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Drunk Driving Charge - What are my options for a 4th DUI?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A half-drunk glass of beer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]A half-drunk glass of beer[/caption]

Charged with 4th DUI- What do I do?

  If you have been charged with a fourth drunk driving charge and you are convicted you are facing severe criminal penalties in all states. There are several steps you need to take immediately.
  • Gather the information you have been given from your DUI arrest and thoroughly read it. Did your car get towed? Find out how to get it back.
  • Find out when you are required to show up for all of your court appearances.
  • If your license has been suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state find out how to challenge the administrative license suspension. This must be done within a specific number of days.
  • Contact a DUI lawyer and schedule a meeting to review your DUI charges. Find out how much the DUI lawyer will cost and what services are included in their fees.
  • Show up to all scheduled court appearances. Make sure you are dressed appropriately. Do not show up drunk.
  • Research how the DUI legal process works and what the prosecution must prove to win their drunk driving case against you.

What do I discuss with my drunk driving lawyer?

  It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. You may also be arrested for DUI if you have consumed alcohol at any level and you are unable to safely operate your motorized vehicle. The state generally gathers information about your drunk driving arrest through field sobriety tests and a blood alcohol concentration test. If you have a high BAC, if you have been involved in an accident, if you have a child in the car or if you are operating your motorized vehicle with a suspended license you may be facing higher drunk driving penalties. Every aspect of your drunk driving charge should be discussed with your drunk driving lawyer. If they are familiar with your state’s laws and the prosecutor they may know more about your options for either pleading to a lesser charge or your chances of winning your DUI case.

What drunk driving penalties am I facing for a fourth DUI?

  A fourth drunk driving charge can be significant: it generally signifies you have a problem with alcohol, in most states it can be a felony charge and you may be facing mandatory prison. Additionally, a felony conviction is likely to start hurting your chances to find employment. Employers generally perform a background check during the hiring process and are likely to find out you have been charged and convicted of a felony. What penalties can you face? State laws vary, but in Virginia, for instance, you will be charged with a felony and you can face a mandatory one year prison term, a minimum $1,000 fine and a lengthy license suspension (and these are the minimum DUI penalties). If you have been charged with a fourth drunk driving felony charge you do not need to panic but as mentioned above, it is time to find a great drunk driving lawyer and start thinking about significant changes that you may need to make in your life to make sure this does not happen a fifth time.
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