Each time you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you face harsher penalties. All DUIs in California are “priorable.” Considering all of this, what is the charge for a fourth DUI? The court may still use Vehicle Code Section 23152 to prosecute a driver for a fourth DUI. However, this charge could be increased to a felony-level offense.
Keep reading to find out more about a fourth DUI charge in California. Consider the nature of this charge, review penalties for a fourth DUI conviction, and go over possible defenses for a DUI accusation.
Find Out Why Drivers Are Charged with a DUI
Drivers in California must follow the state’s regulations on blood alcohol content (BAC). Generally, California requires you to keep your BAC under 0.08% while driving. However, this is not true for all drivers. Drivers:
- Under the age of 21 must keep their BAC under 0.01%
- Operating commercial vehicles must keep their BAC under 0.04%
Failure to follow these regulations may lead to DUI charges. DUI charges also apply if you operate a vehicle after using drugs, including marijuana. You are not permitted to operate a vehicle with any detectable amount of drugs in your system. In some cases, drivers face DUI charges for taking prescription medications that impact their ability to operate a vehicle.
Learn More About a Fourth DUI in California
As we mentioned, all DUIs in California are priorable. These offenses stay on your criminal record indefinitely. They remain on your driving record for 10 years. If convicted of another DUI within that 10-year period, you face harsher penalties.
A fourth DUI within 10 years is considered a wobbler. The prosecution may treat a wobbler as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Frequently, felony charges are used to handle a fourth DUI within 10 years. However, you may face misdemeanor charges.
Note that we are only discussing DUIs that did not cause an injury or a death. These DUIs are often prosecuted under VC 23152. The prosecution might use different charges if you were involved in an accident while driving under the influence.
The Penalties for a Fourth DUI in 10 Years
Each time you are convicted of a DUI in California, you face higher penalties. A fourth DUI may lead to the following repercussions:
- Prison time of up to three years
- Mandatory DUI school of up to 30 months
- Use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for several years
IIDs are personal breathalyzers. They attach to the steering column of your vehicle. You breathe into them each time you want to use your vehicle. They check your blood alcohol content (BAC) and allow you to drive if they do not detect alcohol. California requires most drivers convicted of a DUI to install an IID.
You may also face high fines for a felony DUI charge in California. Note that once convicted of a felony DUI, you are considered a felon. Additionally, the court may charge all subsequent DUIs as felonies if you have one felony DUI conviction on your record. Call (310) 929-6503 to learn more about the results of a fourth DUI in California.
Handle a Fourth DUI Offense With a Lawyer
The court may prosecute a fourth DUI in 10 years as a felony. You may end up dealing with severe consequences if you are convicted. Reach out to a DUI lawyer in California to get help handling this situation. A lawyer may work to:
- Get your DUI charges dismissed
- Get your felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor
- Build a strong defense for your court case
The prosecution may reduce your charges with a plea bargain. You agree to accept a less severe charge if you take a plea bargain — this may allow you to resolve your DUI charges successfully. Other drivers face a courtroom trial for a fourth DUI. A lawyer may investigate your case to begin working on your defense right now. Get help handling your unique DUI charges by contacting a legal team here in California.
Speak to a Lawyer About the Charge for a Fourth DUI
What is the charge for a fourth DUI? These DUIs are generally prosecuted as felonies. You may face fines, prison time, and other penalties for a conviction. Get help handling a fourth DUI from the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to us now for a free consultation. We may review your case and work on your defense today.
Find out more by completing our online contact form. You may also call (310) 929-6503.