Protecting Clients from Severe Criminal Penalties
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is always a serious charge. Getting a fourth offense for a DUI in California often leads to harsher penalties, as courts are much less lenient on repeat offenders. Extended jail time or prison time, expensive fines, and a multi-year license suspension can all be expected if you are convicted of a DUI for the fourth time.
Fortunately, every individual is innocent until proven guilty, even if this is your fourth offense. Our defense attorneys at the DUI Defense Group can gather evidence in your defense and create a comprehensive legal strategy to reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. Defending against a fourth DUI charge on your own is unlikely to get you the outcome you deserve. Hiring an experienced legal team is the best way to protect your future and your freedom.
If you are facing a fourth DUI charge, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact our law office today by calling 866-927-3295.
What Counts as a Fourth Offense DUI?
In California, a fourth offense DUI is a fourth DUI offense within ten years. You must have been convicted of three other DUI charges on three separate occasions for them to count toward your record. DUI arrests that end in an acquittal or no charges do not count as offenses. Fourth-offense DUIs can also be triggered by wet reckless driving and an out-of-state DUI.
A DUI conviction can include driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. A fourth DUI offense typically carries more severe penalties, as judges will try to dissuade repeat offenders from driving under the influence again. DMV penalties are also harsher, as the California DMV has the power to suspend or revoke your license.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a Fourth Offense DUI?
The potential penalties for a fourth DUI depend on the nature of your charges and whether anyone was hurt or killed because of your actions. Generally, the penalties will be the same as your first three convictions, but they will likely be harsher and more severe. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that you were driving while intoxicated, that your BAC was 0.08% or higher, and that you were driving under the influence for the fourth time in ten years.
Below are the most common penalties for a fourth DUI:
- One year in jail
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Probation of up to five years
- License suspension of up to four years
The California DMV may also assign you the title of “habitual traffic offender.” A habitual traffic offender is a repeat offender who has proven they cannot drive safely. Habitual offenders are more likely to have their licenses suspended or revoked.
The court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car. An IID measures your blood alcohol concentration before allowing the vehicle to start. It also randomly requests to test your BAC while you are driving.
After a fourth DUI conviction, your car insurance rates will likely increase. You may have to be on probation for a certain period of time, which could force you to report your conviction to your employer. A DUI conviction can result in job loss and may put a strain on your personal and professional relationships.
Depending on your charges, the court may order you to complete a drug and alcohol education program. You may be required to submit urine samples for drug testing to complete this course.
What Are the Most Common Defenses Against a Fourth Offense DUI?
Fourth-offense DUIs can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to defend against the charges and reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. Your defense strategy will depend on the nature of your charges and criminal history. However, our team may use some common defense strategies to fight for you.
Below are the most common defense strategies for a DUI charge:
- The police did not have probable cause to make a traffic stop
- The police did not perform field sobriety tests correctly
- The defendant has a medical condition that mimics intoxication
- The defendant has a medical condition that impacts the results of a BAC test
- The blood test samples were contaminated
- The police had insufficient probable cause to arrest the defendant
Can Fourth Offense DUIs be Expunged?
Expunging a criminal record deletes the record from the public database. Without expungement, your fourth offense DUI will stay on your criminal record for life. Offenders may qualify for expungement if they were never incarcerated in state prison and completed probation.
If you would like to expunge your record, our team can help you submit a petition to the court. If the court accepts your petition, a judge will erase your records from the public. Your conviction will no longer appear on any background check done by a member of the general population. However, your criminal record will still be accessible to law enforcement and the court.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help Me?
Being convicted of your fourth DUI in ten years often leads to severe consequences. Prison time, expensive fines, and a license suspension are all likely, as courts are much harsher on repeat offenders.
Hiring a team of experienced defense attorneys is the best way to protect yourself from these harsh penalties. At the DUI Defense Group, our attorneys have years of experience defending our clients from DUI charges. We are confident that we can reduce or remove the penalties you are facing. For more information and to receive a free consultation, contact our office at 866-927-3295.