Each time you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you face increasingly harsh penalties, including incarceration. How long do you go to jail for a fourth DUI? You may, in fact, end up in prison after a fourth DUI. You could face years of time behind bars.
Fourth DUI charges in California are treated very seriously. The court may prosecute a fourth DUI as a felony. Learn more about the results of a fourth DUI within 10 years right now.
Felony Charges for a Fourth DUI in California
Many DUI cases in California are prosecuted as misdemeanors. This is not always the case. The court considers a fourth DUI within a 10-year period to be a “wobbler.” The court may prosecute a wobbler as a misdemeanor or a felony. Fourth DUIs are generally prosecuted as felonies.
You should be aware that there are many DUI charges in California. Any of the following charges could count as a DUI:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving with excessive blood alcohol content (BAC)
- DUI causing injury
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Reckless driving involving alcohol
The above list is not comprehensive. There are other charges that may count as a DUI. You may speak with a DUI lawyer about the charges you are facing to determine if they are priorable.
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Prison Time for a Felony DUI in California
We mentioned that the court often treats a fourth DUI as a felony. Felony DUI charges may lead to up to four years of prison time. You may face four years of time in prison only if you are charged with a “simple” DUI. In a simple DUI, no one gets hurt or killed.
You may face a longer period of time in jail if someone is hurt or killed while you are driving under the influence. A charge for vehicular manslaughter may also lead to four years of time in prison. However, some charges are more serious. You could face:
- Up to ten years in prison for a DUI with an injury.
- Up to life in prison for gross vehicular manslaughter.
Felony DUI charges in California should always be taken seriously. Someone could be hurt any time a DUI occurs. Make sure you have legal advice on your side if you are accused of harming someone while driving under the influence.
Additional Results of a Conviction for a Fourth DUI
You face more than prison time if you are convicted of a fourth DUI in California. The court may order you to pay high fines after a conviction. You may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.
IIDs work as breathalyzers. You must use them each time you want to operate your vehicle. You blow into the device, allowing it to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). The IID only allows your vehicle to start if your BAC is at an acceptable level. Senate Bill 1046 allows you to keep operating your vehicle as long as you use an IID.
The court may also deem you a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) after a fourth DUI. HTO status means you face harsher penalties for all future traffic violations. You may have time added to your sentence and face additional fines for additional convictions.
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Build a Defense to a Fourth DUI Accusation in California
You may want legal help if you are accused of a fourth DUI in California. The court may charge you with a felony in this situation. A DUI lawyer may take your situation seriously and get to work on your defense. A lawyer could work to show that:
- You were stopped by a police officer without reasonable cause.
- You were not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- You were given improperly administered BAC tests.
Begin working on your case right now. The court may act harsher on repeat offenders in DUI cases. Contact a lawyer to focus on getting your charges reduced or dismissed.
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Find Out How Long You Go to Prison for a Fourth DUI
You may end up going to prison for many years after a fourth DUI in California. This time may be increased if you are accused of hurting someone. Get help handling this situation from the Simmrin Law Group. You may also fill out our online contact form to get legal help.
Our team may provide you with a free consultation. Review all of your legal options with us right now.