Florida state law allows for increasingly severe penalties each time a resident is charged with and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), with a third offense within ten years being treated as a felony offense. If you are charged with drunk driving again after that, though, you will face the harshest possible sanctions available, including prison time, steep fines, and administrative consequences that may last your entire life.
It is always important to have support from capable legal counsel when dealing with DUI charges, but it is absolutely vital if you have been charged with fourth-time DUI in South Florida. A DUI defense lawyer’s assistance can make all the difference in what sanctions you ultimately end up facing and whether you can ever legally drive in Florida again. Do not hesitate to reach out to Rossen Law Firm if you have been arrested. We are here to help, not to judge. We believe in fighting for you, and we will not rest until we explore every possible avenue with your defense.
So long as there are no injuries or property damage through drunk driving, first-time and second-time offenses are always considered misdemeanors, and third offenses can be either misdemeanors or felonies depending on when they occur relative to the previous two. However, fourth and subsequent DUI charges are always considered third-degree felonies under Florida Statutes §316.193, no matter how far apart the preceding charges happened or how far over the legal limit your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was.
A fourth DUI conviction in Fort Lauderdale will result in a maximum prison term of five years, as well as a minimum $2,000 fine up to a maximum of $5,000. If you had a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher, or if you were driving drunk with a minor inside the vehicle, the minimum fine you would face upon conviction would be $4,000.
It is worth noting as well that since fourth-time DUI is a felony, it can count towards you being labeled as a “habitual felony offender” in accordance with Fla. Stat. §775.084. If you have two or more past felony convictions, you could be subject to a 10-year prison term instead of five upon conviction for a fourth-time DUI.
There are technically no unique procedures under state law regarding how long you might have your vehicle(s) immobilized or impounded after release from incarceration or how long you must have an ignition interlock device put into those vehicles. However, this is not because state law is lenient on fourth-time offenders by any means.
Instead, it is because fourth-time DUI in South Florida is punishable by mandatory permanent revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license, beginning whenever they are released from incarceration. Certain individuals may be eligible to apply for hardship reinstatement of their license after five years, but you would be subject to numerous restrictions if that application were to be granted, which a seasoned lawyer can explain in more detail.
Aside from DUI manslaughter, there is no DUI offense codified under Florida state law that is punished more severely than fourth-time DUI. However, that does not mean you should not make every effort to protect your rights and contest the allegations against you to the fullest extent possible.
Representation from a dedicated defense lawyer is a necessity if you want to handle fourth-time DUI in Fort Lauderdale in a proactive way. You need the best DUI defense team in your corner, and we are ready to get to work for you. Contact Rossen Law Firm today to get started.
Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.
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