The penalties for a DUI are notoriously burdensome. At first glance, penalties like fines and maybe a few weeks of jail time do not seem so bad. After all, other crimes are punished much more harshly. However, the penalties for a DUI tend to follow you for months or even years in some cases. When you are charged with a fourth DUI, these penalties can permeate your entire life.
A fourth DUI might be more than you bargained for. If you have at least 2 other DUIs within the past 10 years, a subsequent DUI could be charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. The penalties for a felony DUI include longer prison time, higher fines, longer license suspensions, and stricter ignition interlock requirements. A fourth DUI is no ordinary traffic violation; it could be a very serious felony.
If you have been charged with your fourth DUI, speak with our Utah DUI defense lawyers for guidance. The penalties are quite severe, but you still have the right to challenge your charges and defend yourself. Contact our legal defense team at Overson & Bugden for assistance. Call our offices at (801) 758-2287 and ask for a free case review.
Charges and Penalties for a Fourth DUI in Utah
Typically, a DUI is charged as a misdemeanor offense. In fact, most typical DUIs are charged as Class B misdemeanors but can be upgraded to Class A when certain aggravating factors are present. However, your charges could jump from misdemeanors to felonies if you have enough DUIs on your record.
Utah will look through the past 10 years of your record when assessing criminal charges for DUIs. According to Utah Code § 41-6a-503, a defendant with two or more previous DUI convictions within 10 years of their current DUI will be charged with a third-degree felony. Such a felony carries a maximum term in state prison of 5 years. This is much harsher than misdemeanor DUI charges that typically do not exceed one year.
You also face other steep penalties beyond prison time. For a fourth DUI, you will undoubtedly lose your license. How long you lose your license for may be up for debate. You will also likely be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and attend drug and alcohol treatment and education courses. Failure to abide by the restrictions and requirements imposed by the court could result in additional penalties. Speak to our Ogden DUI defense lawyers for help today.
How Long Will I Lose My License for a Fourth DUI in Utah?
While many different traffic violations can lead to driver’s license suspensions, DUIs are almost always guaranteed to cost you your license. The real question is not if you lose your license, but for how long. Your license suspension will depend on how many DUIs are on your record, your age, and possibly your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
For a fourth DUI, your license suspension will be for a long time. A defendant who is at least 21 and is convicted of a DUI with at least one prior DUI conviction within the last 10 years will have their license revoked for 2 years. A revocation is different from a suspension because you still do not have a license once the revocation period is over. You must re-apply for a new license after your old one is revoked. After a license suspension, your license can be restored and you would not have to re-apply for a new one.
Your age also influences your license suspension or revocation for a fourth DUI. If you are at least 19 years old but younger than 21, your license could be revoked until you turn 21 or for two years, whichever is longer. For defendants with multiple DUIs under the age of 19, your license will be revoked until they turn 21.
If you face your fourth DUI, you might need some serious legal help. Contact our Park City Utah DUI defense attorneys for guidance through this process.
How Can I Fight a Fourth DUI in Utah?
You might feel like you are up against a wall trying to fight a fourth DUI. Courts are highly unlikely to show leniency to someone with so many DUIs in their record. However, you have rights that nobody can infringe upon, no matter what your record looks like. Our Utah DUI defense attorneys can help you challenge your charges and protect your rights from prosecutorial overreach.
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to challenge your charges and protect yourself is to check the prosecutor’s case for errors. Prosecutors will be looking at your driving and criminal records to determine how to charge a fourth DUI. However, they are not allowed to consider DUIs from over 10 years ago. You might be facing a fourth DUI, but if your prior DUIs occurred over 10 years ago, your new DUI must be treated as if it is your first.
You can also challenge the various aggravating circumstances surrounding your case that could cause your charges and penalties to be upgraded. For example, we can challenge your BAC measurement if we believe the testing methods were inaccurate or the testing devices were not in proper working order. If you are alleged to have injured someone during your DUI, but we believe some other independent cause injured that person, we can argue against upgrading your penalties.
Will a Fourth DUI in Utah Affect My Job?
One DUI is bad enough, but a fourth DUI could be extremely problematic. Not only will you have to deal with the criminal penalties of a fourth DUI, but there could be collateral consequences in other areas of your life, including your job.
If you drive for a living, like a professional truck or a taxi driver, your employer likely imposes restrictions on things like DUIs and other traffic violations. If you are convicted of a fourth DUI, you could very well lose your commercial driver’s license (CDL) if you have one and your job. Not only that, but if you wish to apply for a job as a professional driver, four DUI convictions on your driving record might make you ineligible for the job.
A fourth DUI could be charged as a felony. Many jobs, even those that do not require driving as part of your job duties, are not available to those with felony convictions. If you work in a profession requiring a certain level of security clearance, a felony DUI conviction could cost you your job altogether. Speak with our Provo DUI defense attorneys about how to fight your charges.
Call Our Utah DUI Defense Attorneys for Help
If you are charged with your fourth DUI, speak to our St. George DUI defense attorneys immediately. The penalties for a fourth DUI could haunt you for years to come. Call our team at Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287. We can conduct a free initial case evaluation to get you started.