4th DUI in Florida: The Legal Consequences and Your Options

On behalf of Patrick McLain Law | April 22, 2024
Photo of Alcoholic Beverage and Car Keys

Every DUI arrest and conviction must be taken seriously. If you are facing a 4th DUI in Florida, the penalties will be the most severe. You should work with a DUI lawyer to defend you and safeguard your legal rights.

Patrick McLain Law’s legal team is experienced in defending DUI cases, including those involving subsequent arrests. Florida imposes some of the harshest penalties for 4th DUI charges. In this article, we provide you with valuable insights to help you understand your legal options when facing a 4th DUI in Florida. 

Understanding 4th DUI in Florida Penalties

Florida law is notoriously strict on DUI charges, and subsequent convictions come with hefty penalties. The consequences of a fourth DUI in Florida will result in mandatory jail time. If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you can expect to spend up to five years behind bars.

Additionally, you will need to pay fines ranging between $2,000 and $5,000. These fines do not include all associated costs and fees you must pay throughout the judicial process. Your driver’s license will most likely be permanently revoked, though you may be able to apply for a hardship license reinstatement. 

This will come with requirements to use an ignition interlock device on all vehicles you drive, completion of DUI school, and enrollment in Florida’s DUI supervision program. The courts will forbid you from consuming any alcoholic beverages or controlled substances for one year before reinstatement and afterward, too. 

A fourth DUI in Florida will also affect your personal life. You will need to rely on public transport, use rideshares, or rely on friends and family to get around. Your job may terminate you, depending on your profession, and you may no longer be able to keep your professional license. If you are embroiled in a divorce or child custody case, your 4th DUI in Florida could destroy your chances of spending time with your children. It may impact your ability to rent an apartment, buy a home, or be approved for a loan. 

Potential Defenses for 4th DUI Charge in Florida

The outlook may seem bleak after your 4th DUI charge in Florida. However, there are defense strategies to protect your rights. Contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case and determine the best course of action. 

Common defenses for a 4th DUI charge in Florida often include claiming the stop was unlawful. Remember, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to ask you to pull over. Your lawyer may argue officers did not abide by the rules and regulations for administering field sobriety tests. These are often subjective, and an officer may be biased if your record shows you’ve been arrested for a DUI before.

Your blood alcohol tests may not have even been over the legal limit. If you are 21 or over, this blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. Many times, these tests can be inaccurate if the officer isn’t properly trained or if the equipment hasn’t been maintained.
Evidence is often mishandled, too. If this is the case, it cannot be used against you. There are many other defense strategies that your attorney may consider. There is hope in fighting your 4th DUI charge. Since you only have 10 days to fight the automatic administrative suspension of your license after a DUI arrest, contact Patrick McLain Law to come to your defense.

Category: DUI