Your Case Deserves Immediate Attention - Call Hubbs Law Today
In Florida, an arrest for a fourth or subsequent DUI (driving under the influence, or drunk driving) charge can be charged as a third-degree felony no matter when the three prior DUI convictions occurred.
A fourth or subsequent DUI is not always a felony, however. If one of the prior DUI convictions occurred out of state, involved a plea without legal counsel, or occurred several years ago, then the prosecutor may have difficulty proving the prior convictions. In many of these cases, the prosecutor will be forced to drop the charge to a third DUI.
A prison sentence, heavy fines, revocation of driving privileges and a parade of other harsh penalties are imposed after a fourth DUI conviction.
If you were arrested for DUI after at least three prior DUI convictions under § 316.193 of the Florida Statutes, your mobility, and your freedom are in jeopardy. A fourth DUI conviction will also result in a lifetime revocation of your driving privileges with no possibility of obtaining a hardship license for at least five years.
Attorney for Fourth or Subsequent DUI in South Miami, Florida
A person who is arrested for DUI with three previous convictions for DUI in South Miami or anywhere in Miami-Dade County should absolutely seek the advice of a qualified criminal defense lawyer who focuses on DUI cases.
The criminal penalties and civil consequences for a fourth or subsequent drunk driving conviction are extremely serious, so you should be prepared to fight the charges with effective professional legal representation.
Hubbs Law Firm helps DUI clients from South Miami and throughout Miami-Dade County, including clients facing a fourth or subsequent DUI charge. Our firm has the experience, qualifications, and insight to assist you in confronting both the criminal and civil aspects of your DUI case.
E.J. Hubbs is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar, meaning he has attained the Bar's highest level of accreditation for competency and experience within an area of law, as well as professionalism and ethics in practice.
E.J. Hubbs relies on his knowledge of Florida DUI laws to provide effective representation for his clients who are charged with DUI. Hubbs Law Firm is always examining our clients' DUI cases closely for errors that may have occurred during any phase of the arrest process, errors that may result in a reduction or dismissal of the DUI charge.
Hubbs Law Firm serves DUI clients throughout Miami-Dade County, including Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, South Miami, Doral, Kendale Lakes, The Hammocks, Homestead, Hialeah, Miami Gardens and Miami Springs, as well as all other communities within the county.
Contact Hubbs Law at (305) 570-4802 today to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment to discuss your DUI charge with our dedicated DUI attorney.
Fourth or Subsequent DUI in Florida
A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence for a fourth time if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle.
State v. Kelly
Section 316.193(2)(b)(3) of the Florida Statutes states that a person previously convicted three times of DUI is to be charged with a third-degree felony upon arrest for a DUI fourth offense.
However, a 2008 Florida criminal court case (Statev. Kelly, 999 So. 2d 1029, 1053 (Fla. 2008)) established that a prosecutor may not be able to include certain prior misdemeanor DUI convictions and, therefore, must file a misdemeanor charge for a fourth DUI.
This is possible with the following requirements:
- Prior DUI conviction (or convictions) occurred when a person was not represented by any attorney
- Defendant was indigent (impoverished) and therefore entitled to a court-appointed public defender in a previous DUI case
- Defendant did not waive right to counsel in a DUI previous case
- Convictions were punishable by imprisonment
Under Kelly, a DUI defendant bears the initial burden of proof to show under oath or through a written motion to the court that at least one of the prior convictions should be eliminated. A qualified DUI lawyer will be able to guide a DUI client through this process.
Note: A person may be charged with and convicted of DUI even if he or she does not consume any alcohol, as quoted above from the Florida Statutes. If the police suspect that a driver is impaired by drugs or a controlled substance, a blood test may be ordered to confirm the presence of drugs or a controlled substance.
Elements That Must Be Proven to Obtain a Fourth or Subsequent DUI Conviction
For the state of Florida to convict a person of a fourth or subsequent DUI under Florida Statutes, § 316.193(1), a judge or jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt that a person has done certain things.
These actions include the following:
- Drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle
- While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, had a BAC of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath, or was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired
- Was previously convicted of DUI three (or more) times
Possible Criminal & Civil Penalties for a Fourth DUI Conviction
The penalties for a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction in Florida are both criminal and civil (administrative). A person with four or more previous DUI convictions is often considered to be a significant public safety concern, so punishments for any DUI after a third DUI are severe, no matter how long ago the most recent prior DUI occurred.
Under § 316.193(2)(b)(3) of the Florida Statutes, the typical penalties for a fourth or subsequent DUI include:
- Up to five years in prison for a third-degree felony
- A fine of up to $5,000 for a third-degree felony (fine is $4,000 to $5,000 with aggravating circumstances, such as DUI with BAC of 0.15 or more or DUI with child passenger)
- Vehicle impound or immobilization for 90 days (mandatory except in certain cases)
- Lifetime driver's license revocation (no possible reinstatement for five years)
- Mandatory placement and payment for at least two years of an approved ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned by or leased by a convicted person, when a person qualifies for a permanent or restricted license
- Community service
- Advanced DUI school
- Alcohol and /or drug evaluation and treatment
- Additional fees and court costs
A fourth DUI will also result in higher auto insurance rates and usually requires a driver to obtain expensive FR 44 insurance, when a driver's license is reinstated.
