When someone is arrested and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there is no doubt that you will feel the effects of the conviction. The consequences are in place so that you feel and experience the negative effects of a conviction for DUI to deter it from happening again.
The punishments/consequences, fees and fines vary depending upon whether it’s your first, second or third DUI. There are also other facts taken into consideration like speeding, high alcohol content, minor children in the car, etc. To learn more about the consequences of a conviction for a 1st, 2nd or 3rd DUI, visit my DUI website.
This writing will discuss the consequences of an arrest/conviction for a fourth DUI. This is a very serious charge and, if caught driving while under the influence for the fourth time in a ten-year period, will cause the case to be filed as a felony. And, although prior convictions for DUI are serious, they are misdemeanors and may not be looked at the same way a felony conviction would be.
For instance, if you are applying for a new job and you have a conviction(s) for misdemeanor DUI, your perspective employer may be willing to over look this as just bad luck; being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may be able to convince them that this was in your past and you’ve accepted the consequences and have no intention of it happening again. However, if you have a felony conviction for DUI, that sends a pretty loud message that, there is a problem. Further, some employers/companies will not hire someone who has a felony conviction and certain licensing agencies will not license you with a felony conviction.
In addition to the effects it may have on your future employment, the punishment for a fourth DUI will definitely effect your current employment, as well as your life. If convicted, you face a maximum three years in jail or prison. If granted jail time, after doing your time, you would then be on five years formal probation. Or, if released from prison, you would then be on parole. As you can see, a conviction would have very serious consequences for many years to follow. It is therefore so important to consult with a good, experienced DUI defense lawyer to find out if there are any options other than a felony plea and incarceration.
First, your attorney should look at the initial stop. Was there reasonable cause to pull you over in the first place? This is important because police agencies must have reasonable cause to pull you over and if they don’t, anything after that becomes legally irrelevant.
Second, your attorney may want to challenge the breath or blood test administered. The equipment used for measuring alcohol on the breath must be maintained and logs kept for that maintenance. If errors can be found in the maintenance logs, this may be enough to have the results thrown out. Also, the same goes for blood draw results. The blood testing must be done according to guidelines and can be challenged if not administered correctly.
If none of the above is going to help your case, then your attorney will have to get creative in his bargaining. The ultimate goal would be to somehow have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor but, if that is not an option, getting creative with the sentencing will be your best shot. There are many options to look at. Some of the options that may help someone with a conviction for a fourth DUI may include: House arrest, individual monitoring with an ankle bracelet, in-patient alcohol programs or an intensive DUI Court program.
No matter what your situation is, consulting with an experienced attorney is a must when you are facing such a serious charge. There is no way to know if you have a fighting chance unless you consult with an expert.