUI charge, an individual should not hesitate before consulting with an experienced DUI lawyer.

Potential Penalties

If a person is convicted of a second conviction or a third arrest, the penalty changes from a misdemeanor to a felony. At this point, an individual is facing up to two years in jail, where 120 of those days are a mandatory minimum.

Prosecutors will also look at the facts of each specific case to determine if there were minors in the vehicle. If there were, the individual may be charged with risk of injury to a minor. Further, there is a new statute in Connecticut for driving with a minor in a car under the influence of alcohol, which will increase the mandatory jail time. Such charges will be heard at the Stamford Superior Court.

If the person's BAC is higher, then that will increase the likelihood that the prosecutor will be looking for more jail time.

Additionally, the individual is also facing a period of probation, a higher fine amount, and drug or alcohol treatment as part of probation and community service. The court takes third offense DUI charges in Darien much more seriously.

Time Between DUIs

The time between an individual’s second and third offense for a DUI in Darien will have an impact on penalties. If, for example, someone was convicted of a DUI and then 12 years later is arrested for another one, they would be treated as if it is their first conviction rather than an enhanced penalty.

It is only when the two arrests are within 10 years of each other that they are going to be subject to enhanced felony penalties with increased jail time.

Diversion Programs

Darien prosecutors do not offer diversion programs for third offense DUI charges. The only way to avoid jail time and get probation is if the individual can somehow convince the prosecutor to give them the misdemeanor deal, which is for a first-time offender rather than the felony deal.

However, if they plead guilty to the felony, there is no way to reduce or suspend the 120-day mandatory jail time.

Building a Defense

The severity of third offense DUI charges in Darien is substantial because the individual will have had several opportunities to avoid penalties. The court will think that they are not taking it seriously, not learning from their mistakes, and will want to see incarceration.

When a lawyer is tasked with building a defense for a third offense Darien DUI charge, they have the same factors to consider as previous offenses, but must know that there is more on the line as the charge can result in a felony conviction.

An experienced attorney will work hard to pull up any evidence that shows that the person was not intoxicated at the time of operation.

License Suspension

For a third offense DUI charge in Darien, an individual will get a 45-day suspension and an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for being arrested. If they are convicted for a third or subsequent conviction, they will permanently lose their license.

They could eventually reapply and have a hearing to see if they could get it back someday, but this process is standard for a third conviction. However, after being charged, they cannot apply for a restricted license.

Reapplying for a License

If the individual only has one or two convictions, they could serve their time and pay a $175 restoration fee to try to get their license back, but if it is their third conviction or more, they must lose their license for a minimum of two years before they could apply for a hearing to try to get it back.

Even if the individual gets a hearing, there is no guarantee that the license will be reinstated.

Benefit of a Lawyer

When an individual is facing a third offense DUI charge in Darien, they will want to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the officers involved. A lawyer should be knowledgeable of the local police force, court procedures, and the training process that officers must go through.

An experienced attorney will give an individual the best shot at lessening or dismissing any penalties associated with their charge.