Third Time DUI Charges in Rockville
Although first and second offense DUIs are very serious charges with potentially serious consequences, third offense DUI convictions are treated much harsher by law enforcement officials, because a third offense DUI shows a pattern of alcohol abuse and negligence. Below, a Rockville DUI lawyer discusses more precisely how third-offense DUI charges are treated in Rockville, MD. For more information about third offense DUI charges in Rockville, contact an experienced Rockville DUI attorney to schedule a consultation.
How Third Offense DUI Charges Are Handled in Rockville
While these charges are still heard in the District Court of Montgomery County, prosecutors are typically going to handle these cases with much more detail than they would for first or even second offenses. Third offense DUIs are offenses in which prosecutors typically recommend a period of incarceration. More importantly, the judges see that the individual has serious alcohol problems that need to be addressed in ways that might not be satisfied by a few days in jail or a period of supervised probation.
Does Time Between Offenses Factor Into Case?
A third offense DUI charge is going to be serious no matter how long ago the first two occurred. Certainly, the longer the period of time, the better the argument can be by the defense attorney, claiming the offender might have relapsed after a lengthy period of time. If two or three years have gone by, it may be a difficult argument to make. If 20 or 30 years have gone by, the judges may be more receptive to the argument that a third offender should not be treated as a third offender but rather as a second or a first offender.
Diversion Programs in Rockville
Diversion programs will never be offered in DUI cases in Rockville. Probation will certainly be a part of any sentence, but it will be accompanied by some period of incarceration.
Courts’ Treatment of Third DUIs
For third offense DUI charges, the person is typically going to be facing more jail time, lengthier periods of probation, and more conditions on probation. When an individual is on their third DUI, the court has more significant concerns, not about the person’s poor decision-making or lack of judgment, but that they have a serious alcohol problem that needs to be addressed.
Building a Defense for Rockville Third Offense DUI
Like first and second DUI charges, lawyers look to determine whether the individual was properly stopped and properly detained, whether there was probable cause to place the individual under arrest, whether their breathalyzer or blood tests were taken after the individual was properly advised, and if the officers will testify appropriately and convincingly to these particular factors.
Most important in a third DUI case is preparing for defense in a very thorough manner. It is essential to make sure that the individual is in some type of an in-patient treatment program, is attending Alcoholics Anonymous or other self-help group meetings regularly, and has a sponsor, so that a picture is painted for the judge that this individual has an alcohol problem, has recognized the problem, is getting treatment for the problem, and that the court is comfortable with that progress.