Fourth DUI Penalties
If you have been arrested for a fourth DUI in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, the case can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If the case is charged as a felony, the charge is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000 fine. Contact a DUI Lawyer in Tampa, FL, at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss this very serious felony offense with serious criminal penalties.
Florida Statute Section 316.193(2)(b)(3)
Florida Statute Section 316.193(2)(b)(3) provides that a fourth conviction for a DUI constitutes a third-degree felony. However, the prosecutor may be precluded from using prior misdemeanor convictions to support a felony DUI conviction under this provision if:
- the prior convictions occurred when the person convicted was not represented by an attorney;
- the defendant was indigent and entitled to court-appointed counsel;
- the defendant did not waive the right to counsel, and
- the convictions were punishable by imprisonment.
State v. Kelly, 999 So.2d 1029, 1053 (Fla.2008). If the prosecutor has charged a DUI as a felony based upon a belief that three prior convictions had occurred, the defendant bears the initial burden of showing through a written motion under oath that at least one of the prior convictions should be eliminated.
As a practical matter, it is often more difficult for the prosecutor to prove prior convictions if the convictions are more than 10 years old or if the convictions occurred in another state.
Permanent Lifetime Ban - Florida Driver's License Revocation
Perhaps the most serious consequence of a fourth DUI conviction is that a Fourth DUI in Florida results in a permanent revocation of your driver's license (regardless of whether it is treated as a first, second, third, or subsequent DUI by the trial court at sentencing).
If this DUI is the Fourth DUI that appears on your driving record either now or in the future, then your driver's license will be permanently revoked. Florida law now provides that it is possible to obtain a hardship license after serving ten (10) years of the revocation period.
After the 10 years the person becomes eligible to apply for a hardship driver's license in the Administrative Reviews Office where the person lives. The person must complete DUI School and all recommended treatment if referred. The person must also have a favorable recommendation from the Special Supervision Services program to be eligible for a hardship license. Once approval to reinstate for a hardship license, the driver must present the approval to the driver license office to do the following:
- take the driver's license examination;
- pay an administrative fee;
- pay a reinstatement fee;
- pay any license fee; and
- show proof of bodily injury liability insurance with appropriate limits.
The person must remain in the Special Supervision Services Program to retain the hardship license.
Finding an Attorney for a 4th DUI
Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your arrest and prosecution for a fourth DUI in Tampa or Plant City in Hillsborough County, FL or the surrounding counties. At the Sammis Law Firm, our attorneys provide free consultations.