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  • Writer's pictureBlair Goss

How to Avoid Jail Time for a 4th DUI in California | Advice from a Strong Legal Team

How to Avoid Jail Time for a 4th DUI in California | Advice from a Strong Legal Team


Under California Vehicle Code 23550, a fourth DUI charge on an individual's criminal record within the last 10 years can have severe consequences. Depending on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, the punishments may include:

  • A four-year license revocation (may drive with an ignition interlock device);

  • A habitual traffic offender status (for three years);

  • Up to $1,000 in fines;

  • Attending a 30-month DUI program; and

  • Facing up to three years in jail.

Repeat offenders can face harsher penalties whenever they're charged with a DUI.


Those facing a fourth DUI charge in Sacramento, California, must reach out to the legal team at Goss Law. Their experienced DUI defense team can build a solid case, protect their rights, and fight for a lesser severe penalty. Under certain circumstances, they may even have the case dismissed. They can advise on questions such as, "How long is DUI probation in California?"


Is a Fourth DUI in California Considered a Felony?

Is a Fourth DUI in California Considered a Felony?


A DUI is a wobbler offense, and depending on the circumstances of the defendant's fourth DUI, the prosecutor may press charges as a felony or a misdemeanor.


In most cases, misdemeanor charges for a fourth DUI in California can result in up to one year in county jail. However, those charged with a felony may face up to three years in state prison.


It's important to note that the prosecutors will always charge a DUI case as a felony if there is a prior felony DUI conviction, regardless of whether the new criminal incident involved injuries or accidents.


What Are the Consequences of a Fifth DUI in California?


In California, the penalties for a fifth DUI charge in the last 10 years are similar to those for a fourth DUI conviction. However, the court may increase the severity of those punishments.


A defendant facing a fourth DUI conviction may receive a 180-day jail sentence. On the other hand, a fifth DUI charge could lead to three years in state prison.


What Is the Maximum Limit on the Number of DUIs a Person Can Commit in California?


Under California DUI law, there is no limit on how many DUI offenses a driver may commit in the state. However, it is important to note that as DUI convictions increase, so does the severity of the punishment enforced by the criminal justice system.


What Are the Factors That Can Affect the Severity of Punishment for a Fourth DUI in California?


There are several aggravating factors that can increase the severity of the punishments enforced by the criminal justice system for a fourth DUI in California. These include the following:

  • Injuries and fatalities;

  • DUI with a minor passenger; and

  • Failure to take the chemical test after getting arrested.


How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help with a Fourth DUI Conviction?


There are several ways a skilled criminal defense attorney at Goss Law can help those facing DUI convictions in Sacramento, California. Some of these include the following:


Provide Evidence of the Defendant's Medical Condition


Certain medical conditions, such as diabetic coma, GERD, acid reflux, dental work, and others, could produce a false positive on a breathalyzer test.


If that is the case, an experienced criminal defense attorney at Goss Law can gather the necessary evidence to fight the fourth DUI conviction and reduce the penalties or have the case dismissed.


Challenge the Actions of the Law Enforcement Authorities


In the United States, the Constitution protects every citizen from unreasonable arrests.

An experienced criminal defense attorney at Goss Law can argue that the arresting officers violated the defendant's rights if:

  • The law enforcement officer lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct the traffic stop; or

  • There was a lack of sufficient probable cause to execute the DUI arrest.


Trace the Process to Find Legal Vulnerabilities


The law enforcement officer responsible for administering the DUI blood test must have the necessary qualifications and jurisdiction.


Once they receive the sample, they must follow a certain protocol to prevent contamination before submitting it to the laboratory for testing. The lab needs to have the relevant licenses and qualified professionals to test the sample.


A skilled criminal defense attorney at Goss Law understands the process of DUI blood testing and the complexities surrounding it. They can scrutinize each stage to determine whether or not the law enforcement officers followed the relevant protocols and gather the evidence necessary to protect the defendant's rights.


In some cases, the results of a DUI blood test may not be admissible in court due to the "rising alcohol" legal defense.


When a person drinks an alcoholic beverage before driving, it can take some time to take full effect. This means that the blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of testing could be much higher than the actual BAC during driving or when pulled over.


The DUI defense attorneys at Goss Law can argue in court on the defendant's behalf. They can also request a blood split order that allows them to have an independent lab test the samples to reduce the charges or have them dismissed.


Is the Fourth DUI Eligible for Record Expungement?


An expungement is a legal process where the court orders the removal of an individual's arrest from their criminal record.


It may be possible for offenders who commit a fourth DUI offense to be eligible for a record expungement if:

  • They never faced jail time in state prison for DUI charges; and

  • They completed their probationary period.

However, it is important to note that record expungement is only possible if the individual faces a misdemeanor criminal offense for their fourth DUI.


Is a Fourth DUI in California Considered a Felony?

Should DUI Offenders Reach Out to an Attorney for Legal Help?


In some cases, a plea deal may not be the best option for those with prior DUI convictions. However, public defenders often encourage the defendants to take it, as they want to close the case.


Since they're already understaffed, public defenders may not provide good legal representation, which can affect the offender's chances of a reduced sentence or case dismissal.


A private criminal defense attorney at Goss Law has the resources to scrutinize each stage of the DUI arrest. They can advise how to avoid jail time for 3rd DUI in California. They can gather the necessary evidence to challenge the results of the blood samples or the arrest process.


In most cases, prosecutors are willing to offer a better plea bargain if an experienced criminal defense DUI lawyer takes up the case and fights the DUI charges.


Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help


Whether it is a first-time or a fourth-time DUI conviction, DUI offenses can have negative consequences on the defendant's life.


Those facing DUI charges in Sacramento, California, should immediately contact (916) 999-7689 for a free consultation with the skilled legal team at Goss Law to discuss their case and learn more about their legal options.

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