A third DUI offense (within five years of the first offense) has serious administrative and criminal penalties. A third offense is categorized as a felony.
Punishments and Penalties
Not only do you face having your driver’s license immediately confiscated and revoked at the time of your arrest, but you may also face:
- A fine that ranges from $2000 to $5000, plus court costs
- A prison sentence of 1 to 5 years in the State Penitentiary
- Drivers license suspension for a minimum of 5 years after jail release
- The seizure and sale of your automobile, with sale proceeds given to the state
- An ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for at least 6 months after your license is reinstated and you have also completed a diagnostic assessment and possibly treatment for alcohol and/or drugs.
- A felony conviction
Those who have received a third offense DUI may also be required to attend alcohol education classes. Community service requirements may also be a part of the penalties involved when arrested for DUI in Mississippi.
Mississippi’s "Washout" Rule
Misissippi has a lenient “washout” rule -- prior offences that did not occur within the last five years cannot be used to trigger any sort of punishment for multiple offences.
Sobriety Tests and Refusal Hearings
Individuals may refuse a field sobriety test, but if asked to take a chemical test by the arresting officer, they are required by law to do so. If this test is refused, your driver’s license can be suspended for at least 90 days. A temporary, non-renewable driving permit may be issued at this time, but is only valid for a period of 45 days after the initial DUI arrest was made. License suspension under these circumstances may be challenged in a Refusal Hearing if said hearing is scheduled within 10 days of the postmark date on the letter advising of the impending license suspension.
Seeking Legal Assistance
While some states allow some reduction in DUI sentencing, Mississippi specifically prohibits any plea bargaining in a DUI conviction. You have the choice to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the judge will have you sign a waiver of rights if you do not want an attorney, then he/she will sentence you in accordance with state law which will include all possible penalties. The clerk will send an abstract of the conviction to the highway patrol where it will become part of your driving record. because of the severity of the penalties, you may wish to consult with a qualified DUI atorney.