Alleged offenders who have been arrested for their fourth or subsequent driving under the influence (DUI) offenses can face very serious penalties if convicted. Prosecutors will seek very stiff sentences for the people accused of these crimes, including lengthy prison sentences and steep fines.
A fourth or subsequent DUI arrest will usually result in felony charges for the alleged offender, but certain people may be charged with misdemeanor offenses when their prior offenses occurred more than 10 years ago or happened in other states. Alleged offenders convicted of fourth or subsequent DUI offenses can have their driver’s licenses permanently revoked.Lawyer for Fourth or Subsequent DUI Arrests in Broward County, FL
Were you recently arrested for an alleged fourth or subsequent DUI offense anywhere in South Florida? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact The Hoffman Firm for help achieving the most favorable resolution possible to your case.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents clients charged with DUI offenses all over Broward County, including Sunrise, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines, and many other nearby communities. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (954) 524-4474 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Fort Lauderdale Fourth DUI Information Center
- Is there a way for alleged offenders to avoid having prior convictions used against them?
- What are the consequences of being convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense?
- Where can I learn more fourth DUI in Broward County?
Fourth DUI Charges in Florida
Under Florida Statute § 316.193, an alleged offender can be charged with DUI if he or she drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle within Florida and either has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher or is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance, and was affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired or to the extent that he or she is deprived of full possession of normal faculties, to drive or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle.
In general, a fourth or subsequent DUI offense is a third-degree felony. The Supreme Court of Florida, however, concluded in State v. Kelly, 999 So.2d 1029, 1053 (Fla.2008) that Article I, section 16 of the Florida Constitution prevents the State from using uncounseled misdemeanor convictions to increase or enhance a defendant's later misdemeanor to a felony, unless the defendant validly waived his or her right to counsel with regard to those prior convictions.
The State may constitutionally seek increased penalties and fines short of incarceration associated with the defendant's relevant number of DUI offenses, but an alleged offender can assert under oath, through a properly executed affidavit that the prosecutor may be precluded from using prior misdemeanor convictions to support a felony DUI conviction if:
- The offense involved was punishable by imprisonment;
- The defendant was indigent and, thus, entitled to court-appointed counsel;
- Counsel was not appointed; and
- The right to counsel was not waived.
When a fourth or subsequent DUI offense is not charged as a felony, it is usually a first-degree misdemeanor offense.
Broward County Fourth DUI Penalties
As a third-degree felony, a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction can be punishable by up to five years in prison—regardless of the alleged offender’s BAC. Convictions are also punishable by fines of at least $2,000, although alleged offenders with BACs of 0.15 or higher may be ordered to pay fines of at least $4,000.
Alleged offenders can also be sentenced to five years of probation and be subject to permanent lifetime revocations of their driver’s licenses with no hardship reinstatement. Sentences could also involve possible orders to perform community service and/or the impoundment or immobilization of all vehicles owned by the alleged offender.
Florida Resources for Fourth DUI Offenses
Impaired Driving Task Force | United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse — The Impaired Driving Task Force works to reduce the rate of impaired driving incidents in Broward County through policy, public awareness and community education. You can also find information about other United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse action teams. You can also view a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guide for local impaired-driving task forces.
Impaired Driving Task Force
Broward Sheriff's Office Safety Building
2601 W. Broward Blvd., 5th Floor
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
International Drunk Driving Prevention Association (IDDPA) — IDDPA is a nonprofit making body with the mission “to prevent drink driving, to assist the victims of such accidents, and support legislative effort to achieve this goal and encourage the development of technologies to prevent drink driving.” You can read recent news, find information about drunk driving associations, and learn more facts about alcohol. Registered members can view DUI statistics and read answers to frequently asked questions.
If you have been charged with DUI for the fourth or subsequent time following an arrest in Broward County, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Hoffman Firm defends residents and visitors arrested in Plantation, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale Beach, Margate, and many surrounding areas of South Florida.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who understands the types of police errors and other issues in these cases that can lead to charges being reduced or dismissed because of his prior experience as an Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and explore all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.