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California DUI - Fourth Drunk Driving Conviction

Drivers convicted for a fourth DUI in the state of California can expect high fines and drunk driving penalties. It is illegal in California to driver with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or higher, even if the driver does not display any dangerous driving. It is also illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol content of any amount if the driver is not able to safely drive.

Penalties and Fines for Fourth DUI Conviction in California

  Drivers arrested for a fourth drunk driving conviction in California within a 10 year time period can expect to be charged with a felony offense. They will be assessed fines and penalties up to $3,000 and spend 16 months to three years in prison or 180 days to 1 year in jail. Drivers will also have a lengthy license suspension. Drivers must also complete 30 months of an alcohol education class.

How does the court determine how much jail time a driver must serve after a 4th California DUI conviction?

  The California courts will have some discretion to determine how much jail time a driver should receive after their fourth DUI in California. The courts will evaluate the driver’s drunk driving records, blood alcohol content at the time of the DUI arrest (a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher is considered very high and could result in increased jail time), whether the driver refused to take the blood alcohol content test, whether the driver was involved in an accident, whether the driver injured another person, whether the driver was speeding, or if the driver had a minor in the car at the time of the DUI arrest. The amount of jail time can also be impacted by the presiding judge and which county court hears the DUI case.

How does a California drunk driving arrest impact an out of state license?

  Many drivers who are arrested for drunk driving in California do not live there but are just passing through either for business or pleasure. Although the Department of Motor Vehicles in California cannot eliminate your right to drive in your state they will share your drunk driving arrest with the other states that are part of the Driver License Compact. This means that if your state is a part of the Driver License Compact they will receive notification of your California DUI and they will most likely suspend your driver’s license in your home state.

What if I am not a United States Citizen?

  Another concern for many drivers who are not U.S. residents is whether or not they will be removed from the state due to a drunk driving conviction. Although this is generally not a factor for a misdemeanor charge, if this is your fourth drunk driving conviction and you have been charged with a felony it is time to talk to not only a DUI lawyer but also an immigration lawyer about your situation, especially if your DUI is considered an aggravated felony.
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