This is an important question that we often receive in our office. As of August 5, 2015, a person may be sentenced to prison time for a fourth DUI conviction. Before, jail time and fines were the primary punishments for a DUI, no matter how many you had received prior. Now, a fourth DUI may be treated as a felony, and the penalties may be much more severe. These penalties could include up to six years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines—that’s half of a million.
This is my fourth DUI. Will I have to serve prison time?
This does not mean, however, that you are guaranteed felony penalties if you are convicted with a fourth DUI. This will be solely up to the judge deciding your case. This is why it is so important that you retain a DUI defense attorney who can build the strongest defense possible and best represent you in court. If you have been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and you have already had three or more offenses, do not take it lightly. These are serious charges that can drastically change your life for years to come if you are not prepared enough to fight your charges competently and skillfully when the time comes.
Does it matter where I got the DUI?
Many people think that each state keeps its own tally of DUI convictions.
This is NOT the case.
A DUI in Colorado is a DUI in Kentucky is a DUI in Florida and so on. It doesn’t matter where you were convicted of your DUI. Convictions from anywhere in the United States count toward your record.
Another common trap that drivers often fall into is this: you are subject to the laws of the state where you receive your conviction. If, for instance, you are driving through Kansas on your way home and you are charged with your third DUI, you will be subject to that state’s law which treats a third offense as a felony.