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What Happens When Someone Gets Arrested for the Third Time?

Jun 27

Facing a criminal charge like a DUI can feel scary and overwhelming. Whether it’s your first time being arrested or your third, it’s not unexpected to feel concerned about what it will mean for your life. DUI arrests aren’t uncommon. They account for 10% of all criminal arrests across the US, which is more than all violent crimes combined. However, it’s important to remember that just because you’re arrested for a DUI it doesn’t mean it will lead to a conviction.

The national standard for legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) while driving is .08%. With that said, each situation is different, each judge has a different perspective, and each lawyer has a different approach.

The consequences of a DUI conviction can be harsh, though the penalties may vary depending on your state. Typically, with additional similar offenses, those consequences become even more severe. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when someone gets arrested for the third time.

First DUI

While any arrest can feel incredibly nerve-racking, having it happen for the first time may be the most difficult to process. You’re likely unsure of what to expect and may be having a tough time taking in everything that’s happening.


Possible consequences can vary depending on your BAC at the time of your arrest. You might be looking at alcohol classes or community service, or you may be looking at jail time.

Fortunately, when something like this happens for the first time, there are a number of different strategies a great DUI lawyer can put in place to help fight your case.

Second DUI

A second DUI charge within 10 years of the first conviction can mean serious penalties for the crime. Thousands of dollars in fines, as well as potential jail time, can be challenging to face. License suspension or revocation and an IID (ignition interlock device) in your vehicle may be consequences you’re up against as well.

Third DUI

If you’re arrested for a DUI a third time or more, you’ll likely be facing the most severe consequences you’ve seen yet. From mandatory minimum jail time and a potential jail sentence of several years, it can all be incredibly overwhelming to think about. That’s why having an experienced DUI attorney on your side is so important for your case and for your wellbeing.


Having someone in your corner who has complete knowledge of the law and court system is imperative for your case to stand the best chance possible. From reduced penalties to potential dismissal of the charges altogether, a great attorney will know which strategies to implement in order for your case to be as successful as possible.

A Final Note

If you do get arrested—whether it’s your first time or your third—remember to remain calm no matter what. Say as little as you can to the police, and reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you’re able.