Note: A fourth-time DUI offender convicted of DUI with serious bodily injury or death may face even greater penalties than listed above.
Permanent Revocation of Florida Driver's License for Fourth DUI Conviction
One of the most severe consequences of a fourth DUI conviction in Florida is that, by law, it results in the permanent revocation of a person's driver's license (regardless of whether it is treated as a first DUI, second DUI, third DUI, or fourth or subsequent DUI by the trial court at sentencing).
Florida law does provide for the possibility of obtaining a hardship driver's license after a permanent revocation, but only after at least a period of five years of no driving.
To obtain a hardship license after the five-year hard suspension period expires, a person must obtain a favorable recommendation for reinstatement from the state's Special Supervision Services program (SSS).
Only then can a person request a formal review hearing before the Florida Board of Administrative Reviews (BAR), a division of the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for a license reinstatement.
But first, the person seeking reinstatement must:
- Pass the Florida driver's license examination
- Pay an administrative fee
- Pay a driver's license reinstatement fee
- Pay any other license fees
- Show proof of bodily injury liability insurance (FR 44) with minimum required coverage
The person must remain in the Special Supervision Services Program indefinitely to retain his or her hardship license.
If you meet with an experienced Miami fourth DUI defense attorney, you can learn the answers to many of your questions about the criminal and civil aspects of your DUI case.
How An Attorney Can Help You
A multiple DUI attorney can provide invaluable assistance if you are facing DUI charges. Here's how they can help you:
- Legal Expertise: DUI attorneys possess a deep understanding of DUI laws, procedures, and potential legal defenses in your jurisdiction. They are well-versed in the complexities of DUI cases and can explain the charges you're facing and the potential consequences.
- Defense Strategy: These attorneys work with you to create a tailored defense strategy. They may challenge the validity of the traffic stop, the accuracy of field sobriety tests, or the reliability of breath or blood tests, seeking to weaken the prosecution's case.
- Protection of Rights: DUI attorneys ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout the legal process, including protection from unlawful searches and seizures and the right against self-incrimination.
- Negotiation Skills: DUI attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges, secure plea bargains that mitigate penalties, or explore alternative sentencing options such as diversion programs.
- Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, a DUI attorney will vigorously represent you in court. They will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make compelling legal arguments on your behalf.
- Knowledge of DUI Laws: DUI laws can vary from state to state and even within jurisdictions. A DUI attorney is well-versed in the specific laws and regulations in your area.
- Evaluation of Evidence: Attorneys thoroughly review the evidence against you, such as police reports, chemical test results, witness statements, and video recordings, to identify weaknesses or errors that can be challenged in court.
- Minimization of Penalties: DUI attorneys work to minimize potential penalties associated with a DUI conviction, including fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, probation, and jail time.
- License Suspension: If your driver's license is at risk of suspension, an attorney can help you navigate the administrative hearing process to challenge the suspension and potentially retain your driving privileges.
- Legal Guidance: DUI attorneys provide you with critical legal advice and guidance throughout the process, ensuring that you make informed decisions about your case.
Given the serious legal and personal consequences of a DUI conviction, consulting and hiring a DUI attorney is essential to protect your rights, explore legal defenses, and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles — The DHSMV website contains information about laws related to the administrative suspension of a driver's license due to a DUI, with detailed information about how to reinstate a Florida driver's license after an administrative suspension for a fourth or subsequent DUI.
- Florida Statutes, Title XXIII (Motor Vehicles), Chapter 316 § 316.193 — Driving Under the Influence — Read the Florida laws related to DUI and drunk driving offenses, including Fourth or Subsequent DUI offenses.
- Florida Standard Criminal Jury Instructions, Chapter 28 (Fla. Stat. Ann. 316.193) — Read the jury instructions provided by the Florida Supreme Court for DUI offenses. Section 28.2 of the jury instructions addresses felony DUI offenses.
- Miami-Dade County Circuit Court — Find information on the county website about its criminal courts, including the DUI court. The criminal court for most DUI cases in Miami-Dade County is located at:
- Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 N.W. 12th St.
Miami, FL 33125
- Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
- Alcoholics Anonymous of Miami-Dade County — Anyone interested in recovery from alcohol addiction should visit the website for AA's Miami-Dade County Intergroup to learn about group locations and meeting times throughout the county. An AA program may be required for certain repeat DUI offenders to avoid incarceration. The main branch is located at:
- Miami-Dade Intergroup
299 Alhambra Circle, Suite 309
Coral Gables, FL 33134
- Miami-Dade Intergroup
- Special Supervision Services (SSS) Program — The Florida Safety Council, a non-profit organization, offers SSS, a voluntary program for persons with a five-year, 10-year or permanent driver's license revocation to demonstrate eligibility for “Business Purposes Only” or "Employment Purposes Only" hardship licenses.
Attorneys E.J. & Erika Hubbs
As professional Miami criminal defense attorneys, we take every case personally give every client the deliberate care it deserves. Our clients become part of our family and we fight relentlessly for their rights. Read more about us to find out how we can help you.
I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a criminal/immigration attorney.Anthony Hermans
Now my children and I are safe and I can’t say enough how amazing and attentive he was to my concerns.Elena Varela
Personal and ResponsiveMark Miller