You should take a fourth driving under the influence (DUI) charge seriously in California. The court may prosecute a fourth DUI charge as a felony. Convictions may result in time behind bars, fines, and other penalties. Many drivers wonder if they can avoid jail time after a fourth DUI.
Generally, a conviction for a fourth DUI will result in incarceration. However, you may get sent to prison instead of jail. Check out this article to learn more about the results of a fourth DUI conviction here in California.
Felony Charges for a Fourth DUI
Most DUI charges are treated as misdemeanors in California. However, drivers with three previous DUIs in a 10-year period may face felony charges. Felony charges may have serious repercussions on your life. A conviction for a “basic” felony DUI may result in:
- Up to three years of prison time
- Fines and court fees
- Up to five years’ driver’s license suspension
- Up to 30 months in DUI school
Jail time is generally not used for felony DUI charges. However, prison is a harsher punishment. Drivers sent to prison may have to stay far away from their homes and family. Additionally, other individuals in the prison could be sent there after committing serious and violent crimes.
Understand Wobblers Charges in California
Technically, a fourth DUI charge in 10 years is a “wobbler.” Wobblers are special charges. They are allowed to get treated as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the charge. This means that, in some cases, a fourth DUI might get charged as a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor charges generally lead to jail time instead of prison time. A lawyer can work to get your charges reduced to a misdemeanor after a felony arrest. However, you should know that most fourth DUIs are considered felonies.
You may also face felony charges if you cause a DUI accident that results in an injury or fatality. The prosecution may charge you with a felony in this situation even if you do not have any past DUIs on your record.
Focus on Avoiding Prison Time for a Fourth DUI
A conviction for a fourth DUI generally results in prison time. Does this mean that you will always go to prison if you are arrested for a fourth DUI? In fact, you may resolve DUI charges in California in order to stay out of prison. A DUI lawyer can help you work on your defense now. Just call (310) 997-4688.
A lawyer could assess the unique facts of your case here in California. Your lawyer may then work to:
- Dispute the results of blood alcohol content (BAC) testing
- Argue that you were stopped without reasonable cause
- Work to show that you were not impaired at the time of your arrest
Taking these steps may help your lawyer construct a strong defense for you.
Methods to Resolve Charges for a DUI in California
Your DUI lawyer can provide you with comprehensive legal aid after an arrest. In addition to working on your defense, a lawyer may:
- Help you handle interviews with prosecutors and police officers
- Work to block evidence against you
- Make sure police officers do not violate your rights
In some cases, a lawyer may take steps to get your charges dismissed. You may not face prison time if a judge dismisses your DUI charges. However, make sure you pay attention to how your charges are dismissed. Charges dismissed “without prejudice” may get brought up again.
Some DUI charges are resolved with a plea bargain. However, plea bargains often aren’t offered for a fourth DUI. If you are offered a plea bargain, allow a lawyer to look it over before you accept. Some plea bargains work against your best interests in California.
Your lawyer may also stand up for you in court. A lawyer could represent you and present a case to show that you should not get convicted. You do not have to go to prison if you are found not-guilty of a DUI in California.
Work to Avoid Prison Time After a Fourth DUI
You may avoid prison time after a fourth DUI in the state of California. However, avoiding prison time could be challenging. You can work with the team at the Simmrin Law Group to get legal help building a defense. Our DUI lawyers can start working on your defense right now. Find out how we could help you with a free consultation.
Reach out to us at (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form.