In court, someone who is convicted of a Fourth Offense DUI faces:
FINES: A base fine of $390 - $1,000. Usually, the prosecutor will ask for a higher base fine on a fourth offense. Prosecutors may offer $750 or up, but that’s only the base fine. That amount is then substantially increased by penalties and assessments. It comes out to somewhere around $3,500 in LA County, and it’s over $4,500 in Ventura County.
JAIL: The minimum jail time on a fourth offense is 180 days of county jail, with probation. A fourth offense DUI may be charged as a misdemeanor, or as a Felony DUI. If the DUI is a felony, then you face 16 months, 2, or 3 years in prison. A skilled DUI attorney from The Law Office of Ben Mironer can fight to reduce your DUI charges, and potential prevent you from having to serve prison, or jail. If your attorney can reduce your fourth offense DUI charges to a lesser offense, then you will not be required to serve a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
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It’s very difficult to get fourth offense DUI charges reduced because prosecutors understand how punishing the county jail requirement is. We often need to show extenuating circumstances, including problems with the prosecution’s proof. We often successfully attack the validity of prior convictions, and force the prosecutors to prove every element of their case. If we can get the prosecutor to strike a prior, then a possible fourth offense Felony DUI charge, may become a misdemeanor third offense DUI charge. This could mean the difference between a major prison sentence, and a minor jail sentence. This is the difference between having a serious felony on your record, or a misdemeanor conviction.
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ALCOHOL PROGRAM: Someone who is convicted of a fourth offense DUI, must complete an 18 month alcohol program, known as the “SB38.” This program is the same program that had to be completed after the second and third offense. A skilled DUI attorney from The Law Office of Ben Mironer can fight to reduce your DUI charges, and potential prevent you from having to take an 18 month alcohol program. If your attorney can reduce your fourth offense DUI charges to a “Wet Reckless” driving, or lower, then you will not be required to complete the SB38 alcohol program. Prosecutors make it substantially more difficult to get your fourth offense DUI charges reduced because they know how burdensome the 18 month alcohol program is.
DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION: The “mandatory action” by the DMV is the required suspension that automatically starts the day someone is convicted of a fourth offense DUI, in court. The mandatory action on a fourth offense DUI conviction is a four year drivers license revocation under California Vehicle Code §13352. There is an opportunity to get a restricted drivers license. After 12 months, and proof of 12 months good standing in the SB38 program, a fourth offender may obtain a restricted driver’s license under California Vehicle Code §13352. The DMV must receive proof that an Ignition Interock Device (IID) was installed, along with proof of insurance, and proof of enrollment in the SB38. Once an IID is installed, and all of the DMV requirements are met, the licensee can drive anywhere at any time.
On the DMV side, someone who lost their DMV hearing faces:
ADMINISTRATIVE DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION: The “administrative action” by the DMV, is the suspension that the DMV hearing officer decides whether to impose, after an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing is conducted. The license suspension associated with a fourth offense administrative action is a one year suspension, with no eligibility for a restricted license. However, after 12 months, you may apply for a restricted drivers license under California Vehicle Code §13352. This restricted license allows someone to drive anywhere at any time, with the installation of an IID. A knowledgeable attorney at The Law Office of Ben Mironer can advise you as to all of your rights.
REFUSAL: The consequences for a refusal in court, on a fourth offense, are worse than a regular fourth offense DUI. Aside from the sentencing enhancement, it is an enhancing factor that the prosecutor considers in making an offer. An attorney at The Law Office of Ben Mironer can truly help someone charged with a “Refusal,” because these cases tend to have less evidence for a prosecutor.
The suspension from the DMV is a one year driving suspension for the Refusal, and another year for the fourth offense DUI. This means no driving at all for TWO years. Unlike a regular administrative suspension, a suspension for a refusal can’t be reversed in criminal court, even if found to be not guilty after trial. The only way to reverse a DMV suspension for a refusal, is to petition the California Superior Court with a petition for writ of mandate. Our office is proud to be one of the few offices in California to have the Superior Court grant our petitions for writ of mandate. Another key note is that these suspensions (Court and DMV) do not run concurrently, which means if you start serving one, you don’t accumulate credit for the other one. Each suspension basically starts a no driving suspension.
A seasoned fourth DUI attorney from the Law Office of
Ben Mironer knows how critical it is in fourth DUI cases to keep a close eye on the how the court case impacts the DMV side, and vice versa. This is one the reasons it’s imperative to hire an attorney that focuses on fourth DUI defense. An attorney from our office will help ease your mind by explaining all of the legal issues in your case. For more information, contact us here.
EXAMPLE CASE RESULTS:
Ventura, Felony 4th DUI, Charges Dismissed
Ventura County, 4th Offense Felony DUI, Reduced to Misdemeanor 3rd Offense